Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Neal Stephenson Slashdot Q&A : Reading through this great interview, I thought I'd mention that I finally picked up the paperback version of Quicksilver. In the back, Stephenson talks about how he wrote the entire trilogy out by hand, then transcribed it and typeset it using emacs and TeX.

I had heard of this feat earlier when the hardcover was first released. I imagined page after page of flowing, gorgeous text, with a few decisive slashes, insertions, and other edits in the margins. Over the past month or two I've been taking my own notes longhand, and that image kept coming back to me. I'd look down at the scratching on my own loose-leaf page (hardly the 100% cotton paper Mr. Stephenson was able to use), and feel less then satisfied with myself.

So it was with some relief that I discovered the examples of Stephenson's handwriting. Its OK to scrawl out the words, regardless of the quality of the paper or pen. Obvious in hindsight, but at least I can write easier now.