Seth Harwood Bum Rushes the Kindle Charts

I stepped up and joined hands with many members of my podcasting community to support Seth Harwood’s Amazon shenanigans. Seth has set up Kindle Commando Sunday where he is encouraging people to buy the Kindle version of his book A Long Way From Disney, which to add to the occasion is only $0.99. I bought it just now and it is whispernetting it’s way to my Kindle as I type. I encourage all Kindlers, especially those of you who just got one for the holidays, to join in and purchase. Not only is it cheap, but you get to use your powers of Amazon chart manipulation for good. What can be better?

PS – It’s working. When I bought it, the book was #642 overall in the Kindle store and now it is #403. Rocket to the top, my friend.

Thomas Peake Farewell Concert and Peakecast

Tomorrow Sunday December 20th 2009 will be the “Thomas Peake Farewell Celebratory Concert” at the Eyedrum – 290 MLK Jr Drive SE in Atlanta. Doors open at 3 pm, music starts at 4 PM and will go until the wee hours. A variety of bands will perform, from ones that Thomas helped in their careers, was friends with the members, and even a band that is debuting as a live act at the event. It will be a great time for lovers of music and lovers of Thomas alike. A salient point of the whole deal is that all the money raised by the concert will be given to the East Atlanta Kids Club, a charity that Thomas was intimately involved with in his life.

I wish I could be there to hear the music, help send off a friend, and spend a little more time with all our mutual friends. At the memorial in September I saw many people that I hadn’t seen in 20 years. If there is one thing I need in this life, it is more ways to get these groups of people together that don’t require someone dying first.

We’ve had a self-imposed deadline of getting the next episode of the Peakecast out before this show and I made it today by about 22 hours. Peakecast Episode Three is out in the world now and captures Thomas and Arthur Davis spinning tunes as guest hosts of Personality Crisis. Their set list is unique and weird and not at all like anything Jon Kincaid would have played, or anyone else for that matter. Check it out. This is just the beginning of what there is to be published. That is literally the first tape out of a big box, and we’ve been informed by Dena Peake that there are more boxes where this came from. It’s not as good as having the big man around to spin us some tunes but we’re now taking what we can on that front. If you care, tune in, subscribe, listen, comment and share your memories. Every memory gets more precious every day.

Myrtle Beach Geekout

MB Geek Out, Dec 11 2009

Here in the Myrtle Beach area (aka the Grand Strand), we’ve been trying to crystallize a geek community for years. This started with the Grand Strand bloggers get-togethers. The first one had four attendees – myself, Andre Pope, Chris Yale and Roger Yale. We had several more meetings like that over the next year past that time. Some of this was taken online with the group blog at the Grand Strand Blogroll, and a lot of the same community helped put together the CREATE South conference.

There’s a new iteration of this energy, and that’s the MB Geek Out. As evidence of how much farther this iteration has gone than the earlier similar passes, just look at how this came together. Paul Reynolds mentioned having some kind of a nerd gathering on his Twitter account. Someone else (Jerry Harrison) coined the term and a third person (Nicholas Mercer) registered the domain and set up the rocking MBGeekout.com website. As Paul told me at the meetup last week, “It wasn’t even that we have other people to delegate to: I didn’t have to delegate!”

I love this area and I’m glad to see us getting together and forming this community. Myrtle Beach is not known as a technological hot bed, so each of us tended to feel as if we were the only ones doing technical work, software development, etc in the area. The best part of community formation is letting each of us know we aren’t alone, which I consider a very fine reason to continue. Watch the MBgeekout.com site and/or follow @mbgeekout on Twitter for more information about when the next one is. Let the good times roll!

Mac VLC Might End

Via Thomas Gideon comes this bad news that a lack of OS X developers on the VLC project might mean that project ceasing on this platform. That would truly bum me out as I’m a user of VLC on my Mac Book. I’ve found it to be the one player that never chokes on any format, no matter what weird thing I throw at it. I sure hope someone steps up and takes the reins on this.

Even though I’ve been a professional developer for the last 12 years, I’ve never once developed for OS X. This would be a pretty rough one to start out on so I’m off the table (also, no chance in hell I have the time and bandwidth for one more project in my life.) College students or other developers with a little extra time and energy, please step up and take over!

Low Media Month

I know some people like Lawrence Lessig explicitly take time out periods from being online. It seems like a growing thing to do as all of us struggle to find ongoing sustainable ways to live our digital lifestyles for periods that get longer and longer and may well be the rest of our lives. I am no exception to that, I might be one of the worse ones. I wasn’t trying to take time away but it is working out like that. For the rest of the month of December I may or may not be away from my blog, Facebook, FriendFeed, Twitter et al for days or weeks, with or without warning.

It’s reached the point where I shock myself sometimes when I look at this blog and see that it’s been 2 or 4 or 6 days since the last time I posted. It never feels like it has been that long. This is further evidence that the hamster cage we are all running in might be wearing us out. I’d love to be posting longer, insightful pieces like I tried to do in the past but when it comes down to time to do it, I’m tired and make other decisions.

Added to all this is the ongoing sorting out process as people shift energies amongst their blogs, Twitter, Facebook and all the other ways you can do something online. This will never be settled, the best we can do is to find semi-stable equilibria now and then as the landscape shifts under us again. Off I go, trying to balance my way across the shaking ground.

My New Science Fiction Term for a Day Job

Alright, my fellow science fiction nerds. This one is for you. I just coined a new term today to describe my day job. Some people call it that, “day job.” Some call it “the nine to five.” From here on out, I will refer to the thing that pays my bills and keeps the roof over my head as “Subsistence D.” Think of it as a scanner, dorkly.

You are very welcome.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Just the other day I blogged about how happy I was to be able to use Greasemonkey scripts on the OS X version of Google Chrome. This evening I had noticed that there was an update, so I restarted Chrome to pick it up. The problem is, this version (4.0.249.27) disabled extensions in preparation for releasing the official beta for the OS X version. Had I realized that, I wouldn’t have restarted. I’m hoping they turn it back on, and soon. I had to start Firefox today to use the Google Maps -> Garmin GPS integration and it bummed me out. FireFox is unbelievably slow after using Chrome for a week.

Evolution Rx

Today I listened to Skepticality #116 which was an episode featuring Dr. William Meller talking about his book Evolution Rx. I thought the conversation was interesting enough that I impulse bought a copy of his book for the Kindle. I don’t have any profound insights, but I liked what he said and was willing to hear more.

Google Chrome on OS X Now Has Greasemonkey Built-in!

One of the big bummers for me of using Google Chrome on OS X was the lack of Greasemonkey script support. There were some various hackish ways to make it work for Windows versions but I couldn’t find a reasonable way on OS X. Tonight I realized part of why that is. The support is there, but there just is no interface around it. However, if you click on a Greasemonkey script it installs and is visible right there on the chrome://extensions page.

The main script I want to run is the “Enhance ComicBookDB” script, which adds some links and changes some defaults to that site. I clicked it and Chrome asked me if I wanted to install it. I did, reloaded Comic Book DB and voila, it was working. Wow! This is working for me in the 4.0.249.22 build. This makes me freakishly happy.