johnhattan

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About johnhattan

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    overfed, long-haired leaping gnome

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  1. It's fun to read this with the kiddo just to compare the originals (compiled and... http://t.co/Z5omXyv7a3 http://t.co/nvzN7Z3LSI
  2. We had this album when I was a kid. I'm rather surprised that Cosby's monologue about giving Spanish Fly to girls... http://t.co/PDpTcjBqTe
  3. Had a party over at a friend's house. He's got all kinds of fun musical toys, so Maggie's... http://t.co/6JPpquHfSv http://t.co/wufzIaG50c
  4. RT @ThePiHut: We're giving away two @Raspberry_Pi kits, including the new PIHUB! RT to be in with a chance of winning! #PIHUTPRIZE http://t…
  5. My cousin Colleen is indigogo-ing a new brand of crunchy nutri-bar thingies at http://t.co/xzjQOSXcpW. I'm in and you should be too :)
  6. APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur

    Author's Summary In 2011 the publisher of one of my books, Enchantment, could not fill an order for 500 ebook copies of the book. Because of this experience, I self-published my next book, What the Plus!, and learned first-hand that self-publishing is a complex, confusing, and idiosyncratic process. As Steve Jobs said, "There must be a better way." With Shawn Welch, a tech wizard, I wrote APE to help people take control of their writing careers. APE's thesis is powerful yet simple: filling the roles of Author, Publisher and Entrepreneur yields results that rival traditional publishing. We call this "artisanal publishing"--that is, when writers who love their craft control the publishing process and produce high-quality books. APE is 300 pages of step-by-step, tactical advice and practical inspiration. If you want a hype-filled, get-rich-quick book, you should look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you want a comprehensive and realistic guide to self-publishing, APE is the answer. Click the image to view this book on Amazon GDNet Staff Review Much like the argument that the phrase "gay marriage" is becoming obsolete in favor of simply "marriage", the old terms "vanity-publishing" and "self-publishing" are becoming less distinguishable from simply "publishing". While paper-publishers who publish paper books that end up on the New York Times Bestseller List and live on the shelves at your local bookstore are not going anywhere soon, the prestige of being recognized by a "big publisher" is no longer much of a thing. Self-publishing is no longer the home of crackpots and D-list celebrity memoirs. Self-publishing is...publishing! APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki is the latest and best book I've thus-far found about how to write, format, and sell that book that is inside you and is dying to escape. It starts with the conceptual material that you will find in just about every "how to write a book" book, but it does it without the obligatory "how to impress the publishing house" chapter. But that's not necessarily a rosy path. If you have the writing skills of a chimp but somehow manage to finagle Random House into publishing your novel on paper, you can bet that it will go through enough passes of editing that it will be literate by the time it hits the shelf. Not so with electronic publishing. APE does cover both the challenges of writing and multi-pass editing in addition to all the technical bits required to get your words into an internet bookstore. The technical aspects of the book are quite specific and useful, and they use the book itself and the author's previous e-book What The Plus! as a test-bed for all of their experiments. After all, a 300+ page MS Word document is a pretty good way to test the depth of the various software tools that can convert your work into the formats preferred by online stores. Despite the author's notable work with Apple, the book is quite free of brand evangelizing. He's clearly just finding the best tools to get the job done. My main worry about a book of this type is that it will become dated and the references to particular pieces of software or services will become curiosities over time. And addressing this, Mr. Kawasaki is using himself as an example of how electronic publishing can keep a work current in the face of rapidly changing technology. The book itself has undergone several updates since first appearing in the e-bookstores. It is one of the chief advantages of electronic publishing compared to paper, and it is an advantage the author is leveraging. APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book is a work in which the author has done all the experimentation required to get a book written and formatted and uploaded and published and monetized and successful. If you have a book inside you that wants out, this book will help you get there.
  7. Yeah, I was really glad the author gave me permission to include this article in the book. It's definitely one of the book's highlights.
  8. I think my eleven year-old daughter has a crush on Jonathan Coulton.
  9. What I'm up to

    Sorry if this doesn't belong in the "staff journal" section. I didn't realized it'd get automatically featured and pinned to the top of the journal page. If you wanna downgrade it to the Bargain Basement Blog, that's fine.
  10. What I'm up to

    Forgive the lateness of my reply Actually, I'm here to give y'all an update as to what I'm doing regarding gamedev lately. Since the release of the Gamedev Collection series (still available at Amazon, go get them now), I have been doing very little (and by that I mean no) billable work for Gamedev. I was getting pretty burned out by reviewing "version 2.3.00001 of WhateverSoft's latest entry, now with antialiasing", so I decided to just stick with unbilled short-form book reviews. So I'd write just enough book review to be justified by the value of the book. Which means I'd get new books now and then, and Gamedev would get a modicum of free content. Here's the latest if you haven't noticed (and if our hit-count is any indication, you haven't) https://www.gamedev.net/page/books/index.html/_/creative/visual-arts-3/blender-master-class-a-hands-on-guide-to-modeling-sculpting-materials-and-rendering-r1469 In the next few weeks, I'll probably start posting these reviews as featured articles rather than featured books in the book section. They'll still be short and funded by the book itself. Book publishers get a plug. Gamedev gets a short article they don't have to pay for. I get a shiny new book. Everybody gets a very small something, and it doesn't take up much of anyone's time so I can get back to more rewarding pursuits like "actually developing games". Oh, and we're now posting some articles from the Gamedev.net collection books if you don't have the series. https://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/technical/graphics-programming-and-theory/dynamic-2d-soft-shadows-r3065
  11. Every time somebody tweets about how we should "inpeach" the president, God raises Edwin Newman from the dead and re-kills him.
  12. More Windows 8 Fun

    (hmm, for some reason the RSS importer from http://thecodezone.blogspot.com is borked, so I'm going the old fashioned way, with cut-n-paste) Well at some point a couple of weeks ago the hard drive in my Main Development Box decided that booting to an OS was no longer necessary. And it chose to do so right in the middle of a deadline. So I hoofed it over to Frys to purchase a replacement drive and a copy of Windows 8. While the UI is controversial, I hadn't heard about any problems with Windows 7 apps, so I quickly installed Windows 8, my development tools, and my projects. And I was able to complete the project after a couple of very late nights. Fast-forward a week and I finally have a chance to make Windows 8 operate the way I like. For me, Windows 8 reminds me of the last two MacOS updates in that there are some nice refinements hidden behind a treacly front-end that's designed for someone other than me. Windows 8 does have some very nice refinements that make it a better Windows 7, but that's all lost (literally) under the Metro UI. But, much like MacOS, it's a simple to shun the stuff that annoys you and keep the stuff you like. And so here's my list of essential tools and tweaks that I found myself installing. And now that it's all installed, I'm hunky-dory with Windows again. Most of this stuff is free. If it's not, I mention it: SharpKeys (http://sharpkeys.codeplex.com/) - A simple gizmo that sets registry entries to remap your keyboard. I remap the CAPS LOCK key to operate as a shift-key because the CAPS LOCK is a holdover from typewriters. And this thing just modifies the registry, so there's nothing to do once you're done remapping. Just remap and forget forever. Free42 (http://thomasokken.com/free42/) - My brain thinks in RPN. The Windows calculator doesn't. The MacOS calculator does have RPN, so points to them. MicroBin (http://www.e-sushi.net/microbin/) - Puts a tiny recycle bin in the tray so you don't have to hunt for it on the desktop whenever you wanna use the danged thing. Win 7 Library Tool (http://www.pcworld.c...brary_tool.html) - The "Libraries" menu on the explorer sidebar is a terrific neglected feature. And for some reason Microsoft cripples it by applying some arbitrary rules as to what folders can live there. This gizmo gets around that so I can have related stuff all together. For example, I have a "cloud" library that points to my Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. so I don't have to hunt for those folders. Cyberduck (http://cyberduck.ch/) - very nice little FTP client. There's an identical one on the Mac, and I give preference to apps that are identical on both platforms so I don't have to reconfigure my brain. Ditto for Free42. Notepad++ (http://notepad-plus-plus.org/) - Is free. Is very fast. Is pretty-much the only text editor you need if you don't plan to mold your life around your text editor (i.e. VIM, EMACS) ImageMagick (http://www.imagemagi...cript/index.php) - A pile of command-line tools to do stuff with image files. I use these quite a lot in my build scripts for resizing icons and such, so I install this right away. PowerArchiver (http://www.powerarchiver.com/) - Not free, but it's the best one. While Windows' ZIP integration is pretty good, there are plenty of formats it still doesn't grok, like RAR. For those you need an archiver. PromptPal (http://www.promptpal.com/) - Also not free, and there are plenty of free alternatives, but I have this registered so I keep it. Basically it's a command-prompt replacement that has some enhancements but most importantly keeps your command history persistent from launch to launch. So if you come up with a really hairy clever path-laden command line to do something, you don't lose it if you need it again. Why the default one doesn't do this, I'll never know. Sizer (http://www.brianapps.net/sizer/) - Just discovered this a couple of months ago. It adds a sub-menu to your windows system menu (yep, there's still one there) that lets you resize a window to a particular size. This is just the thing if you need to capture screenshots of a particular size. XNView (http://www.xnview.com/) - A perfect companion for Sizer, as it has plenty of options for screen-capture including "capture just the client area of a window", and it can snap to files without interaction, so you can just set your windows up and then play your game and snap away until you get enough screenshots. VLC (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html) - Yeah Windows 8. Good thinking. If I wanna play an MP3 file, I want it to take up the whole danged screen. Or maybe I just wanna play it in a little window and shove it out of the way. Adobe Reader (http://get.adobe.com/reader/) - See VLC. Windows 8 comes with a PDF reader now, but it only runs full-screen. This reader (or any other, really) fixes that. Classic Shell (http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/) - A dozen "get back your start menu" gizmos have appeared over the past weeks. This is the best one, mainly because it's been in existence long before Windows 8. It's very stable and is instantly familiar. CPU Meter, Network Meter, and Drives Meter (http://addgadgets.com/) - Yeah Windows 8 killed Desktop Gadgets, but there are plenty of hacks to bring 'em back, including instructions on that page. I can't function well without these little guys sitting in the corner telling me the state of the Main Development Box. CCleaner (http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner) - There are billions of "clean out useless files and crap" software out there. This one is excellent and is free. Google Chrome (https://www.google.c...chrome/browser/) - IE10 is actually pretty good, but my brain's too used to Chrome to turn back now. Also all my bookmarks and saved passwords and such instantly sync up the moment I install it, and that's cool. Chrome Remote Desktop (https://chrome.googl...kmpfmihenigjmpp) - The most dirt-simple and best performing remote desktop system I've ever used. Only drawback is that it currently only exists on desktop Chrome. Hopefully it's moving to mobile soon. Disable Aero Shake (http://www.howtogeek...e-in-windows-7/) - Not an app per-se, but something I like to do. I like all the Aero stuff like snap and preview, but Aero Shake just seemed to be something that jumps up when I didn't wanna use it. So here are the registry values that shut it off. Box, Dropbox, SugarSync, Google Drive, SkyDrive - Hey, I like clouds. Might as well use 'em to hold stuff for me. Dropbox is still the most mature, but the others are getting better.
  13. I think the real news was "Andy Williams was, until very recently, alive".
  14. I just paid my quarterlies last week. Also, I think @mittromney can intercourse himself. Apparently that means I don't exist!
  15. Great freebie deal

    Oh but I have a good freebie that's coming up in a couple of days. I was going to post this as a gamedev.net front-page news item, but it appears that our news-feed is entirely scraped from other sources now (which is just fine with me), so I'm posting this as a blog item. Feel free to upvote it on that front page tab so everybody sees it. Packt Publishing, one of the new "biggies" in technical publishing is announcing that they're publishing their 1000th book. And, in honor of that milestone, they're giving a "pleasant surprise gift" (their words not mine) to everyone who has an account on the site before 9/30. (and I have permission to tell you that the gift is a free ebook of your choice) So go to www.packtpub.com before 9/30 and sign up for a free account if you don't already have one. Their little ebook online store is top-notch and DRM-free, and they have PDF and EPUB versions of all their books, so you can view 'em on practically every computer or e-reader out there. Also they have some free books on the site already, so you can check 'em out.