Wanderings

Anything you dream is fiction,
and anything you accomplish is science,
the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
- Ray Bradbury
February 27th, 2010

H.G. Wells Reviews Cameron’s AVATAR

Steve Davidson found a review of Avatar written by H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells Reviews Cameron’s AVATAR | The Crotchety Old Fan.






February 26th, 2010

Juno Books Needs Submissions

Juno Books is an imprint of Pocket Books, owned by Simon & Schuster that publishes fantasy books with a strong female protagonist. Their main thrust is Urban Fantasy with a female heroine.

from the Juno Books guidelines:

Juno is currently looking for novels from 80,000 to 100,000 words in length. We are interested in fantasy featuring a strong female protagonist set in a contemporary (or a very few years in the future) world quite like ours except for the intersection/transgression of the numinous (that which is “wholly other”) with/upon the mundane. This world can be open (“magic”, the “supernatural” is known to exist) or closed (where “otherness” is concealed from common knowledge).

Rarely does a major publisher openly ask for submissions. Usually they act like they don’t want your book. All of you Nanowrimo people with a novel or two sitting around, now is the time to submit your novel. Even better, they only take email submissions.

Juno Books.






February 26th, 2010

Snow Day

The buses aren’t running and Germonds Road is covered with snow. I have shoveled the front walk and last night I cleaned out the front of the driveway and moved the truck so it is positioned to get out on the road. It does not look safe, though, so I am not going to work and I will lose a day’s pay.

Max and Willie’s vet bills have cost us about $10,000 recently and losing a day’s pay really hurts.






February 25th, 2010

Making your Blog Mobile

I just joined Mippin.com, a website that takes your blog’s feed and converts it to a mobile site. It supports a bunch of mobile devices and it lets you monetize the link using admob.

I like this. It took about 30 seconds to get my blog on mobile.

This is the link to the mobile version of this blog:
Add Wanderings Mippin widget






February 25th, 2010

Too busy for me

Last week I decided to ask a dozen SF bloggers to add my blog to their blog rolls. I picked some big, popular blogs, all of them Google Page Rank of 5 or better.  Getting links from high ranked websites is a way to improve traffic and raise your own website’s value.

All of the websites had a large list of blogs on their front page. Some of their blog roll links were famous, and some of them obscure. My websites fit in well with the others as I often discuss SF subjects.

Not one – NOT ONE – responded to my polite request.

When the revolution comes, they’ll pay! I’ll get my comeuppance. We’ll see who laughs last.

(My dingy cubicle resounds with fiendish laughter.).






February 24th, 2010

Inquiries

Over the last couple of weeks I have received several letters asking details about websites that I maintain. Since the demise of FreeNameAStar, I am reluctant to give any information out. I don’t want to lose any more websites to the “Men in Suits”. I am suspicious that the inquiries from students, historians and people writing books are fronts for Suites.

I will be dropping a bunch of sites and moving my original content back to the big sites. I don’t need the hassle and most of these sites don’t make as much as $20 a year.






February 22nd, 2010

Bugs

Over the weekend someone reported a bug in one of the WordPress plugins that I wrote. The latest source plus many of my programming tools are on my work machine, but not my home PC. I fretted about it all weekend. It took only a few minutes to find and fix the bug, and I feel better now. It was a very obscure bug and required an odd set of actions for it to appear, but I want to eventually make money writing plugins and I don’t want any negative ratings on my current efforts.

Another bug appeared in bbPress, the forum software from the people who made WordPress. This is nastier than the bug in my code, and I eventually had to make a workaround for it because I could not discover the cause of the problem. I fixed this with a change to the htaccess file, which is hardly a fix. I will report the issue to the bbPress forums. bbPress is in its infancy and still needs lots of work before it is as bullet proof as WordPress.

At least my stuff I do for the County is working without crashing. I released a new version Friday and it went into production over the weekend and I have had no reports of problems. You can see it at the Westchester County Contracts Search page. This is a very small window on the Contract Management system that I wrote. It was  made for public access to the data.


Grace Hopper’s Notebook showing the first computer bug.






February 21st, 2010

Science Fiction Posters

I got it into my head that I should make some SF designs for T-shirts or posters. I pulled out my super duper clip art library and these are the results of 10 minutes work.






February 19th, 2010

Roy, come and get this goddamn cat

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the first Air to Ground radio message.

A gray tabby named Kiddo became the first cat to cross the Atlantic Ocean by dirigible. The cat was an accidental stowaway on the dirigible. Kiddo was a total pain in the neck and made his displeasure known for being locked in a small room that moved violently in the wind. The cat scratched and yowled and made a mess everywhere.

The dirigible was the first to ever have radio equipment and the very first message from an aircraft to the ground was: Roy, come and get this goddamn cat!






February 18th, 2010

Naked Girls Reading Science Fiction

I wonder if I can find anyone who wants to go see this with me. After all, I like Science Fiction.

On 3/5/10, NGR NYC takes a trip to the future with Naked Girls Reading SCIENCE FICTION starring Nasty Canasta, with Madame Rosebud, Miss Tickle, Sapphire Jones, and more.

via Pinchbottom: Naked Girls Reading.






February 18th, 2010

Annoying

I am not sure how this happened to appear in my browser.






February 16th, 2010

Samantha on Etsy

My friend Skip’s daughter Samantha has a really nice store for her Jewelry on Etsy.

Samantha’s Jewlery






February 16th, 2010

Feb. 16, 1978: Bulletin Board Goes Electronic

The computer BBS, distant ancestor to web sites, was born this day in 1978.

In 1982 I took a job with the original Western Union, corp. – the one that used to send telegrams. They had cool tech that employees were encouraged to explore, such as a Xerox Star workstation based on the famous Sun GUI. (I wrote a short story using one of the first WYSIWYG word processors on it. I found the story the other day.)

A PC appeared at the job, one of the first in the country, with one single sided floppy drive (180,000 bytes), 48k of memory and a 300 baud modem. I bought a box of ten floppy diskettes ($30), and I patiently typed the TTY communications program into it, and I was able to connect to a BBS system in Chicago. It was Ward Christensen’s first BBS. I was hooked.

Within a year I bought my own PC and learned to program it. A career began.

The most fun I’ve ever had was cruising the BBS’s. The wonder of it all was amazing. I communicated with a small community from all around the world. The internet is billions of people, but the BBS world was numbered in the hundreds in 1982. I knew everyone and everyone knew me.

The internet is a crowded, but somehow lonely place, compared to the BBS systems of the early 1980s.

Feb. 16, 1978: Bulletin Board Goes Electronic | This Day In Tech | Wired.com.






February 15th, 2010

Cabin Fever

I’ve know that I’ve missed going gallivanting on the weekends. I haven’t been looking forward to the weekends like I do in the summer. I haven’t gone garage sailing in a while and the flea markets won’t open for another two months. February 15th is middle of the winter and I will spend boring weekends at home for weeks.

I found myself searching TV listings for a Star Trek episode. There hasn’t been a new Trek episode on TV for years and I miss it. I have calculated the small but finite possibility that there is a Trek episode that I missed. I live in the hope that I will be surprised with a totally new episode of Voyager or Next Generation. There is even the tiny possibility that might see an Original Series episode that I some how missed in the last 45 years.

There is no Trek on TV that I can find.

This is the long cold teatime of my soul.