Wednesday, April 30, 2008
A Shout Out to a friend...
Just a quick shout out to a friend.
SC, I read your most recent blog and it sounds like you needed to vent your anger at the situation. My family has been forced to deal with the same thing you're going through right now. Facing the problem is just the first step and I will say right up front that there is no 'Silver Lining" in this terrible situation.
If you need to talk, drop me a line. I'll always be here to listen to ya.
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers,
Friday, April 25, 2008
Just a quick Update to the Update
As miracles would have it, I did finish the last chapter of "The Price Of Worship." It wasn't what I had hoped for but it did set up the segue into "A Loss Of Rights." I will be rolling out the full first chapter very soon.
The Weekly Update-
To all of my loyal readers-
This will be the first time that an update had not made the deadline. Chapter 25 of "The Price Of Worship" will not be rolled out due to technical difficulties beyond my control. I ask all of you to be patient as the rollout of that ending chapter will be done sometime next week. This will also coincide with the rollout of Chapter 1 of "A Loss Of Rights" in all of its gritty glory.
Have a nice weekend and I see all of you next week.
BTW, Anybody going to Fanime?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
My publisher strikes back!
OK gang, here goes-
Those of you that know me also know I recently wrote a novel. My publisher, PublishAmerica was bullied by Amazon.com over the rights to print their books. Amazon bought out BookSurge and they need to recoup the cost of this aquisition. They told (bullied) them to turn over all 30,000+ titles to them to print themselves which my publisher didn't do.
Does this sound wrong to you? It sure sounds wrong to me. A third party gets to print my book and report how many they printed. Oh, and by the way, they didn't want to pay full royalties to the authors, either.
Where am I going with this? Just letting everyone know that they can get my book at a 50% discount through their online store! Whee!! This sale is through the 28,th of April. Get it at a discount or forever be quiet.
BTW, I will be riding a bicycle to work and back three days a week. This will save $25 bucks a week, no less.
Blog to ya later,
Friday, April 18, 2008
Do you use freeware?
I have some architectural drawings that I have to work with to perform my job. As such, sometimes I need to print them out, modify them, etc. Because these documents exist only in PDF format, I have to use an imaging program that understands them.
This is where GIMP comes in. GIMP (Graphic Image Manipulation Program) lets me do what I need to these files. I was installing this program on my laptop at work when Mr. Not-So-Savvy asks if I'm modifying(!) a co-worker's laptop! What an idiot! The desktop should have said it all-it had my name prominently displayed on it!
Some people just don't have a clue, I guess ...
(A thoroughly disgusted) Kellan
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
My Obligation ...
OK, so I got off to a slow start this year ...
My yearly go-around with taxes are done. I have done my part, carefully preparing them for our state and government so they may misappropriate the funds thusly.
Now it is my Tigress' duty to deliver said tax forms to the post office. I am trying to unwind by typing this blog so if it seems a little short for me, that's the reason.
Did you get your taxes done on time?
(A very wound-up) Kellan
Friday, April 11, 2008
Virus on a stick...
We use computers at my work for various things ...
I work for a school district as a Low Volt Technician. As such, I use my laptop (a Dell Latitude 510) to interface with various systems and for my documents and spreadsheets.
We needed to share a few files recently and I had my system react strangely to having the boss's flash drive stick placed into a USB port. It tried to autorun (I have that turned off by default) and the first few menu choices showed a strange, code-like selection. Just about that time, my antivirus (AVG) went off, complaining of two items on the stick.
#1 was fooool.exe (yes, 4 letter o's!)
#2 was explorer.exe
Both were identified by my antivirus as being trojans. I cleaned the stick with my antivirus and formatted it, getting rid of the weird entries in the menu. A few weeks later we needed to share files again and lo and behold, the virus was back! Worse yet, my co-worker put the stick into his computer (the Dell Latitude 510 w/o antivirus ... I know, it should have had something ...8-P) and transferred the trojans to his laptop!
Well, I spent the better part of the day trying to clean up this mess. The stick was easy ... AVG was used once again, disinfecting it properly. The laptop, however was caught in a loop due to Spybot S&D trying to warn of an registry entry change by the trojan. I found file #1 and deleted it only to have a long, painful search for the second file (hidden by default), all the while the warning pane looping in the bottom right hand corner. The file was finally found hiding in C:\Windows\system32! I found it only because I had a nearly identical laptop to set next to it and compare files. What a day!
While all of this was going on, a not-so-savvy fellow worker kept suggesting that the trojans piggybacked their way onto our systems via freeware that I use. He thinks that if you don't pay for it, it's full of virus/trojans/etc.
Day before yesterday, my partner was going to use his now-cleaned and antivirus'd laptop to interface with a fire alarm panel. Well, this was a bust since the software couldn't open COM1 for some reason. Mr. not-so-savvy suggests it's the freeware again and that I don't know cr@p about computing in general. For the record, that freeware amounts to puTTy, Spybot S&D, AVG and Adaware.
I get the laptop dumped back into my lap (well, asked to look at it by my partner) and I spend another 3 hours looking for an answer to my problem. the answer was the APC Powerchute© software running on startup, grabbing control of the com port and not releasing it for the fire alarm software to use it! So much for paid-for software! You don'tknow how much I wanted to delete that stinking APC software! Grrr!
Anyway, other than that,I had a wonderful week! How was yours?
Type to ya later,
Sunday, April 06, 2008
This is a rant, so don't keep reading unless you are ready for a rant!
OK, you've been warned. Read on if you must ...
I recently wrote a novel that (miraculously) was put into print by PublishAmerica. As a new author, I was ecstatic over the thoughts of having a book in print. Amazon.com recently told my publisher that either let them (Amazon) print their books and pay the authors less royalties or the buy buttons by PublishAmerica's books would be disabled. Here it is April and although I cannot get it directly through Amazon, it is available through resellers affiliated with them.
As a point of interest, Borders Book Stores and Waldenbooks are part of Amazon.
The whole scoop is HERE for your reading pleasure.
As you can imagine, I was livid when I read that notice! Amazon has some huge balls to think that they could dictate to a publishing house how much to pay their authors and take total control over the book files! I just don't know what to think about this.
All I have to say is this; Boycott Amazon's book services and use B&N online if you have to buy online.
On a lighter note, I am back working on the latest in the "Immortal Warriors" series, "A Loss Of Rights." It will be the darkest tome I have penned to date and when it's done (the last chapter), there will be Hel to pay and the payee will be a certain tigress that we know so well.
Send me mail to let me know you support our stance against Amazon.com's strong arm tactics.
Edited for typographical errors! My bad!
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Bulletin Boards are NOT all the same ...
So ... I was trying to get my Phorum software to configure and the site was getting slower and slower. I plowed ahead, trying my best to configure the site for my family's eventual use. I was trying to get the avatar function to work when I noticed that I had too many registered users. Like thousands too many!
I deleted a bunch only to have more show up. I noted that my logs showed somebody trying to re-run setup, trying to take over the board. Not good at all. My only line of defense was to take it down, physically. Yeah, I deleted it.
It was a tragic end to my BB, teaching me a lesson. A hard one. You must have "Captcha's" on your site to stop bots.
Anyway, I have a new BB up, powered by PHPBB. I have been working with it to make sure it's bulletproof and stable. To that end, I am running a mirror version of it on xampplite on a sandbox machine. It has already shown that one styles set breaks the code, stopping you from posting. Once I have it dialed in, I will put a similar one up here at My Site to discuss things related to my writings.
The BB is here: RayStankewitzDotCom
Check it out and tell me what you think.
(A tired) Kellan