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Learning Puppet 4 is complete, now for some fiction!

by on Mar.26, 2016, under News, Publications

Learning Puppet 4

As I’m sure you saw through my other sites, Learning Puppet 4 has gone to final production.

The online version is already available, and the dead tree version will start shipping next week.

After three technical non-fiction books in 4 years, I’m going to focus on fiction for a while. I had always intended to do both, but that didn’t work out as intended. I’ve learned a lot about working more effectively, and more supportive methods of procrastination. It’s time to indulge my creative brain again.

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eBook Reader selection guide

by on Dec.16, 2015, under News

Would you like to upgrade your ereader, or give an ebook reader to a friend? This post you’ll find suggestions and advice on ebook format, digital rights management, and improved night reading.

Book Format

If you aren’t sure about the recipient’s favorite way to read ebooks, give them an ereader that will read ePub books. This standard format is supported on every platform by dozens of e-reading applications. A book published in the ePub standard format will be available no matter what happens in the marketplace, or whether they shift to a different reading platform in the future. Furthermore, there are numerous easy ways to convert an ePub book to be read on Kindle readers.

A book based on the proprietary Kindle format can be converted to other formats, but the process isn’t easy and the results are less than ideal. However, if you know absolutely that the user has and prefers an Amazon Kindle, then you can gift them either format. They have already accepted the technology risk associated with the Kindle format.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

If a book is protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) it may be difficult to read on other platforms. If possible, purchase a book without DRM protection.

If the publisher of the book insists on DRM protection, your choice of platform could become important. Apple and Amazon books with DRM cannot be read on any third-party device or application.

In contrast, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many other stores sell book with the standardized Adobe ADEPT DRM technology that third-party ereaders can properly decode and display on any platform.

LED versus e-ink

For the choice of reading device, the only significant criteria I have found is the choice of LED screens versus e-ink screens. Some people have a difficult time reading LED screens for a long period. Other people (myself included) can comfortably read LED screens for any length of time. If you want to gift someone with a new or upgraded reading device, try to learn how they feel about reading on LED screens.

The following readers provide front-lit displays that don’t shine light directly into your eyes:

  • $99 on sale: The Nook Glowlight Plus is a dedicated e-reading device. This device can display any book in ePub format, ensuring upgrade protection and allowing purchase from many book vendors.
  • $99 on sale: Kindle Paperwhite can only display Kindle-format books.
  • $119: Kobo Glow HD is a dedicated reading device which uses Kobo’s reading software.
  • €119: inkBook Obsidian is a full featured Android e-ink device which can utilize any Android reading app, including Kindle and Nook apps.

There is a wide variety of devices with LED screens, so you can pick any one which meets your needs. I recommend that you acquire and use blue light filters at night to prevent the well-documented effects of reduced serotonin generation.

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How to give eBooks as Gifts (updated for 2015)

by on Dec.15, 2015, under News

As Christmas is close, Winter Solstice is closer, and Hanukkah is already upon us, some of you may be looking for ways to give books to people that don’t involve shopping malls or overnight shipping. Give an eBook! Every year it has gotten easier and easier to send eBooks as gifts. Here are my short and easy instructions, with links to detailed explanations for each vendor.
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My first technical book has been published.

by on Mar.30, 2013, under News, Publications

In addition to my fiction I also work on technical publications. My first technical book was published by Packt Publishing this last week.

Details about the book can be found on my technical website at Instant Puppet 3 Starter.

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Twelve thousand words in three days.

by on Jun.26, 2012, under News

Okay, I think I’m finally back in the saddle again. I got in 12k words on a story which has been hanging around in my head for far, far too long. I had it pinned for about 6k words, but it’s an easy 13k now so right back in novelette territory like Children. I’m calling this one ‘Poe’ for the moment, but I’m hopeful to see this one sold quite quickly under its real name.

Tonight I’ll be doing some editing on Friends and Poe, and I’m going to try and implement a consistent schedule for work going forward.

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