And another book is coming to a close!In the midst of wrapping up "Wicked Cool Shell Scripts", I've also been working closely with O'Reilly & Associates on the third edition of "Learning Unix for Mac OS X". As of today I've now turned in revised versions of all the chapters (and the book has some substantial changes, updates and improvements, many of which are structural). Yes, I've been running Mac OS X 10.3, aka "Panther", and it's very cool. I can't wait for the official release later this year: I know I'll be updating faster than you can say "full backup"!
if you're in the market for a short, readable, enjoyable, and darn informative 175-page book on the Unix underpinnings of Panther, you won't find a better book in the market than "Learning Unix for Mac OS X, 3rd Ed." by Brian Jepson and myself. Coming soon!
Prepurchase my new shell scripting bookMaybe I'll break some records for presales of a computer book: "Wicked Cool Shell Scripts" is already listed at Amazon, even though the publication date isn't until January! Not much detail, though. You're better off to sign up for my DT Author News newsletter. It's incredibly infrequent, but always worth reading!
It had to happen eventually... Pet Rocks on the WebAlright, it's actually a site that talks about lots of fad items, but it's sure entertaining and worth visiting: Crazy Fads. Some of the material listed is obviously "fad" stuff, including flagpole sitting, goldfish swallowing (yech!), streakers and, yes, pet rocks, but other stuff doesn't seem faddish at all, like tie-dye t-shirts (hey! I have some!) tattoos and stamp collecting. Of course, if you dig around on the site, you'll find that it's really just a front door: all the 'more info' pages are on other Web sites, but, still, I'll give them credit. It's entertaining information that's presented well.
We all have our reasons. What's yours?Ready for this? Scholastic is launching a new ad campaign to push the Harry Potter series in the adult market. As reported by Publishers Weekly:
Scholastic wants adult readers who dismiss Harry Potter as kid's stuff to reconsider. Having already sold 11 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," Scholastic is launching a print advertising campaign targeting 18-to-35 year olds.So stay tuned and remember that rejecting juvenile fiction over something more adult is a reason too! (of course, I admit, I have enjoyed the Potter books, but I never claimed to be fully 100% grown up yet anyway!)
Just turned in the last chapter of Wicked Cool Shell Scripts!Finally, after way too long writing this book about Unix / Mac OS X shell script programming, I've turned in the final chapter, a grand total of 101 most excellent scripts, all written for /bin/sh and portable to just about any Unix-like operating system on the planet. From the game of hangman to an Apache web log file analysis tool, from a cool iTunes music library listing utility to a powerful command-line calculator and currency conversion tool, there's lots to check out! And, of course, it's great to finally say and that's a wrap!
Continue Reading "Just turned in the last chapter of Wicked Cool Shell Scripts!"
Stupid Spam Message of the WeekHere's one I just got that's quite entertaining on a lot of levels:
We have just charged your credit card for money laundry service in amount of $234.65 (because you are either child pornography webmaster or deal with dirty money, which require us to layndry them and then send to your checking account). If you feel this transaction was made by our mistake, please press "No". If you confirm this transaction, please press "Yes" and fill in the form below.First off, couldn't these silly spammers run their messages through a basic spellcheck program? In fact, why don't the spam distribution tools (this twit used The Bat! to send this) include a spell checker anyway? But more curious is the logic that they equate running a child porn Web site with the need to launder money: what's that about? Finally, I just love the whole idea that there are (theoretically at least) companies that can automatically launder financial transactions and send you notification via the tremendously insecure mechanism of email. I don't think La Cosa Nostra has anything to worry about in the money laundering area, somehow.
Amazing tech tidbit of the dayI need to replace the hard disk in my tough-working Apple TiBook (Titanium Powerbook, if you haven't seen that notation before) and I asked Larry @ OtherWorldComputing for a recommendation on a new disk. He's recommended a 60GB Toshiba drive, the description of which states:
" The MK6022GAX offers the industries highest areal density per platter, at 49.8 gigabits per square inch."That's a mind-boggling number in my eyes: almost 50GB per square inch. Imagine a disk that had just ten square inches: almost a half-terrabyte! I know, the math doesn't work that way, but still. And did I mention that I was lovingly fondling a shiny new 30GB iPod last night too? That's a pretty darn small disk drive too! No question, there are amazing things coming down the pipeline for all of us.
A tsunami of email, gadzooks!My desktop Macintosh is drowning in email as I type this, and the situation is most interesting. I've been running Mac OS X 10.2 for quite a while, as you would expect, and have experimented with different cron jobs, shell scripts, and much more. But while I've explored a lot, it was only this evening that I launched sendmail on my G4 for the first time. Well... not good!
There are thousands upon thousands of email messages from the system now flooding into my mailbox. Thousands. It's rather amazing. But what's puzzling is where they're coming from. If I look in /var/spool/mail there are 4-5 messages queued. They get delivered and fifty new messages replace them. I delete those and another twenty take their place. But these messages are from months ago, so they must be somewhere.
Simon & Schuster Interactive: on the blockIn case you didn't realize that interactive CDROMs weren't a massive revenue stream, Simon and Schuster, one of the last holdouts of the interactive books = huge future profits camp, has today announced that its Interactive group is available for purchase, reports Publishers Weekly. As PW puts it: "Simon & Schuster has put its Simon & Schuster Interactive unit up for sale. Founded in the mid-1990s to focus on the creation of CD-ROM product, S&SI now also develops materials for various video game formats plus online games. An S&S spokesperson says the company is looking to sell the unit because it is not a core operation."
Continue Reading "Simon & Schuster Interactive: on the block"
Comcast to double cable-modem speed?According to an article at Quote.com Comcast is quietly testing cable modem systems that are twice the current speed (that is, 3.0Mb rather than 1.5Mb/sec). I'll believe it when I see it, but according to the article:
"[Comcast] plans to double the downloading capability of its high-speed Internet service by the end of this year to distinguish its product from competitors.Of course, I'd rather that they halved the price: I'm paying almost $60/month for my cable modem connection, but double the speed would be nice.
Continue Reading "Comcast to double cable-modem speed?"
City versus Country...I'm on the road this week, at The Seybold Publishing Conference in San Francisco. I'm giving a half-day workshop tomorrow morning on "Learning Unix for Mac OS X". Yes, the glories of a 30 year old operating system hidden inside the latest and greatest Macintosh OS.
It's interesting to be here in San Francisco too; a city I love. Probably my favorite big city in the world, outside of Rome. But like any city, the time of day dramatically changes the face of San Francisco. Here on Market Street, the main east/west artery, daytime offers an engaging mixture of cultures, ethnicities, and SES (socioeconomic status). Tonight, though, it's a dirty, gritty corner of the city where there are tourists, homeless people (surprisingly many) and young 20-somethings who are either gang members or wanna-be gang members. Sunglasses at night are a giveaway...
Mac OS X != Virus platformAh, if there's any need for another reason to embrace Mac OS X, here it is from the security analysts at Symantec: "To date, there is only one known mass-mailing worm that can infect the Macintosh. This worm, known as Mac.Simpsons@mm, is an AppleScript worm that can infect a Macintosh running Mac OS 8 - 9 and cannot infect Mac OS X. Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh versions 5 through 9, with virus definitions dated July 2001 or later, can detect this worm." Right on!
Is China Starting to Actually Figure Out What Copyrights Are?More than just Peter Rabbit fans will be delighted at the latest news out of China: Publishers Weekly reports that:
"A Beijing court has cracked down on a Chinese publisher for selling unauthorized copies of the original Peter Rabbit series, in a decision that is being seen as a sign that the government there may be changing its attitude toward protecting intellectual property."
Continue Reading "Is China Starting to Actually Figure Out What Copyrights Are?"
Elsewhere in my
Latest Entries at
The Business Blog