Friday, January 27, 2023

Comic Cuts — 27 January 2023

It's too early to describe my efforts to backup my files from the PC to the new laptop as a "saga", but it's starting to feel like it. There's a backup of everything on an external hard drive, but getting it off the drive and onto the laptop is proving to be a bit tricky.

I can see the files on the external hard drive... I can even see from the laptop that the external hard drive has some files on it — almost 300GB of "other files" — but it doesn't recognise them as backed-up data files.

Until the files are copied across, the laptop is unusable except for accessing the internet while I'm in the living room, which I used to do on my tablet. Note the use of the past tense, because on Friday, the tablet stopped working. Fine in the morning, couldn't get it to work after lunch. I'm putting it down to jealousy since I have no idea why this should be the case,and it's as good a reason as any I can come up with. The tablet is jealous of the laptop and is throwing a strop.

This comes in a week were electrical goods have had it in for me. My toothbrush stopped working (stone dead). And our Karcher vacuum stopped working (won't recharge). It's turning into a Winter of Discontent as far as electrical goods are concerned.

All I can say is Thank Dog my PC is still growling away (thanks to the fan that was the start of this need to get a new computer) because it was already past my usual time for doing my tax returns. I'm usually pretty good at doing them in early January, as the deadline is the 31st and sometimes the old HMRC servers can take a little time to register an online tax return.

This year took longer than usual because I did my returns early in 2021 in order to qualify for a grant. So working out my incomings and outgoings for 12 months turned into doing so for 18 months and I spent two days chasing through old emails and bank statements trying to match book sales to payments (Bear Alley Books is work) and exclude Ebay sales (which isn't work, except for a handful of sales which are).

Anyway, I managed not to drown in all the numbers and filled out the form online on Wednesday afternoon, a week ahead of the deadline. I still have some filing to do (bank and pension statements, etc.), but I'm hoping that won't take too long and I can get back to work again.

... that work being 600 odd pages of scans that all need to be straightened, cleaned up and tinkered with. So don't expect much excitement from the next month or two's worth of Comic Cuts columns.

The fruit of my pre-Christmas bibliographical labours has bloomed over on the FictionMags Index. I published an illustrated list at the beginning of the month, but you can now discover what it inside all of them. This was a far bigger undertaking than I originally imagined (so many things are!) and Phil, who runs the site, told me the listings I had sent him (which included a couple of my own fanzines and a couple of other paperback fanzines) added 443 new names to the index, some of which I have put dates to, but I still have quite a way to go before I'll be anywhere near finished.

For those of you interested, here's the list of books. Click through to see what's in them. This link will take you through to a list of my articles and books that are currently indexed on the FM Index — and, no, I haven't counted how many there are. There's also a chronological list.

The book covers I'm using for decoration this week are a couple of titles that I have picked up recently from a public book swap box to be found in the village. I don't often find much, but every now and then something nice will turn up. The Stroud I picked up because I'm looking forward to seeing the new Lockwood & Co. TV series (although this one isn't part of the series). The Christie I nabbed because it's in slightly better condition than the copy I already have. Before anyone starts getting on to me about filling up the house with books again after my pre-Christmas efforts to slim down the collection, I will just say that I've sent out another box of books this week, so the house is 37 more books emptier... 35 now, but that's still on the debit side.

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