JavaScript Political Writing


The draft for Learning JavaScript, second edition, has entered production, and that’s more or less it for my tech book writing career. I don’t want to say I’ll never write another tech book, because never is a long time. However, I have no intentions of writing another tech book in the foreseeable future.

I hope to revive my moribund tech contracting/consulting career, but first I need a break from spending so much time on the computer: walk in the woods; enjoy the fall color; watch the pretty birds; see if my legs still work. I have authored and co-authored 18 books in 12 years—a fact I’ve really felt it in the last few months. I’m tired.

Tired and stressed, with the latter primarily because of the US election. I don’t think I’ve ever been this stressed about an election. I’ve also never been more desperate for my candidate (Obama) to win. No, not even when Bush was running for the office in 2000 and 2004. Frankly— and I never thought the circumstances could ever get to the point where I would say this—I’d rather have another four years of Bush/Cheney, then have four years of McCain/Palin.

I don’t want to write too much about the election, specifically because of the stress. I also agree with Dave Rogers about Sarah Palin being used to draw attention away from Obama. Continuing to write about her only aids and abets her cause, as well as adds to my already overly uptight frame of mind.

I think what I’ll do is spend some time considering the election, take a deep breath, and write once more on the topic. In the meantime, I’ll post links to what others have written, as I struggle to re-establish an essential objectivity. After all, I want to live long enough to get that universal health insurance Obama will bring us.

Speaking of which, I have been getting into some debates, mainly about universal health care over at Blogher. It would be an understatement to say how disappointed I am in the so-called “libertarian” element in the US, right now.

Politics aside, my 18th book is on its way. Go book. Live long, and prosper.


AppleTV and HD

I just finished Eureka, in HD, on my TV. The shows are expensive, yes, but they’re quite lovely. The show was free, as are several other shows in Apple’s rollout of HD quality TV shows to go along with the movies. I know that several Battlestar Galactica fans are going to be happy that the first show of this season is also free in HD.

NBC is back with iTunes. I had a feeling the companies would kiss and make up. You can still get the shows like Eureka and BG at Hulu, but the quality just doesn’t compare. I figure I save the bucks by not having cable, UVerse, or the like—I’ll just get my shows ala cart.

I was a little disappointed today that the Apple show didn’t roll out any new computers. I had my heart set on getting a decent deal on a late model iMac or Macbook Pro. Now, I’ll have to wait and see what Apple rolls out in the Spring, and make do with what I have.

I may be doing it wrong, but I didn’t like the iTunes “Genius” at all. It kept pushing songs at me to buy. To me, that’s an annoyance, not a feature.

My iPod is still working, so wasn’t interested in the rest of the show. Sacrilege! Not want the Apple eye and ear candy!? I must be tired. However, I am glad that Apple is finally taking some of the “green” stuff to heart.

I did get the Genius to output several playlists. I’ll load them into my iPod tomorrow, and see how it did. Still, the ads for songs to buy are irritating.

Per Dave in comments, recommendation sidebar can be collapsed out of view. Much better.

When you download one of the HD TV shows, you also get the SD quality show. I have to wonder if this isn’t a direct shot at Amazon, which provides both the larger show for your TV and a mobile device version. Regardless, it would be nice if Apple provided an option to turn this off.

It would also be nice if Apple provided Amazon’s digital media storage, so that you don’t have to keep copies of the movies and TVs on your own external drives.

Lastly, this forum thread states that the HD tv shows are only in 853×480 resolution, but that sounds like the SD show. I have noticed that you can’t seem to buy the HD quality shows directly via AppleTV, but only through iTunes. I haven’t checked today to see if this has changed.

I’m only interested in purchasing shows for two series, so I’m not going to be adding overly to Apple’s coffers by going hog wild on HD TV shows. Well, unless Dr. Who also comes out with HD quality.

And according to this thread there is confusion about which version a person is buying. I noticed that the AppleTV lineup doesn’t seem to be keeping pace with the new iTunes rollout.

It does seem like you can only get the HD shows on your iTunes, and then sync them up with the AppleTV. Rather a pain, that. That’s an unusually clunky move on Apple’s part. I wonder if this is a signal that Apple is becoming