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Friday seems to come around faster and faster the older I get. I can't believe it was a week ago that I was writing the last of these columns.
To bring you up to date: I was predicting that I would have the Ranger book finished over the bank holiday. I was close but didn't quite make it, having decided that it was more important that I watch a film and Jonathan Creek. So that meant a couple of hours work on Tuesday morning, partly due to the fact that I hadn't gotten around to laying out the back cover of the book . . . and once I'd decided what I was going to do with it, I had to redesign a couple of internal pages which I had pinched images from.
To cut a long story short, after a couple of final run-throughs of the pages to make sure there was nothing obviously wrong, I finally sent everything off to the printer and I'm now waiting on the arrival of a proof. Which, as you know, is the signal to start taking orders.
With everything Ranger-related now finished for a few days before the proof arrives, I was keen to get down to the next task in hand. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible as I discovered that my constant battle for data-storage space had been lost. When I was copying scans and various designs that I was using for the Ranger book, one of my external hard-drives announced that it was completely full and I wasn't able to squeeze another byte onto it. This leaves me in the scary situation of only having one copy of some things until I can buy a new drive, set it up and mirror the data. There's also the problem of having nowhere to back-up the files I'm working on as the 102 GB of data is greater than the 30 GB I have left on my main storage (external) drive and the 19 GB of workspace I have left on the hard drive of the computer I'm writing this on (and that's after I've cleared off all the Ranger material).
So what am I getting for my birthday next week? Hopefully a nice, new 2 TB external drive to add to the 5 1/2 TB I'm already using to store and mirror all my work. (And I really need to back up this computer soon as I've only done it once since Christmas.)
One bit of good news: the problem I was having with the Rolling News and various other lists that make Bear Alley as user-friendly as I can make it has resolved itself. It took about a week, and Blogger haven't actually explained what went wrong, but everything seems to be working OK now. Fingers crossed.
It's rather late so I hope you'll forgive the lack of additional scans this week. There are only so many hours in the day and, if I'm right about the week coming around faster and faster, the hours only have 50 minutes in them at best.
Next week will see the conclusion of Dickens' adventurous 'A Tale of Two Cities', which will also run over the weekend. But there will be more, including a look at Mary Louise Parker (not the actress) and a cover gallery for Iain M. Banks, whose recent announcement (see the Rolling News) was a hell of a shock.