- Arrrrrrghhhh. I say that, not because today is Talk Like a
Pirate Day, but because I've run out of Coca Cola. My consumption
varies by season and what type of writing I'm doing, but lately it's
been averaging 21 or 22 pages/gallon. Figuring backward from that, a
page is roughly 350 words, so I'm getting about 5,400 words/gallon, or
about 1,420 words/liter. I've been writing roughly 4,000 words/day,
which translates to about 2.8 liters/day, or about 10 2-liter bottles
Speaking of writing, Chapter 4, Processors,
is posted on the subscribers' page.
- I almost never go back to fix errors, but before someone
points out that my math is faulty I figured I'd better correct the typo
above. It should have read "a page is roughly 250 words" rather than
350. The words/page count is smaller than usual because this book uses
a lot of images, tables, and other elements that occupy space, and also
because the layout will use large margins and lots of white space.
Tuesday, 20 September
- Netflix is throttling me again. They received and logged in
Gosford Park early yesterday morning. By mid-afternoon, my queue was
displaying the following:
This morning, it says "shipping today". I won't give them too hard a
time about this. I am a very
heavy user, and Mondays
are by far their busiest day for receiving and shipping discs. Of
course, they created that problem themselves by not working weekends.
see what happens with the other two movies shown. I returned those
yesterday, so they should be received today. If they ship out all three
discs today, I won't have much to complain about. If they delay discs
two and three for Wednesday shipping, I'll be very annoyed with them.
- Hmmm. More subtle throttling from Netflix. Send out a series
of three discs, but make sure the first disc in the series doesn't
arrive until the day after the second and third discs.
Of course, the last time they tried this, the post office screwed them.
The "late" disc arrived a day earlier than it was supposed to. Perhaps
the same thing will happen today. The last time this happened, Netflix
shipped one disc from Georgia and another from California, rather than
from their Greensboro facility, which is only 20 miles from our house.
The post office outdid themselves, though, managing to get the disc
from California here in less than 48 hours from the time Netflix
I've been caching Netflix return envelopes. They say it's okay to
return two discs in one envelope, so that's what I do whenever
possible. With the exception of the first time it happened, I've always
returned discs to Greensboro regardless of where they originated.
Actually, I'd think Netflix would encourage people to return two discs
in one envelope whenever possible. Postage for return shipping has to
be one of their major operating costs, so halving it goes straight to
their bottom line.
I'm doing okay in terms of disc count for this month. I'm at 14 discs
month-to-date, not counting the two or three discs I should receive
today. I should make a total of 20 discs or so for the month,
which is right at $1/disc.
Chapter 8, Removable Storage,
is posted on the subscribers' page.
Authors' Guild is suing Google over the Google Print
Library Project. I'll probably surprise a lot of people by coming
down firmly in support of The Authors' Guild. I've read all the
arguments pro and con, and I agree that any author should want to be
included in this project. I certainly want Google to include my books.
But that's not the issue. Google plans to engage in copyright
infringement on a massive scale for commercial purposes, without so
much as notifying the authors and other copyright holders, let
alone asking their permission. I object to this scheme for the
same reason I object to any opt-out scheme. Google isn't entitled to
assume that an author wants to have his work included. Google should
contact every copyright holder individually and obtain formal
permission to use their copyrighted works. Yes, that's probably
impractical in the great majority of cases. So what? Just because this
is impractical doesn't mean Google should be allowed to ignore
Then there's the matter of payment. Google plans to share ad revenue
with publishers who participate in this program. That's fine, as far as
it goes. But there's no mention of sharing revenue with the copyright
holders, which in many cases are the authors rather than the
publishers. How detailed, I wonder, will the reports be that O'Reilly
receives from Google? Will they break out shared revenues by title? If
so, I don't doubt that O'Reilly will pay me my share. But what if the
reports are not that detailed, and O'Reilly gets only a bulk payment
for all shared revenue? Not that my share is likely to be worth arguing
about, but it's the principle of the thing. If someone, including
Google and O'Reilly, is making money on my work, I want my share.
- I'm still cranking away on the video adapters chapter. I hope
to finish it tomorrow, although it may be Saturday.
Netflix sent me all three discs of Brideshead revisited on Tuesday,
with the ETA of Discs 2 and 3 yesterday and Disc 1 today. Discs 2 and 3
came from Greensboro, and Disc 1 from their Cleveland, Ohio
distribution center, which accounted for the different estimated ETAs.
Once again, though, the post office outdid itself, delivering all three
discs yesterday. So Barbara and I watched all 13 episodes, 11 hours'
worth, last night, and I returned the discs today. That's my story, and
I'm sticking to it.
Friday, 23 September
- Thanks to Brian Bilbrey for posting a link to this brilliant idea.
Barbara and I don't have a hamster, but we do have a couple of Border
Collies, so I decided to give it a try. A knife seemed a bit small for
a Border Collie, so I dug out my claidheamh mòr
and strapped it onto Malcolm. It looked great and seemed to work fine.
Until, that is, Barbara threw a tennis ball down the hall for Malcolm
to fetch. As usual, he went charging down the hall at high speed and
collided with the wall at the end of the hall. The claidheamh
mòr stuck in the wall, and poor Malcolm was left wriggling until
I went down to free him. Oh, well.
Saturday, 24 September
Sunday, 25 September
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Robert Bruce Thompson. All