A big chunk of (fast) luxury

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My next significant car was one I regard as my first ‘sensible/adult’ car. The first of only a few which could be classed thus.

When I say ‘sensible and adult’ I mean a four-door saloon. A large family car with plenty of boot space. (That’s the trunk to my American friends.)

That this model boasted a 2.9ltr, 24valve, V6 Cosworth engine was just a simple little bonus.

I loved my Maroon coloured Ford Granada Scorpio Cosworth. It possessed all the best luxury mod cons of the time; quick clear windscreen, electric controlled seats – heated front & rear, electric reclining rear seats, heated wing mirrors, a trip computer, abs and so on. In fact, Ford threw every luxury they had into this big beast of a car, which could accelerate to 60Mph from standstill in around 8 seconds, (quite a feat for a car of that era) and keep going to 140 MPH. I can vouch it could easily do that figure without panting… not on a public road, of course.

I could often be found relaxing in the deep leather armchair style seats, moseying along comfortably at 100MPH while steering with one little pinkie finger. It really was like the lounge of a ‘gentleman’s club’, but on wheels.

What was there not to love?

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Now, this is where I associate this car to that of being an author.

You see, it is all to do with speed and luxury combined.

When I purchased my Granada Scorpio, I did so as a part exchange using the vehicle I was driving at the time… one which was so clearly insignificant to me I forget it entirely, except it was blue… possibly a Vauxhall or another Ford?… as part payment. The rest of the cost was handed over in a single cash payment.

As you can tell from the above, this was not a main-dealer purchase, but a small car dealer who specialised in Ford motor vehicles, particularly the performance models.

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The Scorpio was not new, not even one which could be considered low-mileage. The rear wheel arches were showing the firsts specks of rust. (It was the poor quality of the bodywork which was the eventual demise of this range of Fords.) But it was what I could afford at the time. The few pounds I paid gave me comfort, luxury and satisfied my need for speed.

I think this is the same for us authors.

We may not be able to invest in the newest, latest, all singing all dancing computer, whether from a fruit company or a replacement glazing manufacturer, but we all should have the most powerful, fastest machine we can lay our hands-on.

The reason is, no one wants to wait too long for the processes to take place, the loading, downloading, deleting, moving, sharing of files. Neither do we want to be left hanging while surfing and researching, selecting and storing images, research papers or historical records.

We also need space for our cover images, marketing and promotional material, let alone sales records and accounts.

So, all in all, the computers we need… and I say NEED… must do far more, far more efficiently and comfortably than many are truly able, especially those which come weighed down with Bloat Wear, regardless of what the spotty youth on the shop floor may try and fob you off with, particularly when he finds out you have no idea what TWAIN, Crapplet, Thunking or Blob means when speaking tech-geek.

My advice, if you can upgrade, do.

As when I purchased my Scorpio, you do not need to buy brand new from a main dealer, from a bright and shiny store in a plaza, or an out-of-town shopping complex.

You could do what I do and have someone build you a bespoke system.

I use a local, well respected, tried and tested, computer repair and solutions company which has been serving the local community for many years, at least twenty to my knowledge… when I say ‘company’, I mean son, father and aunty, along with an odd friend, (who may have popped in for a cup of tea several years ago and never left,) who inhabit a small hovel, one which is almost underground, in a side street in my town.

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Bloat Wear

They rid my machines of all the unwanted ‘bloat-wear’ freeing up many gigs of space, add or alter all those PC boards and ‘silly-cone’ bits n bobs, (upgrading maths coprocessors… I overheard that one once… maybe in 1992?), to create a fast machine with an amazing capacity for storage and memory.

My ‘big machine’ (one of those the above people worked their magic on) has such processing power, that for five years we ran the entire UK’s outsourced agency for a major insurance company from home. The system ran a triple screen set up, national communications and real-time monitoring, along with the daily business.

Now, I don’t expect you to need or want such a server in your home, but it does give an indication of how far you could go if specify bespoke.

2017-09-25-productThis laptop, the one I am writing this very post on, says it is a ‘Compaq’, a brand which was absorbed by Hewlett Packard some time back. About the only original thing left is the casing itself. (No one wants to steal an ‘ancient’, well-worn looking laptop).

In it, I now run an Intel Core i9 with associated upgrades. All engineered for a fraction of the cost of going to PC World and buying a slower, less luxurious laptop.

Have a think when you’re ready to move on or renew your hardware. Can you get the performance of a luxury brand for the fraction of the cost?

Unless, of course, you prefer style over substance, why not check out your own ‘local’ computer man. Just make sure they have a good (& long) reputation and proven experience.

Okay, time to stop writing this post and get back to writing my books.

Catch you next time…


 

Just before you go, pop over to my author website and have a mosey around. I am sure you’ll find a book or two to tempt you.

Keep Happy, Paul 🙂

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HEADS UP AUTHORS… Ads.txt is here and you NEED to know… ‘WHAT IS THE ADS.TXT PROJECT?

Unlike many/most of my Ramblings I regard this post as something of extream importance, a possible game-changing innovation, one which has wide implications but also one which will be of particular interset for indie authors

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As part of a broader effort to eliminate the ability to prointerest counterfeit inventory in the open digital advertising ecosystem, Ads.txt provides a mechanism to enable content owners to declare who is authorized to sell their inventory.

The mission of the ads.txt project is simple: Increase transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem. Ads.txt stands for Authorized Digital Sellers and is a simple, flexible and secure method that publishers and distributors can use to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory.

By creating a public record of Authorized Digital Sellers, ads.txt will create greater transparency in the inventory supply chain, and give publishers control over their inventory in the market, making it harder for bad actors to profit from selling counterfeit inventory across the ecosystem. As publishers adopt ads.txt, buyers will be able to more easily identify the Authorized Digital Sellers for a participating publisher, allowing brands to have confidence they are buying authentic publisher inventory.

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ADS.TXT HELPS PUBLISHERS

Counterfeit inventory comes in many forms, but it typically results in real media spend not reaching legitimate and deserving publishers. Ads.txt helps publishers reclaim control of their media, brand, and rate card. This means more of an advertisers spend can get to the domain owner through their approved sales channels, and not be wasted on counterfeit inventory.

Check out the PDF

https://iabtechlab.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IABOpenRTB_Ads.txt_Public_Spec_V1-0-1.pdf

Also read: https://iabtechlab.com/how-to-ads-txt/

This post is brought to you by CQ International Publishing, Electric Eclectic books and iab Tech Lab

 

Clearing out the closet

But first a note,

    When I first started to write my Ramblings the idea was just to jot down my thoughts, feelings and viewpoints of whatever was foremost in my mind at the time, which is in essence still what I am doing.

However my Ramblings have seemed to have naturally divided themselves into two distinct, or should that be indistinct, areas.

Firstly those Ramblings which focus on writing; where I hope to offer encouragement, insight and tips of this black art to other writers and would be penmen, (if I can say that without being politically incorrect?), and tell of my struggles, fears and incidents along the way. (Writing can be isolating and lonely at times). In hindsight I should have known that many of my Ramblings would take this path, after all I am a writer. It is what I do.

The second avenue of my Ramblings are more in tune with my original intention to waffle-on about a varied assortment of unconnected and random topics, like this one!

So I have, in a rather arbitrary manner, separated the two prime themes; from now on my writing centred Ramblings will published on this Blog ramblingsfromawritersmind.wordpress.com.

Leaving me free to post my arbitrary scribbling about everything and nothing on a separate blog which is simply entitled furtherramblings.wordpress.com

For those of you who enjoy reading fiction, then please take a peek at alittlemorefiction.wordpress.com where you will find a collection of my Flash Fiction, enjoy.

I am glad to have cleared that up! ………………..and cleaning up is the topic of today’s Rambling.

In fact what I have done is an actually clean up what was becoming a bit of a mess. Having a clean out, tidying up the mess and confusion which seems to inexorably grow about us on a daily basis, is a liberating and satisfying experience.

This is also about getting rid of annoying and irritating entities which we can quite easily and happily live without.

Let me explain, if I may.

I have renewed / re-modelled my webpage recently. The original design was looking amateurish and had had so many alterations over time it was also looking scraggy. So I scrapped everything and started again from scratch.

On completion of this task I was overcome by a host of silver angels descending from the clouds and blowing upon golden trumpets tunes of joy and salvation.

OK, it was not quite an epiphany, but you get my drift!

So I went to work on my computer itself, deleting a number of old and ancient photos on my files, on Picasso, on Keepthatshityou’llneverwant dot com, and some other Cloud crap that I never use. I then started re-arranging my files, because if my storage systems were an actual office it would look much like that Japanese one in the You-Tube video during the earthquake, or rather like the office did in the aftermath.

Now I am rather good at keeping my hard drive optimised, I have high quality programmes to check, clean, defragment, compress and goodness knows what. Other software ensures that no silicone version of ‘Ebola’ is infecting any file or the path it is strolling along. I have vaults and antidotes, and little ninja killers jumping and climbing through every download and external device to ensure that nothing has snuck passed the x-ray machines and strip searches in my computers airport security lounge, or was that suite?

None of the above however lends itself to getting out the vacuum cleaner or polishing cloth, not one killer ninja will, on its day off, pick up the debris and waste of underused, misnamed or forgotten files. Nothing will automatically organise your documents in the clear and precise way you have just decided you want them.

No. These are things you have to get of your backside and do yourself, or possibly sit down, on your backside and do……well, you understand. So that was my second task of the day. A task that actually took a week!

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Yep a week! I was amazed at how many duplicated, or just so very slightly similar, documents and images I had.

I know why.

I do a lot of things a lot of the time, saving constantly so I do not lose all the work I have just completed. You know…like you did when you clicked on….ahh yes, you remember that don’t you! The problem is once the task is completed, the final work saved, sent, stored, printed or whatever,  I do not always remember, or cannot usually be arsed to double check the copied and saved files that I created along the long and bumpy yellow rubble path of getting the job done.

So those files languish in luxury at the poolside of the internet highway hotel, retired forever, relaxing in the heat under the multiple core silicone sun.

But now I have kicked these lazy residents out and closed the hotel. The space I have newly created will become the foundations on which I shall now erect structures of new creativity and technical beauty…..or not. But once again a good old clean out is really quite a healthy thing to do, not only for you PC or laptop, but for you too. I now have a feel good factor, and that feels good.

By this time tomorrow evening I should have a few black plastic bags full of old Sh*t to chuck in the  interweb dumpster, a fresh and clean living space to work within.

I do not know if this will enable me to write any better, or shall unleash some unknown, some latent talent which has been hiding beneath the keys, but I know that it feels as if I have performed a catharsis, something which has not only cleared the capacity of memory storage within this infernal machine, but has also strangely lifted my own mental spirits somewhat.

Maybe you should have your own clean out, it actually feels really good, even liberating, like a cool lemon scented shower….or a soak in a hot bath full of bubbles and little yellow squeaky ducks….if you prefer that!

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As all this scrubbing and cleaning has worn me out I have decided to take myself off to bed, for a comforting and relaxing sleep.

I wish you the same when night arrives in your part of the world, and hope that the thought of living with an overloaded storage space, full of unwanted, unneeded and useless files which is slowing down your operating system, will not keep you lying awake all night with undue concern.

In fact I shall not even mention it, should I by doing so, place any doubt whatsoever within your mind!

Thank you for reading, Paul.