New Dune is not good literature

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New Dune is not good literature

Postby Nekhrun » Tue May 13, 2008 8:57 am

And here's the proof:

This is a list of items that makes for good writing that was generated and agreed upon by Orthodox Herbertarian and Prequelite alike. I guess we can just take them one by one.

1. Attention to Detail

This doesn’t work out so well for BH & KJA. As we have seen numerous examples of details that don’t quite add up with what FH wrote. (Paul’s Birthplace; FTL engines; Tleilaxu behavior; science of genetics in regard to waterworms; Teg’s superspeed; the golden path; etc. I don’t think I need to go on.)

2. Revision (it's what turned Spice Planet into Dune)

Aside from editing out messages to each other (as I noticed was still left in my copy of one of the interquel short stories) this is a hard one to tell. But based on accounts by KJA himself, we know that once he records his story and has it typed up for him that most of the editing seems to be a series of re-reading for typos by both of the authors. We also know that they rely on a small force of “test-readers” to tell KJA how AWESOME he is. I don’t see much evidence of an evolving story; pretty much just a fleshed-out outline with little attention to philosophical/religious/political/environmental issues that FH seemed to care so much about.

3. Trusting your reader.

Another easy one. With constant repetition, we are never left to our own thoughts for long. As evidenced in the thread (FH didn’t “fill in the gaps” on purpose) we see that readers actually like being able to figure some things out on their own. Not only that, we are even being treated to all of the things that FH chose to leave out of his best-selling, influential story (Interquels).

4. Knowing your audience

I think there can be some room for discussion here depending on what you think the audience is or should be. They have shown a complete lack of understanding of FH’s audience, but seem to have a great hold on their own as evidenced by the many positive misspelled comments on KJA’s myspace page.

5. Being interesting.

Something that might have been interesting quickly loses its appeal when it is repeated so many times or makes no sense in the context of what FH wrote.

6. Choose the right "voice" for the story

I think here they may have tried to copy FH’s style with the chapter quotes, but the machine chapters really make no sense as they are really no longer machines but caricatures of what a kid might think a conscious robot might be like.

7. Being true to your artistic "voice", go with the gut, not test groups.

Looks like they’ve nailed this one. There is no hint that they’ve changed one thing based on what FH fans have to say. Fight the power guys!

8. Knowing how to spell

This one is silly and irrelevant.

9. Love what you write.

I have no doubt$ that anyone who write$ for $o many franchi$e$ ha$ found a love for what he i$ doing.

10. Study your subject!

Fail. Despite the mention of an extensive concordance, the evidence of a thorough understanding of FH’s work is well documented throughout these boards and others.

11. Having a good vocabulary and grasp of words.

I personally don’t feel that this one is that big of a deal and can usually be addressed within the editing process.

12. Respect your audience.

See #4. They have a new audience now, but respect for the original audience of Dune is sorely lacking.

13. Respect your subject matter.

Same as #10. Being a fan of something does not make you an expert on it. FH’s work deserves the kind of care that can’t be cranked out with a book a year. The themes are too important to gloss over for the sake of more shoot ‘em ups. This one makes me the saddest in the entire list.

14. If writing science fiction, assume your audience is scientifically literate.

Considering the personification of the robots and the continuing discussion of FTL drives as well as sandworm genetics, I think we’ve got our answer to this one as well.


That's all I feel like writing for now. Have fun.

I've tallied the results and I find that it is mathematically impossible for new Dune to be considered good; or by any other metric for that matter. It may be that some members here will think that the books are good because they're best-sellers but I don't think that's a valid argument as good Dune novels would probably have sold a lot more and had a better reception to Dune fans.

Later responses:

Dune Nerd wrote:I think this is a fair analysis. All sides were considered in the listing and it will be interesting to see what the response is from those who vehemently defend the non-FH stories.

Omphalos wrote:Ive got one more, Nekhrun, since you seem to be talking about SF here specifically, and that is "understand the idiom that the genre uses to convey stories." By that I mean that genre literature of all types, SF included, has always used prior works to build up a library of knowledge in reader's minds that later writers capitolize on. Its not some sort of code that is indecipherable to non-genre readers, but I think that this may be part of the reason why it takes time for people to start loving SF. Consider: When an experienced reader picks up a book, for example, about a meteor hitting the earth, or first contact with aliens through radio telescopes, or an alien invasion, they automatically refer back to prior works to inform what they are reading currently, and authors know this and rely on it. For example, imagine how different books such as Moving Mars, by Greg Bear, Rite of Passage, by Alexi Panshin, and Footfall, by Niven and Pournelle would have been if War of the Worlds, A Princess of Mars and Heinlein's juveniles had not been published earlier. Those authors would have had to invent new ways to communicate their stories because they would not have had the benefit of the themes, tropes and motifs that the earlier authors I mentioned above had developed.

As a codicil I would add that if you are going to jump backwards and write in the idiom of a prior time, like Allen Steele and Gary K. Wolfe are doing recently, make it clear either in the jacket blurbs or the artwork selected that is what you are up to, otherwise it becomes way too confusing.

And that's when the tumbleweeds started tumbling.
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Postby Omphalos » Tue May 13, 2008 9:24 am

Aside from editing out messages to each other (as I noticed was still left in my copy of one of the interquel short stories)


What's this about, Nekhrun?
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby Nekhrun » Tue May 13, 2008 9:35 am

Omphalos wrote:
Aside from editing out messages to each other (as I noticed was still left in my copy of one of the interquel short stories)


What's this about, Nekhrun?

Back when they were releasing electronic versions of prequels to the legends series, I noticed that at one point in the story one of them referred to the other by name. I'll dig it up and post it. When I was reading it I was thinking, what the hell, who's that? Then realized that they just weren't very careful.

To be continued...
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Postby Freakzilla » Tue May 13, 2008 9:37 am

Nekhrun wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Aside from editing out messages to each other (as I noticed was still left in my copy of one of the interquel short stories)


What's this about, Nekhrun?

Back when they were releasing electronic versions of prequels to the legends series, I noticed that at one point in the story one of them referred to the other by name. I'll dig it up and post it. When I was reading it I was thinking, what the hell, who's that? Then realized that they just weren't very careful.

To be continued...


I remember that, hillarious. :lol:
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Postby Omphalos » Tue May 13, 2008 10:28 am

Can't wait to see this. Was it like a note, "Brian, add more flash-bang here, you idiot!" :lol:

This would be a good example of the usefulness of a screenshot.

But anyway, Fuck You, Hyppo!
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Postby Nekhrun » Tue May 13, 2008 10:34 am

Curse you Omph for making me read this garbage again. I'm working my way through Hunting Harkonnens now and it seems that the first few pages are awkwardly autobiographical. Looks like Brian had a hand in these short stories.

Edit: Found it, page 14, paragraph 3 of Hunting Harkonnens
Brian Herbert wrote:Kev, shouldn't he be trying to warn them that there are 3 other cymeks wandering around?They could pop up at any minute. Piers doesn't even mention them.


Just one paragraph later it looks like "Kev" resolves the issue, thankfully. I'll post a screen shot of it in context later. Can't do it the normal way while I'm at work.

Also I just love the way the character thinks about "his" father. I think I'll save that for another thread though.

EDIT:
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Postby Nekhrun » Wed May 14, 2008 10:43 am

This thread over on DN has still been ignored. I guess that's it then.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed May 14, 2008 11:00 am

I keep telling you guys. Most of them over there dont get this kind of stuff. Its like they turn off their critical thinking as soon as they think the word "Doon," or access the site.
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Postby SandChigger » Wed May 14, 2008 4:10 pm

Nah, they're just stupid.

And I'm just a hater.

:roll:
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Postby Omphalos » Wed May 14, 2008 7:57 pm

:lol:

OK. I was trying to be kind. Why the fuck do I keep trying to do that? :lol:
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Postby SandChigger » Wed May 14, 2008 8:26 pm

Beats the hell out of me. :P

While I recognize the existence of inexplicable anomalies such as Konman and a few others, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that anyone who finds anything enjoyable at all in the new books is pretty much brainfookt and that their judgment in all other matters should be considered suspect as well.
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Postby Omphalos » Wed May 14, 2008 8:43 pm

I gave up a while ago. Maybe a long time ago. You know, it did not seem this difficult getting people to acknowledge an objective rule or two about literature years ago, did it? Those fools just don't know the difference between awesomeness and total suckiness. Just sickens me.
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Postby Robspierre » Thu May 15, 2008 2:48 pm

Omphalos wrote:I gave up a while ago. Maybe a long time ago. You know, it did not seem this difficult getting people to acknowledge an objective rule or two about literature years ago, did it? Those fools just don't know the difference between awesomeness and total suckiness. Just sickens me.



Look at what they were raised on, totally disposable entertainment, lots of glitz and shine but often little to no substance. They require instant gratification.

I was boxing up materials from the semester I just finished and as I put up my Practicum of Grammar text I remembered something. Earlier in the semester we had a a discussion over how mindless and awkward a lot of academic writing is. Scientific writing in particular was mentioned. Kevin's government job was to write science/tech? papers. I looked back a what little of his writing i have and I do see traces of that style with a layer smoke and mirror zap bang on top of it. It explains a lot why he writes the way he does, the redundancy, lack of an evolving story, and the fact that they are not interesting.

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Postby Omphalos » Thu May 15, 2008 4:33 pm

Robspierre wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I gave up a while ago. Maybe a long time ago. You know, it did not seem this difficult getting people to acknowledge an objective rule or two about literature years ago, did it? Those fools just don't know the difference between awesomeness and total suckiness. Just sickens me.



Look at what they were raised on, totally disposable entertainment, lots of glitz and shine but often little to no substance. They require instant gratification.


Yea, but I loved Knight Rider and The Dukes of Hazard, so what is their excuse really?

Robspierre wrote:I was boxing up materials from the semester I just finished and as I put up my Practicum of Grammar text I remembered something. Earlier in the semester we had a a discussion over how mindless and awkward a lot of academic writing is. Scientific writing in particular was mentioned. Kevin's government job was to write science/tech? papers. I looked back a what little of his writing i have and I do see traces of that style with a layer smoke and mirror zap bang on top of it. It explains a lot why he writes the way he does, the redundancy, lack of an evolving story, and the fact that they are not interesting.

Rob


He is way past that background. The idiot should have these things worked out completely by now. He just doesnt want to evolve as a writer. Remember what Nekhrun said about his reaction to Frankenstein? And what Chig reported his respose was when he asked a question (multiple times, IIRC) about the collaborative process? He just doesnt want to get any better.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby Freakzilla » Thu May 15, 2008 5:10 pm

Omphalos wrote:
Robspierre wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I gave up a while ago. Maybe a long time ago. You know, it did not seem this difficult getting people to acknowledge an objective rule or two about literature years ago, did it? Those fools just don't know the difference between awesomeness and total suckiness. Just sickens me.



Look at what they were raised on, totally disposable entertainment, lots of glitz and shine but often little to no substance. They require instant gratification.


Yea, but I loved Knight Rider and The Dukes of Hazard, so what is their excuse really?


Don't forget Voltron. :wink:
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Postby Omphalos » Thu May 15, 2008 5:37 pm

Freakzilla wrote:
Omphalos wrote:
Robspierre wrote:
Omphalos wrote:I gave up a while ago. Maybe a long time ago. You know, it did not seem this difficult getting people to acknowledge an objective rule or two about literature years ago, did it? Those fools just don't know the difference between awesomeness and total suckiness. Just sickens me.



Look at what they were raised on, totally disposable entertainment, lots of glitz and shine but often little to no substance. They require instant gratification.


Yea, but I loved Knight Rider and The Dukes of Hazard, so what is their excuse really?


Nipponese haute literature
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Postby chanilover » Sat May 17, 2008 9:28 am

Nekhrun wrote:Curse you Omph for making me read this garbage again. I'm working my way through Hunting Harkonnens now and it seems that the first few pages are awkwardly autobiographical. Looks like Brian had a hand in these short stories.

Edit: Found it, page 14, paragraph 3 of Hunting Harkonnens
Brian Herbert wrote:Kev, shouldn't he be trying to warn them that there are 3 other cymeks wandering around?They could pop up at any minute. Piers doesn't even mention them.


Just one paragraph later it looks like "Kev" resolves the issue, thankfully. I'll post a screen shot of it in context later. Can't do it the normal way while I'm at work.

I just love the way the character thinks about "his" father. I think I'll save that for another thread though.

EDIT:
Image


What's this from, Hunting Harkonnens? It doesn't even make sense. The natives paid little attention to the brain, apart from baring their teeth, whilst looking at it, and one of the them also waved a stick at it. If someone did that to me, I'd say they were paying more attention to me than I liked.

What a load of fucking drivel.
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Postby Mandy » Sat May 17, 2008 11:05 am

I don't know how you guys force yourselves to read that garbage.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat May 17, 2008 12:04 pm

It's an acquired taste. :mrgreen:


Anyway, I want to know how you can tell a brain is agitated. :shock:

Does it wrinkle it's brow at you? Oh, wait, they're all wrinkly to begin with....

Quick, someone write Kevin! :lol:
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Postby Mandy » Sat May 17, 2008 1:10 pm

Maybe it zooms around in its little canister.
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Postby Nekhrun » Sat May 17, 2008 1:45 pm

chanilover wrote:What's this from, Hunting Harkonnens?

Yup.
Mandy wrote: I don't know how you guys force yourselves to read that garbage.

The first time it was curiosity. The second was Omph's request. The latter was painful and boring.
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Postby Omphalos » Sat May 17, 2008 2:03 pm

Now this is a better reason for paying for Nekhrun's medical bills. This kind of shit is unforgivable. I'm sorry Nekhrun. I thought you had it in a text file and could just post it. Can you ever forgive me?
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby Mandy » Sat May 17, 2008 2:24 pm

I just read that again.. the evil cymek brains speak through a speakerpatch?
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Postby Nekhrun » Sat May 17, 2008 3:54 pm

Omphalos wrote:Now this is a better reason for paying for Nekhrun's medical bills. This kind of shit is unforgivable. I'm sorry Nekhrun. I thought you had it in a text file and could just post it. Can you ever forgive me?

We'll see. The worst of it is not over. While looking for what you requested I started to notice an interesting trend. After the yard work this weekend (tulips are like weeds :x) I want to go through it again to dig up all the daddy issues in the first few pages. More to come! I just noticed I wrote "dig up". I spent way to much time in the yard today.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat May 17, 2008 5:41 pm

Mandy wrote:I just read that again.. the evil cymek brains speak through a speakerpatch?

Trust me, that's better than the part later involving the peekersnatch. :shock:

(PeekerSnatch? PreekerSnatch? Hmmm...have I just hit on some new names for....ahem, never mind!)

Yardwork and gardening...YEA! I'm out there today! (As soon as it warms up some more...brrrrrrr!)
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Postby Omphalos » Sun May 18, 2008 1:57 am

SandChigger wrote:
Mandy wrote:I just read that again.. the evil cymek brains speak through a speakerpatch?

Trust me, that's better than the part later involving the peekersnatch. :shock:

(PeekerSnatch? PreekerSnatch? Hmmm...have I just hit on some new names for....ahem, never mind!)

Yardwork and gardening...YEA! I'm out there today! (As soon as it warms up some more...brrrrrrr!)


Me too. Lots of gardening today and tomorrow (in the 104 heat (baby girl's birthday is next Sat, and were having a party here)), plus I got all those pesky inside jobs done today.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:35 pm

Anyone who hasn't popped into this thread over at DN lately should give it a glance for some entertainment. I think I may have pissed Byron off, but he pretty much gave me all the ammo I needed in his rebuttle. It'll be interesting to see if he even replies to my answer, after just awhile on that forum I'm getting used to things just being ignored by people hoping they go away.
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:15 am

Alas...'twill needs wait until I'm in the office again on Monday...too bad...I imagine it's quite stunning, judging from his recent arguments. :roll:

:P

It's not incredibly active over there, is it?
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:14 am

It's remarkably dead. To be honest I'm jealous of all you folks who got to it when it was up and kicking and these arguements were fresh. At this point I think Byron and the Preeks just feel like "here we go again..." and don't even bother. Even Arnoldo hasn't said anything incoherant in a while.
The arguements aren't all that stunning, just Byron's ability to take what I saw an missconstrue it. He think's I'm accusing KJABH of activly planning to insult people, which is obviously not what I said. Frustrating. I doubt he'll even respond to my answer, if not I'll call him on it in a week or so, see if that gets him talking.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:24 am

Would you please post a link? I dont wanna search over there.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:23 pm

http://www.dunenovels.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2558&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I think that'll work. It should take you to the beginning, but since Simon's rebuttal begins on the first page that's a good place to start. or just start on page two with my counter-rebuttles, I quote all his posts so it's easy to see what I'm responding to.

Now I have to find an answer for Master B....
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:27 pm

Thanks. He and I (Byron that is) got into it over his penchant for abandoning arguments and debates half-way through. Something about him having a life or something. Stupid BS answer if you ask me. I wouldnt hold my breath.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:45 pm

Just so you (and Master B, though I think he was actually just curious as to what I was referring to) know, I'm not trying to placate Byron. I'm just trying to throw back the little fish in hopes that he'll calm down and stop misinterpretting what I post. Maybe then I can make some actual progress with the guy, though he almost seems to be doing it on purpose.
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:59 pm

I get it. Byron is playing the same game he thinks we are playing. The Asshole.
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Postby Mandy » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:36 pm

I wish he'd make the damn font bigger so I could read the posts :P
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:46 pm

Have you considered those store-bought glasses that magnify print? :P
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Postby Mandy » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:31 pm

lol, NO. You don't think the font is tiny and hard to read? If he went up one size it'd be so much better.
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:35 pm

it's a bit hard on the eyes, but I stare at a computer all day, so I pretty much get a headache no matter what.

I was thinking the other day about this, you know how grandma allways say reading without good light is bad for your eyes? How so? It hurts, but so does exercise, I would think it's like a workout for the muscles that focus the lense... yeah, this is the kind of random ill-founded logic that goes thru my head allll day. Sorry, it got out this time :wink:
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:01 pm

Mandy wrote:lol, NO. You don't think the font is tiny and hard to read? If he went up one size it'd be so much better.


I knwo. I just couldnt resist. :P
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Postby SandChigger » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:41 pm

Can't you change your browser's display font size on Windows?

On a Mac, using Safari, I just hit AppleKey+PlusKey to make the font larger. (+MinusKey to make it smaller.)

:?
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Postby Phaedrus » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:44 pm

SandChigger wrote:Can't you change your browser's display font size on Windows?

On a Mac, using Safari, I just hit AppleKey+PlusKey to make the font larger. (+MinusKey to make it smaller.)

:?


You can do the same in Firefox, and IIRC, both IE and Firefox for Windows have the same function somewhere...

Ah. In IE, you just do View->Text Size-> (Pick size, from Largest, Larger, Medium, Smaller, and Smallest).

Firefox has the shortcut keys, ctrl++ or ctrl+- to increase or decrease text size, respectively. :o
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Postby Omphalos » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:40 pm

Cool! I did not know that! Thanks!
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Postby Mandy » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:06 am

You can hold Ctrl and scroll down on the mouse wheel and the font will get bigger... scroll up and it gets smaller. It just stays that way on every tab until you close the browser and reopen it. I can never get it back the way I like it, lol.

I just like to complain about terrible template designs. They chose one of the worst ones out there. Tiny white font on a stark black background is plain dumb.
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Postby SandChigger » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:40 pm

They're too cheap to commission someone to design an actual Dune theme. ;)

(Or maybe they're going to have You-Know-Who do it?! Kewl.... :P )
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Postby Nekhrun » Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:14 pm

SandChigger wrote:They're too cheap to commission someone to design an actual Dune theme. ;)

(Or maybe they're going to have You-Know-Who do it?! Kewl.... :P )

Wait a minute! Why would I... oh, nevermind. :wink:
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Postby Freakzilla » Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:28 pm

Mandy wrote:You can hold Ctrl and scroll down on the mouse wheel and the font will get bigger... scroll up and it gets smaller. It just stays that way on every tab until you close the browser and reopen it. I can never get it back the way I like it, lol.


Awesome! It only changed the tab I was in, though.
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Postby Mandy » Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:52 pm

Maybe it was an older version of FF that changed all the tabs, or just a glitch with mine. Looks like it works the way it's supposed to now, probably cause I have a new computer.. who knows, lol.
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Postby Freakzilla » Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:06 pm

I'm using IE7.
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Postby Mandy » Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:24 pm

OH.. well I just figured out why I don't use that very often. When I switch from site to site in the same tab the font size stays whatever size I changed it to. Not that big of a deal though, I can close that particular tab and it goes back to normal, just sucks when I forget and go to a site with lots of new posts.
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