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Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2)

Cover for Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2)


I have very mixed feel­ings.

It was en­ter­tain­ing, but it seems I can't buy book #3 be­cause of re­gion­al re­stric­tions in the Kobo and Ama­zon book stores. I *can* buy #4 and #5 but why would I do that if I can't read the mid­dle book.

This may just be an­noy­ing enough to put me off the se­ries :-(

Nikola Themes Repo is Now Official

As of 1 minute ago, Niko­la github mas­ter's "in­stal­l_the­me" com­mand pulls themes from http://themes.niko­la.ralsi­

So, sud­den­ly, in­stead of 2 themes for down­load, you have ~65 (although of course, most of them are bootswatch vari­a­tions in 2 themes, jin­ja-de­fault looks ex­act­ly like de­fault, and or­phan is use­less ;-)

And you can con­trib­ute themes now!


  1. Give me a pull re­quest at http­s://github.­­com/get­niko­la/niko­la-themes

    All you have to do is add your theme in themes/ and pull re­quest.

  2. Send me a zip of your theme and I'll do it.

Con­tribut­ing themes will take a while be­cause the theme has to be ex­am­ined for ma­li­cious code in the tem­plates, but I will process them, slow­ly but sure­ly. If you have sent me a theme in the past and I have not done it, I am ter­ri­bly sor­ry and hope you can find it in you to try one more time :-)

The themes site it­self is not ex­act­ly awe­some, but it is func­tion­al, and you can get themes from there too, and see de­mo sites for each the­me, and even look at au­to­gen­er­at­ed screen­shots (which sad­ly don't show web­fonts)

Necessary Evil (The Milkweed Triptych, #3)

Cover for Necessary Evil (The Milkweed Triptych, #3)


Wor­thy clo­sure for a great tril­o­gy. It makes the bleak­ness of the sec­ond book mean­ing­ful, and, like the first two, it just feels re­al.

That is not a small achieve­men­t. Char­ac­ters are fleshed out, ac­tions make sense, plot moves for­ward like a train.

Re­al­ly liked this book.

The Two Cable Desktop

It's not pret­ty yet, but it's func­tion­al­ly com­plete.

For a long time it has pissed me off the num­ber of things I have to plug in­to my note­book when I use it on my desk­top. Af­ter putting some thought in­to it, I have re­duced it to two ca­bles to plug ev­ery­thing I wan­t.

How is it se­tup?

Cable 1: USB Hub

Yes, you need a large one. I got a 7-­port Belkin pow­ered USB Hub, be­cause the ASUS Zen­book has on­ly two USB port­s.

Cable 2: Power

I got two pow­er adapter­s, one is per­ma­nent­ly on the desk­top, so that I can throw the ca­ble down the back and not have it cross in fron­t. The oth­er lives in my back­pack, so I don't have to crawl un­der the desk to plug/un­plug it.


A 2.1 speak­er set. These speak­ers have a vol­ume wheel, which is nice, and they are rather loud, even if I know they are not all that good, they are good enough for me.

To avoid plug­ging them in­to the note­book, they are plugged in­to a blue­tooth au­dio adapter (the white don­gle in the USB Hub) which I got out of dx.­com for cheap.

I al­so have a Blue­tooth head­set (charg­ing in the im­age), which I can use for phonecall­s, hang­out­s, etc with­out be­ing tied to the com­put­er.


The com­bined key­board­/­track­pad shown, by Log­itech, works with a tiny don­gle that's plugged in the hub, so when I plug the hub it "just work­s", no pair­ing need­ed.

It's not re­al­ly all that much bet­ter than the Zen­book's key­board, but:

  • Hav­ing the pad on the right means I don't brush it while typ­ing

  • Hav­ing it in the shelf with the Zen­­book on the ta­ble makes for bet­ter er­­go­nomic­s.


This is ac­tu­al­ly a wired net­work. There is a US­B/Eth­er­net adapter plugged in the hub. That lets me use the high pri­or­i­ty port in my router. Plus I don't lose the adapter.

Device Charging

I can charge up to 4 de­vices. The head­set has a weird ca­ble, so it's plugged to the hub. When not charg­ing, it drops be­hind the ta­ble.

The red ex­ten­si­ble ca­bles, I got from dx.­com (they are, very cheap) and they are awe­some.

  • They re­­trac­t, so when not in use they don't tan­­gle.

  • They are both mi­ni and mi­cro USB ca­bles, be­­cause the head has both con­nec­­tors. They were al­­so 30-pin old iPhone ca­bles, but I did­n't need that, so I re­­moved the con­nec­­tors.

Since the hub is pow­ered, I can charge all the de­vices even when the note­book is not there.

Random Devices

I still have the right-­side USB port free, so I can plug ran­dom things there, like the gold­en 200x USB mi­cro­scope shown in the im­age, or a USB plas­ma bal­l.


Noth­ing very strange, but I think I achieved a very clean se­tup, where I can plug my note­book in­to all the pe­riph­er­als in 10 sec­onds and turn it in­to a "desk­top" with a min­i­mum of an­noy­ance.

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