August 10th, 2009


Powerful Issues

On To Version 4.01

I've been stuffing in and expanding scenes to the OAS novel and it has gotten to the point where I need to see the thing. Besides the usual editing, a few scenes need to be rearranged and a number of bits need to be flagged to get the calendar in order. So it was time to fire up the print server downstairs and run a printout of Version 4.00. Microsoft Word's word count was up to 72,118, but finally getting it in Standard Manuscript Format allowed me to get a page count -- 332 pages. Doing some math at 250 words/page gave me a standard word count of 82,750 words, so that's the number in the progress meter. Officially the manuscript is above the minimum length of 80,000 words, but obviously it isn't done yet.

I print drafts on the HP LaserJet 4ML as 2-ups -- two pages per sheet. It cuts down on paper and allows the manuscript to be held landscape and yet still gives me plenty of space between the lines and in the margins for edits, comments, new stuff, etc. The 4ML has been a pretty steady printer, we bought it in 1995 I think, but it's not very fast. About 4-5 ppm. So 332 pages ÷ 2 ÷ 4 page/minute gives us about an hour to print.

Started last night at 5:29pm. The 4ML holds up to 100 sheets so I knew there'd be a pause to reload. Printed it in 3 sections -- I have a heavy duty stapler that easily staples 20-120 sheets of paper, but after a certain point it becomes too unwieldy. Finished about 6:25pm and had just shut down the print server when the house got hit by high wind gusts (up to 70mph nearby) and the first Sunday evening storm arrived. Mrs. Dr. Phil said the arrival came with a burst of hail, but it was small and didn't last long. Power bounced on and off a couple of times, but by that time I was done printing and could shut the printers down, too. Laser printers have a coil to charge the corona wire to high voltage and the UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) units I have suggest not to use laser printers with them, so the 4ML is just on a surge protector.


Another squall line ran through between 10 and 11pm, though most of the storms were tracking north of us along I-96 and south of us along I-94. TV dropped on and off as the power dimmed a couple of times for a second or so. I've got an old UPS for the TV/VCR/DVD/stereo, but its battery has gotten old and so doesn't hold much of a charge. If the power is out for more than a blip and the TV is on, it has trouble coming back on and the TV cycles rapidly trying to start -- has to be shut off. Annoying, but getting behind the TV to the UPS is a pain that I've put off for a long time. I'd order a new battery from APC, but at this point there's no guarantee that the circuit board is still good, so I should just replace the whole unit. Sometime. The whole point was to keep the VCR from losing its mind when the power went out, but the current UPS is failing that when the TV is on. (grin)

Around 3am we had a series of intense storms training right over us. No more power problems but the rain got pretty hard at times. Glad I got the previous shingle damage fixed a couple of weeks ago.

So Naturally...

At 11:28am Monday, while the sun was coming out -- the power went out. Five seconds later and the generator had us back up and at nearly two-and-a-half hours in, is still running. Well, at least I could test to see if the generator could start the new central air/heat pump we installed. Our 12kW generator is supposed to be able to start a 4-ton compressor and the heat pump is 2-ton. So I made the AC come on -- it started fine. Later I was checking some TV and found that the voltage must drop just enough from the impedance of the compressor start that the bad TV UPS couldn't handle it. I should move the TV to an un-UPS socket.

Back to the editing...

OAS Project

Due Date: Thursday 20 August 2009

Dr. Phil