:Archive Of March 2003:

Friday, March 28, 2003 - 12:29 AM -

Hmm. Opera has updated their 19 March security update post from 6.06 to 6.06b. No explanation. Same filename, same file size, just a new link to a different directory with a file dated 24 Mar instead of 18 Mar. So, ... the change isn't worth explaining but is worth creating and uploading? Mysteries.

Dammit, none of these links are fun. Here: put Lamb in your headphones and cruise Koreamod and Sputnik.

Sunday, March 23, 2003 - 1:22 PM -

Got Opera? Hie thee over there and get the Windows version security update. 6.06 or 7.03.

Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 6:19 PM -

Okay, it's becoming clear that Peer/Wrox/FOE/Glasshaus or whatever brand was in some disarray when they handed over to the liquidators. If you are an author for this company then it is important that you get news of what is going on. The company emails did not reach everyone.

Gareth has generously set up a good mailing list for us. Email him with your name and book title so he can add you to it. Please note there is no FAQ or summary. You'll have to read through to make your own summary of where you stand. (And kindly do take the time to read through before posting. We're all burnt out and stressed by this. Let's keep the signal to noise ratio on that list high.)

If you are not an author but know one personally, tell him or her. We need to get the word out.

Don't write me asking for inside info or a summary. I'm hardly a lawyer. Read through the list.

Meanwhile, since about a quarter of the computer book industry just went down with this bad situation, I predict digital books and Print On Demand books are going to get considerably more common. The wealth of published and as yet unpublished titles involved here is incredible. Plus there's all these authors, tech readers, and publishing staff who are fully trained and keen to keep on working.

If anyone is directly involved with digital books or POD, or has absolutely excellent information on it, please tell me. As soon as rights have been sorted out I'll be looking at this. Maybe sooner; there's been personal projects brewing that I'm now repurposing.

But please don't write to tell me you know of some company or link that might be useful. That's okay, I've probably got that already, and my inbox is pretty busy at the moment. (Unless you're a personal friend, of course. Coffee is always on.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 12:02 AM -

Alrighty.. if you go looking, this is all over the web now, so I think it's okay to say here that Peer Information has gone bust. That means Wrox, Friends of Ed, Glasshaus, Curlingstone, Active Path and Tect have been liquidated and a buyer or buyers are sought.

This also means a lot of community sites owned by Peer will likely close soon. This also means a hell of a lot of publishing professionals are out of work. This also means a hell of a lot of authors got notice of the liquidation instead of the scheduled royalty cheque. No prior warning. Meaning the bills they were planning on paying with that scheduled income from last year's book sales are now going unpaid and they have to think of something fast.

Me too. I could use some sleep, but the clowns will eat me.

Meanwhile Vincent Flanders posted excellent advice for distracted authors: go to your book's website and download your code samples right now while you still can.

And if you know an author, buy'em a coffee. That's about all they make on a book sale, and it's far more personal. And we like coffee.

Friday, March 14, 2003 - 9:55 PM -

It's official. My book is a rare book.

Sunday, March 2, 2003 - 7:35 PM -

(Wherein I bitch about Opera. Feel free to skip to the next entry.)

Nice to have a browser reduce usability.

I just popped in 7.02 to see if they finally fixed scrolling with third-party mouse software. Nope. But being desperate for an Opera that works with little details like javascript, I did some surfing anyway to see if I could get used to it. Maybe use their middle button scroller as a substitute. Heh, yeah right: that's unadjustable junk. Dream on.

And that really great trick in Opera where you slap ctrl-n, ctrl-space to get a new homepage? The thing I do a hundred times a day because my homepage has a google form so I can just slap-slap-type-return and have search results? Nope, can't do that anymore. Ctrl-space just gives you spaces in the new window's URL field... gotta grab your mouse and click the empty window.

Ctrl-space is not space, Opera. That was just a brilliant move.

And the status bar? That little space that tells you the URL when you hover over a link? Doesn't work when you hover in bookmarks anymore. Why the hell not?

I'm scared to look further. What are they trying to do? Make what had been a great browser into Mozilla?

I suppose I could mention it to them, but it's hard to take the process seriously when they still don't have a known bug list.

- 2:01 PM -

Thank you, Victor. Appliance Studio - taming the Turing Machine.

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