“Ooooh fuuuuudge.” Only I didn’t say ‘fudge.’ I said the word. The big one. The queen mother of dirty words. The ‘f, dash, dash, dash’ word. Yep, for a full minute this morning I was little Ralphie Parker. It was the moment I opened up Martin’s script, Lost, on my laptop and noticed the font. Courier New as opposed to the old SG-1 and Atlantis Times New Roman. Hmmm. I checked Carl’s script. Courier New as well. I went back to the two scripts I’d slaved over these past few weeks. Times New Roman. I automatically used an old template without even having given it a second thought. But I was certainly thinking about it this morning as I accessed the “edit format” function of Screenwriter, changed the font to the accepted Courier New, hit “OK” – and watched the scripts balloon. Script #1, once 50 pages long, was now a pudgy 56. And Script #2, formerly 53 pages in length, was a colossal 60! Anyone up for a three-parter?

No, no. I didn’t think so. Actually this is a good thing. It allows me to focus on tightening up both scripts without having to worry about relative act lengths. Once I’m through with them, these scripts will sing. And when the my fellow writer-producers read them – well, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

“Hey, wait a minute!”I hear you say. (Yes, that’s right. I’m hearing things. I also saw the ghost of the woman who used to play the nosey neighbor in the old Bewitched series, but that’s a story for another entry). “You were supposed to read those scripts last night!” Yes, yes. No need to shout. That was the plan. Unfortunately, I got a little sidetracked by computer issues. Or maybe wordpress issues. I’m not sure which. I was trying to back-up my blog but every time I tried to export the blog to my laptop, the XML file was empty (0kb). I contacted tech support and they informed me that they were able to export the blog no problem, then asked me to send them a screenshot of the error message I kept getting. As it turns out, getting a screenshot of the error message proved just as daunting as trying to back-up my blog so I finally gave up and, just in case, went back to my old blogger home and imported an older XML back-up of my blog. Well, I clicked the “import” button anyway. When I went to bed last night at a little after 11:00 p.m., blogger was still in the process of importing. Some twenty-one hours later, the “Importing your blog” feature is still at it. Al…most…done…?

Stumped, I went to the experts. Google. My search turned up quite a few suggestions for backing up a blog. And I’m sure they would prove very helpful to someone who could understand them. The first suggested I use an FTP client to download all the files. Great! Hire someone to do the job! I searched the yellow pages for FTP clients but came up empty. Then I thought “Hey, wait a minute! If they’re working for me, shouldn’t I be the client?” Was this some roundabout way of getting me to do the work myself? I returned to the site and read step #2: “Log into phpMyAdmin and select your WordPress database.” What the what now? I read on and realized that even if I could log into my phpMyAdmin, the site warned me that I was essentially playing with fire and, in trying to address my issue, I could inadvertently screw up my blog or trigger World War III. Maybe both.

I moved on to the second suggestion which instructed me to download the WordPress Database Back-up Plug-in, which I did, then told me to “Extract wp-db-backup.php, upload it into /wp-content/plugins/ and activate it under the Plugins menu.”, which I didn’t. Okay. Let’s see – wp…wp-content… Seriously. It’s like trying to get to the Universal lot without a map. It can’t be done!

Okay, moving on to suggestion #3: “Use straight MySQL commands“. Of course! It’s so simple! Why didn’t I think of that! Step one advised me to change my directory. The rundown for step two sounded suspiciously like instructions for creating my own dirty bomb and included the following helpful breakdown:

user@linux:~/files/blog> mysqldump –add-drop-table -h mysqlhostserver
-u mysqlusername -p databasename (tablename tablename tablename) | bzip2
-c > blog.bak.sql.bz2

Enter password: (enter your mysql password)

It’s as if this guy’s cat just walked across his keyboard and he didn’t even bother deleting that section before posting.

Finally, option #4 was a link that read “complicated method”. Needless to say I didn’t bother clicking.

Further research suggests that the Export function on WordPress times out after sixty seconds and, given my blog’s enormous database, it would take roughly double that to download it in its entirety. So it would appear that, after sixty seconds, the function simply throws it’s hands up and says “F- this! I’m gonna go watch Big Bang Theory!” and leaves me to my own devices – said devices being the hammer I was going to take to my laptop in frustration.

So, what to do? Do I need to go out and buy a laptop fast enough to allow me to complete the export in less than the 60 seconds allotted? Do I need to ignore the painfully obvious fact that this isn’t working and keep trying in the vague hope that it may eventually, magically, actually start working (because, I’ve got to tell you, this particular approach, while the simplest, has yet to achieve results even remotely promising). Or should I turn my blog into a print edition that I can simply photocopy before mailing out to interested subscribers?


[A hilarious little post-script.  About ten minutes ago, I had just uploaded the above pic and was about to hit “publish” when my laptop flashed what the gals in playback refer to as “the blue screen of death” and immediately, and mysteriously, rebooted itself.  Well, I guess that settles it.  The problem isn’t technical after all.  It’s supernatural.  My latop is cursed.]

Some further discussion on The Speed of Dark:

Ponytail writes: “Seems like today the increase in autistic diagnosis is frightenly soaring. I never heard of it when I was young.”

Answer: Maybe that’s just it. Is it a case of an increase in autism or are experts simply doing a better job of diagnosing autism?

Sparrow_hawk writes: “Is one type of therapy good, but the other is tampering with someone’s mind? Where do we draw the line?”

Answer: Not an easy question to answer. There are certain many, many cases in which medication has helped people. On the other hand, one can argue that ours is an over-medicated society. Where to draw the line? I don’t know.

Otros Ojos writes: “However, now that breakthroughs in knowledge and treatment have taken place in some areas, there’s quite a bit of bandwagon-hopping. Misdiagnoses are made; prescriptions are written when a course of behavioral therapy might actually be more effective as well as making meds unnecessary, but maybe both doc and patient really want change NOW. Or maybe a typically short-sighted health insurance group will pay for the meds, but no other type of therapy — which really makes me burn, especially where kids and adolescents are involved.”

Answer: Couldn’t agree more. Often, easy and fast is not always best.

Iamza writes: “When does a kid go from being very active and mildly inattentive to needing treatment for ADD, stat!”

Answer: I’m thinking, in many cases, about the point the parents get fed up.

Sparrow_hawk also writes: “ Is it more humane to lock someone up or to treat their problem with mind-controlling technology? This gets into the big-brother discussion. It is certainly cheaper and more convenient for society as a whole to use the mind-chip. You keep the members of your society functional and don’t have the expense of prisons.”

Answer: Hey, I brought up the parallel but if I was a character in the story I’d have no doubt been arguing for the mind ship as well. It becomes a very interesting topic of debate given that many who argue against the “throw away the key” mindset insist that the goal of incarceration is not to punish but to rehabilitate. Well, the mind chip would be the quickest and most effective way of accomplishing this.

Chevron7 writes: “I felt that the existence of Lou-Before deep inside the new Lou was a big F You to the people handing out the treatment. I’m sure they thought that nothing would remain of the old Lou. Perhaps I’m reading something into the end that no-one else is reading.

I am sitting here at a desk entering my notes, and the desk is in a ship and the ship is in space, and the space is full of light. Lou-before hugs the series to him, dancing inside me like a joyous child, I feign more sobriety, in my workday coverall, though I can feel a smile tugging at the corner of my mouth. We both hear the same music

Isn’t that hopeful?”

Answer: I guess my feelings were clouded by new Lou’s off-hand dismissal of the friendships that once meant so much to him. Yes, maybe Lou-Before is somewhere inside, but the people who cared for him (and he cared for in return) seem to have become little more than an afterthought to him. And I find that incredibly sad.

Sparrow_hawk writes: “It seemed to me that the turning point for Lou came when he heard the sermon in church about “drinking from the well.””

Answer: This is truly. I look forward to seeing how the author responds to your question.

Thornyrose writes: “Given how Moon works to show us that using labels like “he’s a retard”, or “he’s autistic” is not good reason to assume someone has no depth of intellegence, ability to plan, or to feel, it seems odd that Don is presented so one dimensionally as “the nutcase”.”

Answer: I read her depiction of Don in much the same way as her depiction of Marjory – purposely vague. In the case of Marjory, I think it was so we could empathize with Lou, follow allow on his journey of discovery and, hopefully, love. In the case of Don, his character’s motivations are left purposely vague so he can play the part of the villain. Like Lou’s friends, we react strongly to what he has done and yet we don’t really know what led him to act. Yes, obviously, he doesn’t like the fact that Lou receives “special treatment”, but there are hints that it goes far deeper than that. Also, we receive the occasional hints that Don has been denied the support offered Lou – as in the incident at the tournament.

And thanks to Charlie’s Angel, Mishmee, Otros Ojos, Sparrow_hawk and others who have shared some of the personal challenges they and their families have faced. Good luck to you all. Ttoday’s blog entry is dedicated to you guys.

77 thoughts on “August 5, 2009: Who’s Up For A Three-Parter? Technical Difficulties! More The Speed of Dark Discussion!

  1. I never considered the question of how font might impact script pages. My question is, if you’ve been using Times New Roman all along (which is my favored font), shouldn’t that be the standard by which you measure your script pages, regardless of whether someone else is using a different font? The words and the time sequence are still the same, after all.

  2. Ugh. Joe…I’ve been dealing with computer issues all. freakin’. day. long. Your entry today was virtually unreadable.

    Do better next time. 😉


  3. I too have computer problems. I just spent more than 2 hours on the phone with Dell support. I had the blue screen of death also. My problem also started last night about 1 am when I logged off. Scary thing is, we don’t know what the problem was, but after trying several things, my computer just suddenly came back on. I think its Norton. Norton is trying to update my subscription and is screwing everything up. It has been running an update for more than an hour now. I’m fixing to close that now. I’ll probable get that blue screen again. And I know nothing about computers.

    Well, here goes nothing…

  4. I’d be careful about considering whether or not the actual computer is the issue, it’s much more likely that it’d the speed of the internet you are using is the issue. It seems to me that the problem is transmitting the data, not doing something to it, in which case it would a problem with the speed of the computer.

  5. Times New Roman was really the default font on SG-1/Atlantis? Interesting. Every script I’ve seen in its original form (versus reformatted reprints like Titan’s volume of SG-1 scripts) to date has been in a fixed-width font–Courier or its equivalent–so as to give a more consistent length estimation.

  6. Joe have you tried plugging an ethernet into your laptop and downloading it? If memory serves me correctly, wireless G only transfers data at 54mb/s while wireless N is around 110mb/s. Meanwhile a hardwire runs about 300mb/s.

    Just take the blue cord out of the back of your desktop and plug it into your laptop, run the download and then plug it back into your desktop.

  7. Hey Joe,

    What a day…uuggghhh…aren’t we glad they aren’t around every corner. My daughter spent 2 years writing a book.
    Someone broke into our house and stole her laptop. You guessed it…no backup…there went the book. Gone forever.

    It seems your site should take more responsibility…but that would be in a perfect world. You went through soooo much. I actually like bloggers that can write about the bad days as well as the good.

    Good blog…I like seeing the flip side sometimes.

    Best always,
    Cherluvya :o)

  8. The backup suggestions offered to you were instruction on how to back up wordpress if your running your own site. PHP is the scripting language that makes your blog work, sort of the way html works but more complicated, the way it stores all the stuff you typed is my using a “database” most people running servers use mysql as it is free… PHPmyAdmin is a “program” of sorts that allows for an easier interface to the mysql database. In other words I dont think wordpress.com allows you to do those things (including the FTP option).

    You might want to try to backup your blog with another browser, if your on safari try firefox or opera.

    I hope I didnt waste a perfectly good explanation… ok so its not a perfectly good explanation but I hope it wasnt a waste :p

  9. Hi RebeccaH.,

    I’ve heard that there is apparently a standard in term of the font you can use to write a script, and that all scripts are supposed to be written in the same font style and size.
    I’ve also heard that this standard helps to evaluate the time length of a script. i.e 1 page of a script is supposed to be equivalent to 1 minute of on screen movie time, so that a 52 pages script would be equivalent to 52 minutes of “on screen time.”

    Am I right Joe?

    By the way, I saw A Christmas Story at least 30 times, I love this movie!


    Been going through a few medical tests lately (one of which gives up the wazoo a whole new meaning), and dealing with a stressful family situation, so to leave reality behind, I’ve been taking lunch at the Uni backlot the last couple of weeks.

    Today a police car zipped past. I thought only in LA would I even be asking if it was a real cop car. It wasn’t. Last week, The Beatles drove by in a golf cart holding up their foil covered lunches. John looked especially eerily handsome in white and his long beard. Cool, and I thought of a hundred different possibilities for a Beatles thing shooting on the lot. Then another golf cart went by, with Bob Marley. Maybe it’s an anthology.

    The idea of an anthology stuck in my head, and I keep thinking how hysterically funny and evil you, Paul, Carl and the rest of the gang are. So maybe some form of a twisted Twilight Zone anthology might be fun sometime down the road…after about ten more years of SGU, and at least five SGA and SG1 movies, each.

  11. Hey your RSS feed started randomly working after stopping working earlier Tuesday. Could be just me though *shrug*

  12. I have been trying to help my little sister pick out a laptop for college all day, so I too can relate to the frustration with computer/technology terminology. Jeepers, who cares if it’s got a DDR3 SDRAM Serial ATA (5400 rpm) 4x DVD+R DL; 4x DVD-R DL; 8x4x8 DVD+RW; 8x4x8 DVD-RW; 24x10x24 CD-RW? All I care about is if it’s fast, reliable, and has the cool stuff she wants.

    Joe, do you have anything to say about the Emmy bruhaha?

    Also, has everyone seen this Youtube interactive photohunt (find the difference in pictures from USA’s national parks)? I think it’s pretty awesome!!!

  13. It’s kinda humbling, or well actually really very much so, to be included in the group to whom you dedicated today’s entry. But it’s extremely kind and thoughtful of you. Thanks so much.

    I’m glad you quoted Sparrowhawk about Lou’s reaction to the “drinking from the well” sermon. I know I highlighted that section and then thought about it as I sat and read and made unusually copious notes. Still, I forgot the entire scene, and appreciate Sparrowhawk’s insightful comments on it.

    – Joe, you are too cool. To me, your tale of tech-ish bewilderment and woe is just hilarious. I’ve gone through similar pc problems fairly often, but haven’t ever been able to laugh at myself – in public, yet – for having limited computer skills, the kind that just encourage hackers in thinking that they, along with cockroaches, will someday rule the world. And at the moment that seems plausible. – Your write-up of the whole mess kept me laughing even while I blushed over my own oft-displayed tech inadequacy. (I have learned how to take a screenshot, but that might only be because I’ve posted on tech help forums often enough to get emails from them on my birthday, with little notes like “Come back anytime! We’ve always enjoyed your charming naivete in doing whatever we recommended. More fun than watching a dozen dalmatians chasing their tails!”)

    I hope you don’t get tired of people telling you how entertaining you are. *w*

    Good luck with your back-up dilemma, though without doubt some of your tech-savvy readers will help you get things sorted. Without playing “snark the n00b.” (Or maybe only a little.) *exits laughing*

  14. I am really trying to sympathise with you, but I keep finding myself snickering at your trials and trevails in the land of It. I blame that on your dry wit rather than any character flaw of mine, by the way. But I’m happy to see you ready to tackle the suddenly bloated scripts.
    6 more hours and I’m officially on vacation. One week and I’ll be on the road, ready to escape reality for a fortnight. Somewhere along that path I’m looking forward to sampling Fuel’s menu. Life, for today, is good.

  15. I win the geek prize. I understand all those instructions and have even used them. Sadly as someone said, you can’t carry out those steps because you don’t have your own site/hosting. So you can’t ftp in, install extensions, use phpMyAdmin, or, God forbid, the mysql command line.

    It might not be your computer that’s too slow, but theirs. The XML dump is happening on their server. Or, your connection can’t keep up, but that’s hard to believe. So, I don’t think you need a new laptop.

    The XML export doesn’t back up your images anyway. If you were to “restore” the site it would not have the images (!). You might just need to trust wordpress.com that they have enough redundancy to not lose your blog. However if you ever want to move it somewhere else? I bet they’d help you out… for a fee.

  16. PS: “If your MySQL function is inaccessible, first reformat your hard drive, then reboot in DOS mode and follow the instructions you printed out on p. 23 of the “troubleshooting linux bzip and all blog.bak.sql.exe files” help manual version 8.954, which was released 30 minutes before you bluescreened. V. 8.953 is now incompatible with all dll files and may permanently damage your level42 virtual machine capabilities.”

  17. I’m up for a 3 parter. 😛

    But this bodes well, not only for you being able to tighten the scripts but for us as well, as it is now even less likely that you will be forced to compress them into one script.

    @ das: You got 35 too? Ok, our similarities are beginning to frighten me. Are you certain you are not a female version of me from an alternate timeline, brought here by a combination of alcohol, lust for long white-haired, pallid men, and a dimension hopper?

    Also, not sure if you’re being ironic, but in case you’re not, the similarity of your problem with the topic of today’s blog entry frightens me further, to the point of nightmarishness.

  18. Wondering if anyone found the name of the creator of the test for autism interesting familiar. Simon Baron Cohen compared to Sasha Baron Cohen (of Barat and other strange movies)?

    Belated congratulations to the caption winners…cool!

    Oh….3 episodes instead of 2 instead of only 1? Yeah, bring it on – for the hoped for SGU season 2.

  19. Buck up, Joe! You haven’t *lived* until you’ve had a computer screen literally short out and pretty much blow up in your face! — And not because someone zapped or shot at it!

    And many a time I’ve wished that we could go back to DOS! And that “programmes” came with HARD COPY manuals!! — Yeah, I’d love to consult that Online/Hardwired Manual, *IF* I could get my machine turned “on” and “working”!!

    As for “Tech Support”… I was having software/hardware problems at 1am on a Saturday looong before there was 24/7 service AND before most of these so-called “experts” were even BORN!!!

    All I can say is, there’s never a 14-year-old or a FRAN around when you need one!

  20. So, Joe, uhm…is there any word about the SGA movie? Any word at all? Are you still optimistic that it’s going to happen?

    I hope so. Thanks :o)


  21. *LOL* After reading today’s blog: Have you ever thought about (or actually done) writing a pure comedy?

    It’s fascinating when someone has the ability to describe simple everyday stuff so funny. 🙂

    Joe wrote:

    Also, we receive the occasional hints that Don has been denied the support offered Lou – as in the incident at the tournament.

    Well, that’s something I can definitely understand. The last thing I would want, is the help from a person I’m jealous/envy of or don’t like at all. It would feel like pity. No, worse. Like this person is the generous knight in his shiny armour and I’m just the small, evil worm. Or something like that. 😉

    @ chevron7

    I got 18 on the test. It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve never thought that my wish (the necessity and enjoyment) for being alone so much, the independence of other people’s company, would be really related to autistic traits. And I’m too much of an Aquarius for other ‘autistic similarities’. For example I hate routine. On the contrary, I get easily bored with regularity. If I had the money, the look of my flat would probably change every 6 months or so. 😉 I need change, learning, seeing and exploring new stuff. Although I like to have as much information as possible about things and make plans (going to a conventions is really stress for me regarding that matter 😉 ), I like being spontaneous and just love to upset my own plans. Maybe that’s the reason why I do so much planning in the first place. 🙂

    @ dasNdanger

    I know when someone is getting bored or impatient with me… I IGNORE it…but I still know.

    Me, too. And, it can be so much fun, can’t it? 🙂

  22. Ohhh dear Joe. Opening up a bit of a can of worms with that one. We techies do like to impart our wisdom when prompted.

    I would just say that if you’re using Windows Vista then Blue Screen of Death is to be expected as it is still very unsafe and unstable.

    Also a faster internet connection would solve your blog issue much more than a faster laptop.

    I love computers 😛
    Have fun with yours

  23. Hi Mr M!

    Congrats to the Caption Winner JES and the runners up! Well done all…and also to the other entries. I got such a belly laugh from the various suggestions! Send More Please!

    One of the many things I really enjoy about this blog, is the variety of age/background/nationality of the “regulars”. It is largely a testament to you Mr M and to a lesser degree the SG franchise. So just want to say “thank you “.

    On the SGU front, I have been twittering about this in the past few days http://tiny.cc/1Djwb This is a UK sci-fi mag which I get every so often. I should STRESS that the magazine is called : S F X …..Let’s just say, as I was sitting innocently reading about Dr Rush et al aboard the Destiny, cover in hand, Her Royal Highness mistook the middle letter of the title on the mag….. Leading her to question, just EXACTLY the direction SGU is heading?!?!?!

    And finally, am really rushing to finish the BOTM…a gripping read so far…hopefully finish it before the weekend!

    Best to all


    PS: While I really enjoyed the winning entry, I must raise my hand and admit I didn’t get the reference. Thankfully, Her Royal Highness explained all…not sure if that book was a hit here in Ireland..or whether I was asleep for the whole Seagull thing..anyway, for those who (like me) didn’t get the punch line http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_livingstone_seagull

    well done again JES!

  24. If you can access your web space’s control panel and look for phpMyAdmin you’ll be able to export the SQL database from there. Simply select the database WordPress runs on and go to the Export tab and select which format you want (there are several to choose from, but I’d recommend SQL or XML). Make sure you check the “Save as file” box, no compression, and hit the go button. This will download an SQL file to your machine containing the database.

    In the unlikely event that you’ll need to restore the database you’ll be able to import it through phpMyAdmin as well.

  25. Hello Mr. Mallozzi

    In the last few days I heard much rumor about the Stargate Atlantis Movie. In fact I read that there won’t be one. Now I’m asking me is that true? How could it be possible that a few months ago it was said that Universe won’t be a replacement for Atlantis. Please don’t get this wrong I’m realy looking forward to Universe, but seeing something new about Atlantis just have to be…So my big question is, what do you think, is there going to be a Atlantis Movie or should I just get over it?

    I wish you have a good day
    kindly regards
    (P.S. Sorry my english is not the best I hope you understand everything)

  26. Your problem in downloading the blog is probably related to the speed of your internet connection and so it is timing out before the download is complete, try downloading it on a faster connection (office, library, someones unsecure wifi…)

    Oh and for all those people out there struggling with blue screens of death google Ubuntu, much better than that microsoft crap you are using…

  27. Coucou Joseph!

    Merci pour cette photo de sgu! Eh bien en ce moment les scripte sa n’arréte plus!!

    Je ne pourrai pas passer sur votre blog avant une semaine, car pleins de monde viennent chez moi, et je part quelques jours en vacance dans un luxueux hotel 😉

    Impatiente de vous retrouvez!
    Vive votre blog!
    Bisou, à bientôt!

  28. @Cheryl: What a terrible thing to have happen! I’m so sorry. I hope your daughter can manage to get it written again.

    @Joe: you’re a trouper! But all that is really confusing.

    @das: is it finally fixed?

    It must be contagious. Now I’m having computer issues, too! Maybe it’s the full moon.

    My desktop computer told me that the “System battery is low” – wot!? It is a desktop computer plugged into a wall forheavensake. How can its battery be low? So I did a little searching and, sure enough, my Dell computer has a little 3V flat lithium somewhere in its guts. And now it needs to be replaced. No problem, I thought (fool that I am) I’ll just change the battery. Hah! You would think that they would design it so that it would be easy to replace the little bugger, but it involves taking things apart and pulling out boards, etc. So I’m going to be spending my Saturday waiting for a service call to have a battery changed. Not a happy camper.

  29. Hi again Mr M!!

    Meant to say…was recently in Dublin Zoo, and couldn’t resist this photo…

    You know you are in a REAL global economic crisis when :

    Best to all


  30. Hey Joe,

    If WordPress.com Support can export the file why can’t they just email you that file they exported? Problem solved. You are one of their top bloggers, you’d think they’d help you out.

    I tested exporting mine and it worked fine, sorry.

    With regard to screendumps….when the error message is on screen press Alt-PrtScrn (Print Screen) on your keyboard. Open Word and press Ctrl-V to paste. Is that what you were doing?

    Cheers, Chev

  31. I actually think you need to go back to WordPress and ask their options for exporting such a large site. Mine was quick because it’s so small, yours is huge. Actually do they realise you’ve got 3 million comments?

    Cheers, Chev

  32. Hi Joe!

    What Psy Carp said – FTP and PHPAdmin is for when you are hosting your WordPress blog.

    My happy suggestion is to try what quade said about using a hardwire Net connection versus wireless.

    My sad, sad suggestion is to talk to WordPress help to get them to either lengthen the download duration or do it for you and get you a Zipped version of the file.

    Best of luck!!


  33. In retrospect, I realize I was being pretty damn insensitive in my earlier comment. I’d forgotten just how frustrating it is to deal with complicated computer issues that can possibly turn serious. Maybe if I’d passed on that last glass of wine, I wouldn’t have been so obnoxious. Sincere apologies, and I hope the issue is getting resolved.

  34. I typed a really long response to your backup problem but lost it! Unfortunately I’m trying to get some sleep (in Oz) so can’t type it all out again now but if nobody else has provided you a solution by the time I check in again I will retype it all for you

  35. Joe , over at David Hewlett’s site – “A dogs breakfast” , He said he didnt think the sga movie would get made. I was sorry to hear that, glad his site is now up and running, and hope you have better luck with thw computer problems. NOW , can someone help me with mine? Can’t get twitter to open, it says firewall problem, and mu tech SUCKS!! Does anyone have a SIMPLE and in ENGLISH please solution for me. thanks, sheryl

  36. @Sheyl & Everyone else on this blog

    Twitter is not currently available due to a Denial of Service attack. Facebook is also affected this morning, but is up with issues. Google Twitter fir the latest News updates.

  37. Wow! A lot of people here scored high on that Autism Test. I only know one Asperger’s syndrome person and she (my cousin) is fun to watch. She makes me feel like a social butterfly. An example, while my uncle lay dying in the E.R. last year, my cousin spent her time going over his will in the waiting room. All the relatives looked on in horror. She saw it as, logically, being the next step.

    Another example, while her grandmother (my aunt) was in the hospital with a broken neck, my cousin was in the waiting room preparing the obituary and organizing funeral pictures. “You never know if you can find a Kino’s”, she said.

    My son’s friend (Autistic), has self limited his diet so much, he has spells of syncope from electrolyte balance.

    Interesting, yes?


  38. Hey Joe,

    Will you be showing any work-in-progress art designs for SGU? Like for instance designs for the new gate or (considering we’ve seen it in the comic-con trailer) art designs of the Destiny?

    BTW, Does the Destiny have a Bridge? And is it anything like the bridge of the Aurora Class Ancient vessels? (With the big-@$$ front-window)

  39. @ silver_comet – Yes, it can be! 😈

    Well…at the time it is. Afterwards I usually spend a few hours in seclusion, beating myself up for talking too much, and swearing that I’ll never, ever do it again… aaaaaand I never seem able to keep the promises I make to myself.

    Ugh. I don’t know if I have some high-functioning form of autism, or if I’m just a neurotic pain in the ass. I tend to lean towards the latter… 😛


  40. @ Sparrowhawk – Semi-fixed. But – like men and stray cats – it’s best not to trust ’em unless they’re completely fixed. 😉

    The computer is back in the office (where I should be!)…I have to reinstall Malwarebytes and Spybot – see if they work. My main security – McAfee – is still down. But the guy rooted out all sorts of stuff last night. I’m hoping if I run scans all day, I’ll eventually get it all out. I still don’t trust it, though…not at all.

    I hear Twitter has been knocked off line by a hacker attack. Some people just have way to much time on their hands!

    Like me! Ack! Late for work! Must fly!! *zoooooooooooooooom!!!


  41. Finally…

    RE: SGA Movie – I know a lot of people are worried that it will not be made. Joe – more of an ‘insider’ than the actors – has tried to reassure us that he hopes it will come to fruition. I do to. However…

    It is time to move on. I never thought I’d say that – certainly not a year ago. But, yeah. Time for us to get over Atlantis and find something new with which to amuse ourselves. Remember the old adage: A watched pot never boils. It’s time to look away from the pot and busy ourselves with other things, so that – if and when the time comes – the movie will be here before you know it. A surprise like that is like getting a special present when it’s not even your birthday…it’s so much more rewarding!

    Fortunately, I have found some distractions. First, there’s my long-overdue discovery of the Elric of Melnibone’ saga, as well as other works by Michael Moorcock, who has a writing style that holds my attention and appeals to my abstract ways of thinking and quirky sense of humor. I’ve also re-discovered comic books – something I read only half-heartedly since getting hooked on Atlantis. And I am eagerly looking forward to the new season of Sanctuary, which features many actors from the first two Stargate series.

    So…stop holding on and find something new to stimulate your mind and imaginations. For some, it will be Universe, for others it may be stepping away from the Stargate franchise all together. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave Joe’s blog – he runs a pretty nice ‘pub’ here, and it’s nice to come together with net buddies and sit and chat about whatever’s on our minds. Nice that Joe has made that possible, and it’s possible because he makes himself part of the conversation, too (unlike many bloggers who just post, then ignore those who comment).

    Besides, there’s a lot going on here. Food. Travel. Dogs. Chocolate! Writing tips. Computer illiteracy. Carl. Then there’s Joe’s super-duper book of the month club…that’s worth looking into if you enjoy reading. There’s Universe. There’s comics. All good stuff that can take your minds off of the fate of the Atlantis movie while still staying connected to the franchise, if you so wish.


  42. @Das: Not staying up nights worrying about it, but when I turn on SyFy (aggghhh) and see that “Ghost Hunters” is coming back for yet another season, it really gets me. Of course life goes on after Atlantis, it was just a really nice distraction, and we don’t get many of those. It would have been nice to see some loose end tied up, at least. Have been enjoying “Burn Notice” since it started, and now we have “Warehouse 13” and the new show, “Defying Gravity” (the jury’s still out on that one), so even if it’s two or three shows a week, it’s fine. I don’t think that most of us who were huge fans of any Stargate incarnation are dwelling over any of it that much. Instead, we’re looking forward to SGU, and whether that works for us or not, well, only time will tell. Meanwhile, some of us will be lucky enough to be able to attend a convention or two and have gotten on with it for some time. That said, it’s only natural to be disappointed if the movie doesn’t come to fruition.

    Hope your computer issues are resolved! D

  43. Hi Joe

    I have a question…Just something that has been bugging me for a while…how come Daniel has an airforce badge on his uniform?…He is not a member of the airforce he is a civilian attached to the airforce, isn’t he?


    Kriss 🙂

  44. @Everyone on the blog

    Twitter is back up with spotty connectivity. You might have to refresh the browser several times for the page to load. And be patient with the slow page loading.

  45. I’m with Miss dasNdanger.
    RE: her Atlantis movie comments. If it does not get made, I will not be mad and I will not blame anyone – especially the movie’s writer, Joe Mallozzi. He has, what I’m sure is, a great script just waiting to be shot. Blame the economy if anything. It has/is crushing a lot of plans and dreams right now. Everyone is affected in some way. That is just the way it is. No one is to blame. At least I have my full series set of DVD’s.

    Glad to see other high scorers on the Autism test. It must mean we all have lots of character. But then, I could already tell that by reading your comments over the years!

    And I would just like to echo Joe’s thoughts on today’s blog dedication. Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark was an emotionally charged book and the discussions have been rivetting. Those who shared their personal stories and lives made this book of the month club selection all the more special. Thank you! I can’t wait for her Q&A!

  46. Computer is still f***ed up. I’m not happy. Will cost $3 a minute to get tech support from McAfee. $100 for Dell to try to fix it. 😡

    I hate hijackers.

    I hate computers.

    I hate tech support.

    Wish I had either a soul-sucking sword or a life-sucking alien right now to take a few of these folks out…painfully.


  47. I hate computer problems. More than that, I hate condescending tech support. I’m not stupid, just don’t know the ropes. Had a Comcast tech assure me my hardwire phone lines AND my ethernet cable had both mysteriously gone bad overnight, that it couldn’t possibly be Comcast service being wonky. Grrr.

    The cardreader in my POS laptop is out again, and I don’t want to turn it over to Best Buy just now. Perhaps right before we depart for Burning Man. I’ll be out of touch and can’t use it then anyway.

    I used to be an electronics tech in the Navy, primarily working on communications gear. Thus I am far better with hardware than software. We used to have a special tool in the shop, a BFH. After all the troubleshooting and component replacing, you shook the Big F’ing Hammer at the offending gear. The threat usually got it working. If you found yourself at a remote site, smacking the gear with a shoe worked in a pinch. Yes, I actually have used a shoe to fix failed equipment. Multi-million dollar top secret critical systems. Gotta love the military. One tap of the shoe and I knew which circuit board had a problem, and tracked it down from there.

    Just never have your head next to the line capacitors when there’s a problem with the power, if one blows up, it will break your eardrum.

  48. Blue Screens of death – I’ve had my share. So, I always have some friendly geek help me out with stuff – especially backing up everything. I consider most of this stuff Alien Technology.

    Joe – It would be a sin against humanity if you lost anything from your wonderful blog archives. BOTM, travel, food, dogs, stargate, etc. So – maybe find a geek to help you back all this up remotely.

    MS Vista sucks and Norton is not the program of choice for security anymore. Trend Micro or McAfee.

  49. About nine months ago, my computer was having serious problems, with multiple instances of blue screen of death, before failing to start up altogether. After a full restore to factory settings (deleting my hard-drive), did it work again, only to do the same two days later. Turns out it wasn’t just one problem, but a problem with the cooling system/fan, power supply AND hard drive all at the same time. Talk about a cursed computer! In any case, the blue screens of death had been pissing me off so badly, I switched to Apple a month later. Now I’m blissfully blueless!

  50. Laura H – we have both pc’s and Mac’s at home. I switched to a Mac after I retired because I was out of an office setting and needed something for better graphics applications. So far – I am very happy with it.

    But we still have a few pc’s as well because my husband is a systems programmer and works in that environment. So, we’re lucky to have backups around when things go wrong. And on occasion, things do go horribly wrong. Machines are now the masters – we all just have to get used to that. But you can still hate them – I know I do.

  51. @ dasWell said Das! I too would REALLY love to see a FEW SGA movies, but I shall not die of despair if it doesn’t happen. I’m looking forward to SGU with eager, titalating expectations.

    And yes, this world-wide recession is hurting a whole lot ‘o folks. I’ve been jobless since April and I live in populous NJ, next door to NYC where the competition is fierce!

    @Joe M See, we really do appreciate your hosting this marvelous blog and filling it up with your witty, funny, daily-life topics that lead us to converse together in a friendly (mostly) and hilarious (always) manner. And the difference here is that you do vigorously participate and invite a wide-ranging bunch of folks.

    I do suggest that everyone learn how to run a small arsenal of anti spyware, malware, virus applications. I use daily: Trend Micro Internet Security, MalwareBytes, AdAware, CCleaner, and occasionally HighjackThis! Also, backup your ENTIRE hard drive to either DVDs or an external hard drive (like SimpleTech). Othereise, you too will rue the consequences.

    This is the BEST Blog in the UNIVERSE!😉

    Cyber hugs to all…

  52. Iamza writes: “When does a kid go from being very active and mildly inattentive to needing treatment for ADD, stat!”
    Answer: I’m thinking, in many cases, about the point the parents get fed up.

    In my case, WRONG. They tried to pin that on my son in primary school and even threatened to take him because I refused to put him on medication. Even after I had his doctor clear him. After an ugly fight, it ultimately turned out he was not getting the support he needed and was bored. Imagine that!! So I emphatically disagree with pushing drugs as the only solution, every kid is different and MUST be thoroughly investigated if there’s a problem. Of course, that depends on the parents. If the parents give up, the kid loses.
    To make a long story short Eric went from failing to straight A when moved to a school that actually cared about him. He’s now in HS and continues to be an A student.

  53. I had a friend who went as the “blue screen of death” for Halloween. Priceless!

    I’m married to the “Mckay” of the computer world. Vista has been working great for us. I’m not biased against any system, though. I like apple products, too. Why do people get so emotional over system choices?

    I hope all this hacker stuff cools off and everyones computer system is up and running smoothly soon!

    We get a weekend at home! Not sure what to do first….


  54. My new scanner arrived yesterday and the old family photo digitizing effort is underway! Love that Epson scanner, so fast, so quiet…!

    I’ve needed to enlist my older cousin in Iowa to assist with identifying some cousins in the photos, thankfully he is supportive. My goal is to rescue these degrading/fading photos before they are unreadable AND to give my family members a DVD of them to keep for their children on down the line.

    Good idea, no?


  55. It’s odd. I’ve been using Windows for 10 years, and I’ve never gotten the blue screen of death before.

    Maybe I’m just lucky?

    Aaaaaand by saying that, I’m practically inviting it.

    @ das: Ok, that link is too appropriate for my taste. 😛

  56. About backing up the blog entries – I’d also copy and paste everything into a word document and save it; just in case this wordpress backup doesn’t work very well.

  57. *waves @ Deni, 2cats, and Ponytail*

    Just a quickie! I’m sure we will all be disappointed if the movie doesn’t come about. And I think we are all in agreement that we hope it is made and we hope it’s wonderful, but we won’t go jumping off rooftops if it never comes to be. Afterall, life goes on, and if I could handle the end of The Partridge Family …ermm… favorites like M*A*S*H and ST:The Next Gen, I can handle this.

    It’s just the Todd withdrawal that’s a bit rough. 😛 I do miss him something terrible. 🙁

    @ pg15 – Since I’m you and you’re me, I was wondering…

    …how ’bout paying my mortgage this month?? 😀


  58. @Das: By the time M*A*S*H* was done, I was done with it. I was more a DS9 fan than a Next Gen fan, and the ending of that one (never mind the fact that it actually ended) really pissed me off. But yeah, no rooftops.

    Hey, you never said (ok, that I remember), did you even like Michael? I know he didn’t have the usual Wraithy look, but he really was a little sexpot. I’ll be having dinner with him in two weeks, if you have any questions you want me pass along! Ok, hot flashes are killing me tonight (TMI, I know…), I’m outta here. Have a good night, all!

  59. @ pg15 – A year’s tuition vs one month’s mortgage??! Either you’re gonna grow up to be a used car salesman, or a lawyer.


    @ Deni – My feelings about Michael are so mixed. I felt much sympathy for him when he was first changed (Michael, Allies, No Man’s Land, Misbegotten ). You have to remember that I watched the end of the show before the beginning (for the most part), so at first I liked team Atlantis. But in January ’08 I crammed S1-3 in all at once, and the more I saw, the more I came to dislike the ‘heroes’. I think the Michael episodes just sealed it for me. I could go on for pages here, just expressing my utter disgust over what was done to the Wraith called Michael.

    The two very brief shots we get to see of Michael as a full Wraith – especially the one on the bed – are just gutting. All I can think of is a captured animal, afraid for his life, angry at his captors, just wanting to be free. I HATE the Lanteans there – I especially hate Sheppard in that scene. He’s so cold, so arrogant and sarcastic…I just want to strangle him! I really can’t put into words what I feel…but it’s not nice. And it breaks my heart to see ‘Michael’ in that state. Yes…I know he kills people, etc…but it’s the whole ‘captive animal’ thing that sickens me. I can’t watch that episode because of it, because I actually feel raw hatred for the human characters (and no worries, I can separate character from actor, so I never feel hatred for the actors).

    However, my compassion for Michael lessened when he started turning on his own kind…when he started killing for the sake of killing and not out of necessity – in other words, when he became more human. That said, I still understood why he did it – and I STILL blame the Lanteans for it all. They created him, they turned their back on him, and then they blamed him for everything.

    So, even though I feel more strongly for Wraith who are full Wraith, needing to feed in order to survive, it’s really Michael and his experience with the humans that made me hate team Atlantis. When they didn’t step up and take responsibility for creating ‘Michael’, when they continued to make excuses for what they did, explaining it away as ‘we were trying to save you from the Wraiths’, and when they continued to accuse Michael of being so evil when they were equally so (from his standpoint) – well…I was basically done with them.

    Now – you might ask how the humans could ‘take responsibility’ for what they’ve done. I’ll have to discuss that at another time because I’m really tired, and must get up early in the morning. However, I will say that they could have – perhaps – worked with him just as they are doing with Todd. They could have tried to find a diplomatic solution, instead of constantly betraying him and trying to kill him. There’s a lot that could have been done…hell, just apologize for what they did, and mean it! But instead they kept blaming Michael because he was Wraith, and being Wraith is ‘bad’, while being human is ‘good’. Reminds me of so much prejudice we have today, judging people by the color of their skin, or on ancient history.

    Yeah. I could go on and on, but I won’t. Need to go to bed…



  60. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for choosing my caption I’m glad you liked it. Love your blog I read it every day. I have a suggestion about a prize for the winner of the caption contest. How about an autographed copy of a script you have written either for universe after the episode airs or one from sg1 or atlantis? Perhaps you could give a prize like that for the 2 runners up also since it wouldn’t cost anything? I’ll try harder next time if not…

    Also, you should consider setting up your own domain and website. You could register josephmallozzi.com at a place like godaddy.com that also works with wordpress and then put whatever you want on your site. You could even organize it and put up pages with frequently asked questions and things.

  61. hi joe

    you are late today.

    questions (same yesterday)

    what is the utility of ground chervron?

    canyou publish internal and external pictures of the destiny shuttlepod?

  62. Yo Mr M!!

    You ok????? Is it the “fudging” computer???

    @ PG15: Can you Swing by The Bridge and check up on our hero?

    Best to all


  63. PG-15: I’m an IT admin…and a gamer. You’re VERY lucky. =)
    I’ve seen TBSOD more times than I’d like to remember.

  64. “[A hilarious little post-script. About ten minutes ago, I had just uploaded the above pic and was about to hit “publish” when my laptop flashed what the gals in playback refer to as “the blue screen of death” and immediately, and mysteriously, rebooted itself. Well, I guess that settles it. The problem isn’t technical after all. It’s supernatural. My latop is cursed.]”

    That’s why I use Linux (fedora: http://fedoraproject.org/)..

    It has it’s own quirks but not the blue screen of death! Never have to worry about viruses as with PCs.

  65. @ Everyone who comments: OK, fess up! Who took Joe? I know he’d make a great addition to your Producer & Blogger collection, but many of us need a good blog to read with our morning cereal (or evening dessert)!

    Also, he’s needed at home to keep Fondy company and serve Their Royal Highnesses!

    So, give him a quick hug, ruffle his hair, and put him back in front of his computer.



  66. Sure there is a curse on me. I asked one question in a year and today there is no blog for the first time in more than a thousand ! FRELL !

    Breath in …

    so my question was

    Quand vous rédigez un dialogue, le lisez-vous à voix haute pour vérifier si les phrases sonnent bien à l’oreille, pour entendre les répliques afin de vous assurer qu’elles sonnent naturelles?

  67. Ah Joe, this post had me laughing. Not because it’s funny that you had such a hassle trying to back up your blog, but mainly because I completely sympathise with the utter lack of understanding of technical jargon.

    I recently upgraded my laptop and ipod (apparently the old one I had kept causing people to mutter “dinosaur” under their breath when ever I pulled it out), and trying to find a way to get all the music from one ipod to another was a huge mission. I found some steps to do a cut-and-paste job, but the wording was so confusing and mangled that I was with it only up to the word “first”.

    You summed it up perfectly when you said: “It’s as if this guy’s cat just walked across his keyboard and he didn’t even bother deleting that section before posting.”

    I’ve barely had a chance to write out my thoughts on Speed of Dark. I’ll play catch up on what’s been said and hopefully have something coherent (and not-too-long) by your next post.



  68. Hey Joe,

    I’ve wondered why the scripts I’ve managed to get my hands on of SG1 were in TNR. In fact, when I was given my first one I thought that it was a cleverly disguised ‘transcript.’

    So…two Q’s for the mailbag (maybe they’ll make the cut):

    1. What prompted the adoption of TNR in the first place, and…

    2. Why the switch back?

    My guess for #2 would be that perhaps you (the collective “you” of the SG world (since I can no longer say the SG universe)) realized that with the tighter font (TNR) you were constantly having to trim during post? Or that you were shooting (ie, spending more) things that might not have needed shooting (because you had the pages)?

    Am I close? Just curious. Thanks.

    Off to take the new ocean kayak for a spin.

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