Wanderings

Anything you dream is fiction,
and anything you accomplish is science,
the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
- Ray Bradbury
April 25th, 2011

Byte’s DOS Programmer’s Cookbook by Keith Graham, Craig Menefee (Used, New, Out-of-Print) – Alibris

This book lists me as an author back in 1994, and I contributed a very tiny amount in the planning stages, but in reality, my name should never appeared on it. A guy named Nic Anis wanted to use my name because I was well known as a shareware author at the time. I signed the contract and then never heard from him again.

I seem to remember that the CD has a load of my stuff on it, but Craig Menefee was a good programmer and probably had some good stuff on the disk, too.

I always felt bad about how it turned out. The book came out and I got a copy, but I had very little to do with its publication. I was searching for people who were pirating my other books and I found this today. Somebody is selling it for $77.  (That cover is simply dreadful!)

Byte’s DOS Programmer’s Cookbook by Keith Graham, Craig Menefee (Used, New, Out-of-Print) – Alibris.






April 25th, 2011

The Spiritkeeper

Lynn Biederstadt has been serializing her novel on her website: The Spiritkeeper. It looks pretty good.

My friend Robert Peloquin recommends it highly and so I am adding it to my list. I downloaded the first chapters and I am intrigued. I am looking forward to downloading the Kindle version. (I just converted the first three chapters to MOBI and put them on my Kindle to keep me busy on the bus tonight.)

I like the trailer video. I wish I could make one of these, but this is a skill that has escaped me. Lynn has done a great job with it.

The Spiritkeeper.






April 25th, 2011

Error Message Eyes on Apple iTunes

I don’t know how to search the iTunes catalog without actually being in iTunes. I accidentally discovered that I have a page on iTunes where you can download all of my iBooks for reading on the iPhone or iPad.

I know that I sold some of these, but Apple takes many months so credit your account so I am not sure how well the books are doing there.

The books got on the iTunes catalog via SmashWords, which is why it is important to carefully format eBooks for Smashwords so that they will be included in the iTunes catalog.

Error Message Eyes by Keith P. Graham – Download Error Message Eyes with iBooks.






April 24th, 2011

Congers Lake

We’ve been looking for a new place to walk. Rockland Lake has become too crowded. We walked Congers Lake which is nearby and had a good time. The walk is a little shorter – about 2 + miles, but it was scenic and only a few other people were walking.






April 22nd, 2011

Clarion Write-a-Thon

Clarion has this thing where you sign up and and a group of writers give each other support. You can also get sponsors that donate a small amount for each word that you write. (I might be able to get someone to pay me NOT to write).

I am thinking of signing up and using this as an opportunity to finish the half dozen or so decent short stories that I have partially written. I have not felt much like writing for the last three months.

I don’t like that Clarion seems to offer a boilerplate approach to writing short stories (depending on who is teaching there at the time). There are rules and patterns to short story writing, but Clarion produces a certain sameness, at least in the writings that I have read that come out of there. If they were to emphasized the writing style of Lafferty, Bradbury, and Clarke, I would be happier with them.

I have until the end of June to think about this

Clarion UCSD Write-a-Thon — Participate as a Writer.






April 21st, 2011

Lovecraft’s “The Shunned House” is for sale

I would like to live in this house. It looks very nice, and I don’t believe that the bones of dead children are hidden behinds its walls – anymore.

the real estate listing

The Lovecraftsman: The house from H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Shunned House” is for sale.






April 17th, 2011

Bee Pickup

Bees. First is the hives that I prepared and then the pictures of Beekeepers at the Palisades Mall.






April 15th, 2011

Bees in the Wee hours of Sunday Morning

My bees will arrive from a Georgia apiary this Sunday about 3AM. According to the weather report, there will be moderate rain. I’ll be waiting in the parking lot of the Palisades Mall for the bees to arrive. I ordered them around Christmas, not knowing that three of my hives were dying in the prolonged winter cold.

I will install the two packages, each the size of large shoebox and each containing 10,000 angry bees, on Sunday morning. I hope it will stop raining for a while so I can do this. If the bees get wet they might die.

Last year, the two packages of bees did well, right up to that cold snap that killed them. I hope that both packages succeed, although the success rate of package bees is supposed to be about 75%.






April 15th, 2011

2 TB for $80

The first PC hard disk that I used was in 1984 at St. Regis Paper Corporation where I was hired to teach technology to executives. I taught PC basics, database, graphics, and advanced Spreed Sheet to men in suits.

The hard disk was on one of the first IBM XTs to be released. The capacity was 5 megs and it cost around $1,500. When it burned out a year later, the replacement disk was $1,200. Before that, I carried around a box of 5-1/4 inch floppies. I copied all of my work floppies and my own personal collection of software onto that disk and it was less than half full. I was amazed.

Today, you can buy a 2-Tera-byte disk, 400,000 times bigger for $80. That’s 0.00000004¢ per byte. The 1984 hard disk cost 0.24¢ per byte.

This trend will only make bigger drives cheaper. The fact that Dell is dumping 2TB drives means that cheaper larger drives are in the pipeline. Soon 10TB drives will go for under $100 and not long after that, there will be portable 100TB drives – and so on.

One wonders what people will put on these drives. The Library of Congress is perhaps 5,000TB. There are other archives out there. A 100TB drive can contain 3.3 million songs. It can hold 150,000 movies. This is more than we can handle.

That is not to say that these drives will not be filled up as fast as the 200 gig drive you have now. In the future there will be applications that need all of that storage and the economics of the situation will force people to invest in PETA Byte drives, which will cost about $20.

If you buy this drive it should be good for a few years at least. Since it is a USB drive it will outlive your PC and you can move it to the new one without any problems. By the time it starts to get overly full of movies, graphics, songs and other crap you can copy it onto your $20 Peta-byte drive.

I have a PC in the basement with 4TB of storage, mostly full. I have no idea how the drives filled up so fast. I think Mad-Men and X-Files had something to do with it.

IOMEGA Dell Daily Deal – 2 TB USB 2.0 Prestige Desktop External Hard Drive : Storage, Drives & Media | Dell.






April 14th, 2011

Digibarn: Xerox Star 8010 Interfaces, high quality polaroids (1981)

In 1983 I went to work for Western Union (before they broke up and they still did telegrams). About 200 programmers worked in a giant warehouse with cubicles and along one wall was an area with experimental stuff. There was a very early PC, which I taught myself to use, and a Xerox Star 8010.

I loved both of these machines and I have spent my life involved with their descendents.

The Star, forerunner of the Mac and Windows, was a pure pleasure to work with, except that it was very slow, even by 1983 standards. I wrote a short story on it and it came out all typeset and beautiful. It was the first time that I saw the power of a graphical user interface. It is a shame that Xerox did not have the foresight to develop and market this as a real tool for business. Apple released the Mac and Microsoft released Windows – both out and out stealing the interface from the Star.

via Digibarn: Xerox Star 8010 Interfaces, high quality polaroids (1981).






April 5th, 2011

NameAGalaxy changes

I have a site NameAGalaxy.com that lets you name a galaxy. I originally put in 12,000 galaxies that I extracted from a public database. Last week it ran out of names. I got a few complaints, but I ignored them figuring that it was stupid users. I finally checked to day.

Someone had used up about 1,000 galaxies to promote something, but I don’t allow links, so they did not show up correctly. All I know is that they had some kind of program to load the crap onto the site.

I deleted them and I added about 60,000 new galaxies to the pool. I then changed it so that they have to manually confirm a galaxy from an email message before it goes through.

I also noticed a lot of childish obscenities on the list so I implemented a routine which changes nasty words into the word “flower”. This should slow things down.

NameAGalaxy makes about $500 a year and I hope I won’t have to mess with it ever again.






April 1st, 2011

BoingBoing Alternatives

All right! They got me. The BoingBoing pay wall was an April Fool’s joke! I am such a tool.

I’ve been reading BoingBoing.net for several years. It is a site that gets interesting things from the internet and links to them. They do not provide anything original, except a knack for finding links that people want to click. There are dozen’s of other sites that do as well.
Today they announced that they are going on a subscription basis. You’ll have to pay for BoingBoing. I think not, and and I deleted the bookmark.

Other sites are going to a pay for subscription version. I’ll miss the NY Times. Other sites are dead. I miss Delicious. I do have good alternatives, In fact I usually see the stuff on other sites before BoingBoing gets it.

Here’s what I look at in the morning. Some of these reflect my personal and somewhat narrow interests, but many times I’ll read an article on one of these websites and see a day or two later on BoingBoing. (Hint: most of these have rss feeds so use Google Reader or other aggregator to get all of these at once.

Digg: http://digg.com/
TechDirt: http://www.techdirt.com/
Defense Tech http://defensetech.org/
Cool Tools http://kk.org/cooltools/index.php
SlashDot http://slashdot.org/
Making Light http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/
Rudy Rucker’s Blog http://www.rudyrucker.com/blog/
Neil Gaiman’s Blog http://journal.neilgaiman.com/
Uncertainty Principles http://scienceblogs.com/principles/
The Technium http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/
Yahoo Science News http://news.yahoo.com/science/space-astronomy
Fred Pohl’s Blog http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/
Shadow Script http://scriptshadow.blogspot.com/
Information is Beautiful http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/
Letters of Note http://www.lettersofnote.com/
Hacker News http://news.ycombinator.com/
Hacker News Daily http://www.daemonology.net/hn-daily/
This day in Jazz http://jazzagemusic.blogspot.com/
Google News Spotlight http://news.google.com/news/section?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&topic=ir&ict=ln
Nadie Se Conoce (photography) http://nadieseconoce.blogspot.com/
Biblio Odyssey http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.com/
Wikipedia Random Link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random






April 1st, 2011

Book Sales For March

I’m not making any money selling my own books. In March, I sold 10 kindle books and 2 paper ones. I had a few refunds due to the Smashwords fraud sales. I did well in December, but it has been down hill since then. I expect March is a slow month for books.

I am going to make a few more harmonica books, because that’s my best seller. I am going to release another book of short stories, soon. If nothing changes I’ll make $25 or so a month for the next few years. That’s still better than letting the stuff sit in a folder on my archive disk.