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April 6, 2002

People who spend their lives doing something most people don't can get a little bit full of themselves sometimes. That includes software engineers, research scientists, star athletes and, yes, writers. For writers at least, Sheila Viehl's Star Lines blog has a good reminder of what's important:

"When Og sat around the cave fire back in 1 million B.C., he knew he had to tell a story that would keep everyone from crawling back to their furs and making babies. So he organized his story about hunting down a woolly mammoth into a thrilling adventure that kept everyone glued to their boulders. He watched their eyes and their faces as he piled on lie after lie after lie, and they oohed and aahed and loved him for it. And he loved them for giving him that moment by the cave fire, that spotlight in their lives, those unblinking eyes, those startled gasps. Og would go hunting the next day and be thinking about how to tell an even better story next time. He would look for things that would help him make up new stories. Because entertaining the tribe was simply a way to show his affection for it.

So the next time some snotty writer tries to tell you how special you have to be in order to do what they do, blow them off. We're all one tribe, we all can have a place by the fire."
posted 11:09 |

Yesterday's total words: 1000. Total since April 1: 2900.

Still lagging behind because of my trip, but I like the words I'm getting. It's not every day you get to write a vision of the Last Judgement.
posted 11:05 |

April 4, 2002

China's Ministry of the Information Industry says the Shanghai area will have 20 fabs by 2015, compared to six now. That isn't a terribly rapid growth rate. Since China is a net importer of semiconductors now, demand to support that many fabs almost certainly exists. Still, the Chinese government has a history of overly aggressive forecasts. It remains to be seen whether top-down planning is enough to create a new semiconductor power from scratch.
posted 19:14 |
The Korea Herald reports that Korea's semiconductor and electronics sectors are hiring. Anam Semiconductor, for instance, is adding staff for the first time since the first half of 2000.
posted 19:00 |
Yesterday's total words: 900. Total since April 1: 1900.
posted 18:26 |
The Forward Motion writing community sometimes treats writing as an extreme sport, which is probably impossible to visualize to anyone who hasn't seen that bunch of lunatics in action. The latest is the Writing Dare. (Link may be readable by members only.) That's a whole bunch of different challenges, geared to all levels from beginner to professional.

In a fit of temporary insanity a few weeks ago, I signed up for one of the tougher ones: average 2000 words a day for the 61 days from April 1 to May 31. Anything intended for publication counts, but outlining and other planning don't. If I meet the totals, I'll finish my lithography market study and take a big chunk out of the Venice fiction project as well. (Both projects previously discussed here.) I'll probably end up with quite a few smaller things, too. Stay tuned for updates.

I'm getting off to a rough start by traveling all week. I knew that going in and am expecting to need some monster weeks later on. Still, I don't want to fall too far behind. So far this week, 1000 words even, all of it non-fiction. Plus another 600 or so of very useful worldbuilding that doesn't count but gives me a pretty good idea of what happens next.

posted 00:56 |

April 3, 2002

I'm at the Materials Research Society Spring Meeting this week, and am enjoying it enormously. This is the first conference in a long time that I'm actually able to focus on getting a deep understanding of a few topics, rather than racing around trying to cover everything. It's nice. I'm learning a lot, which is invigorating and motivating and all those good things, and I'm keeping the stress and sleep deprivation under control. (Notwithstanding the time stamp on this entry, since the blog is still in Massachusetts while I'm in California.)

Just put a new feature article up on the main part of the site. All about advanced light sources for microlithography. Enjoy!
posted 03:58 |

April 1, 2002

The Associated Press reports that Taiwan will allow chipmakers to build 8" fabs in China, as long as they build 12" fabs in Taiwan first. The decision represents a compromise between business and national security interests in the island nation.
posted 15:49 |
John Hiler at Microcontent News has been thinking about the relationship between journalism and weblogs. I think he's got it exactly right. The two complement each other.

Hiler writes:
"To use a crude metaphor, if you think about covering a story as putting together puzzle pieces, then the Blog Collective tends to shine when it's finding new puzzle pieces, and putting together simpler puzzles.

Journalists, on the other hand, tend to do their best work with really tough puzzles, or in finding puzzle pieces that demand primary research: phone calls, interviews, and the like."
posted 13:11 |

What will they think of next? Even Caesar is selling ads these days. Is nothing sacred!

(Before you panic, check the date.)
posted 12:14 |

March 31, 2002

I'm not enough of a diehard blogger to need this, but I'm sure some people do. DentedReality's AvantBlog lets you update a weblog from a Palm or other device running AvantGo. If you're wireless, it updates immediately, otherwise it updates the next time you synch the device.

(Link by way of Reality-Skimming.)
posted 21:08 |

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