Destiny Trilogy

Star Trek: Destiny Trilogy by David Mack

Destiny

1. Gods of Night
Half a decade after the Dominion War and more than a year after the rise and fall of Praetor Shinzon, the galaxy’s greatest scourge returns to wreak havoc upon the Federation — and this time its goal is nothing less than total annihilation. Elsewhere, deep in the Gamma Quadrant, an ancient mystery is solved. One of Earth’s first generation of starships, lost for centuries, has been found dead and empty on a desolate planet. But its discovery so far from home has raised disturbing questions, and the answers harken back to a struggle for survival that once tested a captain and her crew to the limits of their humanity.
From that terrifying flashpoint begins an apocalyptic odyssey that will reach across time and space to reveal the past, define the future, and show three captains — Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise, TM William Riker of the U.S.S. Titan, and Ezri Dax of the U.S.S Aventine — that some destinies are inescapable.

2. Mere Mortals
On Earth, Federation President Nanietta Bacco gathers allies and adversaries to form a desperate last line of defense against an impending Borg invasion. In deep space, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Captain Ezri Dax join together to cut off the Collective’s route to the Alpha Quadrant. Half a galaxy away, Captain William Riker and the crew of the Starship Titan have made contact with the reclusive Caeliar — survivors of a stellar cataclysm that, two hundred years ago, drove fissures through the structure of space and time, creating a loop of inevitability and consigning another captain and crew to a purgatory from which they could never escape. Now the supremely advanced Caeliar will brook no further intrusion upon their isolation, or against the sanctity of their Great Work….For the small, finite lives of mere mortals carry little weight in the calculations of gods. But even gods may come to understand that they underestimate humans at their peril.

3. Lost Souls
The soldiers of Armageddon are on the march, laying waste to worlds in their passage. An audacious plan could stop them forever, but it carries risks that one starship captain is unwilling to take. For Captain Jean-Luc Picard, defending the future has never been so important, or so personal — and the wrong choice will cost him everything for which he has struggled and suffered. For Captain William Riker, that choice has already been made. Haunted by the memories of those he was forced to leave behind, he must jeopardize all that he has left in a desperate bid to save the Federation. For Captain Ezri Dax, whose impetuous youth is balance by the wisdom of many lifetimes, the choice is a simple one: there is no going back — only forward to whatever future awaits them.But for those who, millennia ago, had no choice…this is the hour of their final, inescapable destiny.

Review
This is the best series of Star Trek books I have read. It’s a big, sweeping story across time and space that manages to get some real drama and tension. The only downside is the number of characters involved. Sometimes each minor character gets a bit of back-story before being involved in the action.
Otherwise a great read. Recommended.

Birth of the Spreadsheet

Many years ago at the dawn of the microcomputer age my school sent a party of sixth formers to the University of Canterbury for an open day. The one thing I can still remember is the computing department.

Here we were shown all the latest hardware before seeing the business end of the system, the terminals.

For the next hour a post-grad student showed us the latest game, the awesome “Star Trek”. We spent time being shown how to get around the universe in double quick time, and how to
eliminate as many Klingons as possible. Since then the game has evolved into what we now know as the spreadsheet.

The Universe has grown from a small 8*8 grid to something like 256*8000, but the objective remains the same. Just hop to a solar system (cell) have a look around, eliminate any nasty
Klingons (formulas that don’t work), refuel (press “recalculate”) and move somewhere else. The “End” key is just another way of entering hyperspace and moving instantly to another galaxy
without messing about with all the arrow keys.

But remember the ultimate terror of the universe, the dreaded “circular formula”. It’s just like the Klingon universe, you know it’s there somewhere, it has to be destroyed, but all
the wisdom of Spock isn’t going to tell you where to look.

Just try running Lotus 123 under PC Ditto on your Atari and you will hear a strange noise. Listen carefully and you will find it’s Scotty whispering “you can’t push her any faster Jim”.

Of course everyone knows that the Atari pointer was inspired by a computer designer working late at night who happened to stare thoughtfully at a plan of Starship Enterprise hung on the wall.

Those of you that remember the old version of Star Trek will be pleased to know that it has turned up in the cover disk of the May 1990 issue of ST User.

Christie Crime Collection

Mistress of Mystery Course reading list

The and Crimes of Christie by Charles Osborne

Agatha Christie: the woman and her mysteries by Gillian Gill

Reflecting on Miss Marple by Marion Shaw and Sabine Vanacker.

Witness for the Prosecution and Selected Plays by Agatha Christie

The Hound of death by Agatha Christie

Giants bread by Mary Westmacott

From Agatha Christie to Ruth :British women writers in detective and crime fiction by Susan Rowland

Who Killed Roger Ackroyd ? the mystery behind the Agatha Christie mystery by Pierre Bayard; translated by Carol Cosman

Agatha Christie: first lady of crime edited by H. R. F. Keating

The Edwardian Detective 1901 -1915 by Joseph A. Kestner

Feminism in women’s detective fiction edited by Glenwood Irons

Foul & fair play :reading genre in classic detective fiction by Marty Roth.

Great women mystery writers :classic to contemporary edited by Kathleen Gregory Klein

Come tell me how you live by Agatha Christie

The Wisdom of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

Agatha Christie An Autobiography

RNZ Theme

When Kim Hill asked listeners to send in suggestions for a new theme for her Saturday Morning Show in 2002, I sent a suggestion:

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thanks – that’s taken me by surprise, must check it out. Chris Bourke

>>> “Nigel Baker” <bakern@inet.net.nz> 04/21/02 01:03 >>>

Here is my suggestion:

The opening to “People”
on the 1995 Album “Thrak” by King Crimson

Nigel Baker
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Cars

Top 10 Features on the Automobiles for the American Market

1.    Quick release Wheels
2.     Rear-vision Mirror Lipstick Holders
3.    Cycle friendly Doors
4.     Instead of an Airbag – Secret Drug Compartment
5.    Machinegun
6.    Durable lead paint finish
7.    Soft asbestos seat covers
8.    Pizza Tray
9.    Heated Hamburger Slot
10.    Beer Can holder

PC Club 2004

Review of a Christchurch PC Club Meeting

Thursday 4 November 2004
Graeme Stewart (club president) showed us his toys. He started with a few USB micro drives, explaining that he used them to transfer his personal files between work and home. He had a problem with windows not recognizing the new drive letter for the microdrive, other programs found it but not in the windows setting. The problem was rectified when the discovered that TWEAKUI has deactivated the drive letter. Something used in older versions of Windows to speed up operations as this stopped windows scanning all possible drives.

He showed a how Roboform (fills HTML forms) and Leechget (downloader) worked.
Then his most interesting toy, a photographic printer. He used to use a ink-jet to print photos, but found that unless used frequently, the jets clogged and he needed a new cartridge.

The HiTi 630PL printer doesn’t have that problem. It is a home printer for about $400 that produces continuous tone prints that are identical to those produced by a commercial photolab. The 6×4 paper and printing cartridge comes in packs of 50 for $80 ($1.60 per sheet). Graeme had his camera and took a photo of the group. In a few minutes he had a print. Great little printer for home use. The only problem I have is that it doesn’t print images large enough for my CD covers. However its big brother, the 730PL prints on 6×8 paper, just the size I need.

After the talk I met a interesting chap, John Everingham, webmaster of the Elvis Costello Home Page.

A very impressive site with lots of info. He is doing CD covers like me, but all his are of bootleg Elvis Costello shows.

Chocolate Biscuits

My Favorite Biscuit Recipe

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
100g Butter
1 Egg
Vanilla Essence
Tablespoon Golden Syrup
1 Cup Flour
Teaspoon Baking Powder

Melt Butter & Golden Syrup, add and beat in egg, vanilla essence.
Add to flour and baking powder.
Spoon into 40gram balls and press flat on baking tray.
Cook about 20minutes until firm.

Ice & Fire

A Song of Ice and Fire
by George R. R. Martin

My reviews of the five published books.

A Games of Thrones (1996)
The magnum opus that started the madness. Slow to start but soon becomes compelling reading.

A Clash of Kings (1998)
Still compelling and interesting

A Storm of Swords (20002)
Now the books are getting longer. This one is split into two volumes. The plot starts to thin, the number of characters increase and the pacing slows.

A Feast for Crows (2005)
While still a good read, occasional plot developments keep the reader interested. By now we have realised that the journey is more important than the destination

A Dance with Dragons (2012)
Long, tedious and dull.

Two Women

This is a detail from a small area of a 1.3 megapixel photograph I took over 10 years ago. The background was separated and blurred. Filters were applied to the hair.

2Women

Sam the Spider

There once was a spider called Sam,
whose web from a window he spun
He had some fun, adding knots and clocks and cute locks.
It was such a treat, all the insects stomped their feet.
So he weaved and he leaved, more things to decieve.
As more came to grin, he coloured it in.
But he built such a good web, he never got fed.
And now (how sad) poor Sam, is dangling dead from a thread.

(c) Nigel Baker