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Summarize Your Life.

2007/09/29

... and When I'm Mistaken, I Admit It. . . .

I occasionally re-read my past posts to determine how readable they are, and admittedly, in the third post I meant to find out the story behind OpenOffice and StarOffice, but forgot sometime between writing that, reviewing the text, and pushing the publish button. Not that I'm a perfectionist — well, sometimes — but I wanted to set the record straight. So, I took it upon myself to look a little deeper into the origin of OpenOffice and StarOffice.

The web site to visit, of course, is www.openoffice.org which has a straightforward About page. Those who are interested in the details can follow links for more information — if you're interested in any way in replacing the word processor or office suite that came with your computer, it's worth the time in downloading and installing.

Changes to the Polling.

I've also retired the first poll, and then bumped the one at the bottom to the top. Second, I've added the newest poll to the bottom; this is the process I'll be going through any time I add new polling content.

I would also like to add, for any and all interested, that I've got a text file on my hard drive in which I collect all my thoughts for future polls. It is great to be prepared; that teacher was right, a little preparation really does save a lot of scramble-work at the last minute. You never have to worry that I'll run out of ideas, only that I'll forget to put them up in a timely manner (life sometimes gets in the way). However, if you've got a question you're wondering about, be it about writing, roleplaying, or my programming efforts, that can be posed as a question with five or more possible answers, I'd be glad to host it in a poll for you.

. . . And in Other News, Roleplaying and Writing Help Each Other. . . .

I haven't really mentioned roleplaying in any depth, so I thought I might give it a mention here.

I have mentioned that I write science fiction; more particularly, I'm writing a full five-plus book series that is full of everything a science fiction reader will love. (I won't bore you with the finer points just yet.) For some of the plotting, I occasionally use a role-playing system to set up a situation, then test-play a situation or two. Now, I know not every writer uses roleplaying elements in their writing, but I'm betting I'm not the only one, either.

For my purposes, I use the Alternity Science Fiction Roleplaying System, with a few personal modifications. This roleplay system was - to my way of thinking - unfairly dropped by The Company Who Shall Not Be Named.

The aspect of this system of most importance to me is the Warships supplemental, which helps me to play out interstellar travel situations and combat. But since it is, admittedly, left incomplete in the latter chapter, and because its chapter organization could have been handled much better, I have written a replacement document (which I personally think of as my own Warships The Next Generation). The original document follows the Star*Drive setting closely, but for my writing and roleplaying I needed something more like a Star Wars meets Star Trek style of technology for something nearing the equivalent of Y3k, Earth-approximate time. Also, in my story, I've got massive ships and stations, far larger than what are in the data tables, though less numerous than one might think. So I've also re-worked the hull size categories up to nine, and adapted movement rates as per these specifications, which suits the feel of my story universe.

Of course, other roleplaying systems may or may not have merits for use in testing a writing setup; some time in the future I may discuss one or more of them.

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