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Milestone! I’ve been pirated!

In searching for the abstract of my book, I found more than I expected: What appeared to be a pirated PDF copy of the book in its entirety. What’s worse is that it appeared #1 in Google’s search. Numbers 2 and 3 were various pages on my site, #4 was my Wikipedia profile page, #5 was O’Reilly’s page, and #6 was Amazon’s page. So it’s easier to download a pirated copy of my book than it is to buy it. (It’s $2.03 at Amazon right now. Maybe I should buy some copies.)

I’m having trouble deciding whether that bothers me. The likelihood of me ever making another 25 cents off that book is slim. There was some talk at one time of releasing the book under some kind of Creative Commons license, but I never received the paperwork so I guess they changed their mind. As far as I know, it’s still under copyright.

And the copyright doesn’t belong to me, so ultimately it’s not up to me. I wrote it, but O’Reilly owns the copyright. So I e-mailed O’Reilly to ask them if they care.
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Rest in Peace, Mrs. Hill

My first day of high school didn’t go well. I had trouble finding my locker and trouble getting the thing to open, but that was nothing compared to what happened mid-day. I misread my schedule, went to the wrong lunch period, couldn’t find the science wing, and ended up 25 minutes late to Mr. Rusch’s earth science class. Mr. Rusch was understanding but stern. My next class was Mrs. Hill’s freshman English. Our assignment was to write a letter to someone, telling about our first day of high school. Well, I had a story to tell, so I took a pencil to paper and I told it.

“This is good,” she said after she read it. “You’re very good.” And from that day on, Mrs. Hill went out of her way to help me learn how to write. So for four years, I went out of my way to take her classes.

Mrs. Hill died on Wednesday. She retired about a decade ago, but from what I understand, her health really didn’t allow her to enjoy her much-deserved retirement the way she should have. I can only think of two other teachers who ever pushed me like she did.

Read More »Rest in Peace, Mrs. Hill

I’m back.

Four words: Worst. Business trip. Ever.

I’ll give some more details later, after the airline decides what they’re going to do to make things righter (they can’t make it right). They managed not to crash the plane.  Which is less of an achievement than me managing to drive to the airport without crashing my car. Other than that, they didn’t do much of anything right.

I had a nifty VPN set up that let me connect back into my home network to post, but a power outage knocked out my proxy server, which I had forgotten to configure to auto-start. I wasn’t about to log in here via unencrypted hotel wifi, which was why I was absent here for a few days.

I’ll have some more stuff in a while, but for now I need to take care of a few other things.

What a week…

It’s been a whirlwind week, for the blog and (especially) for me, personally.

I had surgery on Tuesday. A gym-class injury I sustained in January 1989 caught up with me. Several front teeth were horribly displaced, and it took a lot of work to save them and get them back to where they’re supposed to be, including two years of braces. Ultimately I needed root canals in three of them (two in 1993 and another in 1997), but that allowed me to lead a normal life. But more recently, the tooth most severely injured started failing. I got several opinions, and all said it needed to come out. So that, along with a bone graft, a gum graft, and a temporary implant, all happened Tuesday.

Not knowing what I’d be up to doing after the procedure, I wrote a bunch of material in advance.

Read More »What a week…

I have a job.

I have a job. That’s a good thing, because for about three hours today, that was in doubt.

It was nothing personal. My whole office was out of work for that three hours. It turned out to be an administrative error. I’m not quite sure how an administrative error leads to an entire office being let go for three hours, but maybe I’ll understand when I’m older. And Mike Judge, if you’re out there anywhere, I can tell you some stories that make Office Space seem positively tame.

I’ve had worse days than this. Definitely.

Read More »I have a job.

Why publish in Classic Toy Trains?

On one of the few remaining train forums where I do anything but lurk, the magazine Classic Toy Trains came up in discussion. Someone said, “It ought to call itself Classic Lionel Toys and be done with it,” and the discussion progressed from there.

Being that my next published work will be in that particular magazine, I thought I’d address some of the concerns/comments that came up.

Read More »Why publish in Classic Toy Trains?

Yep, I think I’ve just about had it with Intel

I’ve been messing all weekend with this stupid Intel motherboard, trying to get the video working in Windows 7. All I can see is that I have some kind of conflict. Code 43, whatever that means. Thanks loads, Microsoft.

Except this is an integrated board, with nothing plugged into it. Can’t Intel manage to make a motherboard (using its own chips, no less) where the integrated peripherals don’t conflict with each other?

I’ve upgraded the drivers, upgraded the BIOS to the newest version, everything.

Since Intel can’t get the simplest of things right, it’s Asus or nothing for me, from now on.