Month: July 2003

O’Reilly Safari Bookshelf

O’Reilly Safari Bookshelf

Holy Jeez! I am a huge information whore, as anyone who visits this site regularly probably already knows. Every morning I spend about an hour surfing through my top 5 or 6 sites (Which right now consist of News.com, Mezzoblue, ComicsNewsarama, Wrestling Observer, and TSN.ca…natch). I also consume a ridiculous amount of books.

The problem with the books on my bookshelf is that 60% of them are obsolete, 20% of them are bordering on obsolesence, which leaves me with 20% that are great, keep ’em around volumes. Now with that said, I usually pick books up remaindered, so I get them for $20-$30.00 rather than the cover prices of $60-80.00

However, I love the idea of “subscribing” to books and looking at them whenever I want to! Especially since it’s O’Reily (the guys who make the “in a nutshell” series), New Riders, Que, and Sams all together. That’s pretty much 80% of the market!

Here’s how it works, you sign up for one of their plans (5, 10, 20, or 30 books), and are able to put that many books on your virtual “bookshelf”, any given book has to stay on your bookshelf for 30 days, but you can put them back any time after that.

That’s it! Plus it has a 14 day free trial! I’m going away on vacation next week, but as soon as I get back, I’ll be subscribing to the $14.99/month “small” 10 book package! What a deal.

Sucks to be Canadian

Sucks to be Canadian

So for months I’ve been complaining that the Record Industry needs to get with it and make digital distribution a reality…they finally did something about it. iMusic was launched a couple of months ago, but it’s only available on the Mac. BuyMusic.com has now come out, which works on the PC. Great thinks I, I’m going there, and to show my support, I’ll buy an album.

I go to the site, check out what they’ve got. The good news is, there’s a ton of stuff available! Audioslave or Elvis’ #1 Hits? Two albums I’ve been meaning to buy. I do the conversion in my head. Audioslave is $12.49 for the whole album, Elvis is $9.99 for the entire (two disc) album. Elvis it is. I click on the handy “Download now” button, and wait to be magically transported. Then I get this page. Damn.

Back to Kaazaa for me. Hopefully since they can’t sell me my music, they also can’t sue me for looking for it.

From “Talk from the Darkside”

From “Talk from the Darkside”;

Big Daddy wrote;

You really should drop Marvel. Any creator that’s worth anything is now at DC. Jim Lee’s doing Superman, Grant Morrision maybe doing Superman.. What more do you want? Really Marvels erratic moves of late smack of personal egotism and not of a company with any direction. The dark, rebellious tone of the Marvel comics of yore has been replaced by pablum and simple stories that are at best rehashed and worst not properly thought out and executed. Step into the light my son.. DC shall be your salvation.

The problem is…

Superman still sucks. Same goes for Batman. Hell, same goes for Spider-Man, and pretty much any “top tier” comic.

The corporations require the status quo to be maintained so that they can sell ***-man underroos, cartoons, TV shows, etc. Nothing really changes in comics anymore, but they try to sell us the “illusion of change”, even though Hush has been successful (which by the way, I’m currently reading in Hard Cover trades for almost twice what the single issues would cost me), the status quo has been entirely maintained, and at the end, nothing will have changed.

Of all the comics I read currently, I’d say that only The Flash, Legion, and Exiles offer any “real” surprises. Flash mostly because I’m always wondering how Johns will return things to status quo, Legion because the future is totally unwritten since DnA took over, and Exiles because since it’s an alternate timeline, literally anything can (and does) happen. It’s the only comic on the stands right now which has changed over half it’s roster in the last year, and still managed to keep my interest.

The stuff that is really interesting me is stuff I only collect in trade. I’m reading Fables, Y: The Last Man, 100 Bullets, Planetary (which is a terrific analogue for the Marvel and DC universes, and does a terrific job of both parodying, and exploring said universes), and Powers. They’re all gold, but because they’re written in 5-6 issue “arcs” I find I get more out of them when collected than I do individually. It’s mainly because I have a hard time following a dozen or more stories for 6 months, and that’s the way comics are largely being written these days.

With that said, I do love Marvel’s trade program. I’ve bought several of their hard covers lately mainly because they’re so awesome to look at. That’s how I’m collecting Ultimate X-Men, and it’s how I wish I had collected Ultimate Spidey back in the day.

BretHart.com is CRAPTASTIC!

BretHart.com is CRAPTASTIC!

Wow. The new Bret Hart.com redesign is just as craptastic as the old design…just even more craptacular. You would think that the site would be semi-decent, I could throw a dart and hit a half dozen fanatical web freaks who would LOVE to build the guy a site (hell, I could toss the dart straight up, and still hit a guy who would do the site for free).

The site’s built in ASP, but I don’t see any server side technology being used…yet the site is PAINFULLY slow!

Damn. Maybe it’s time to revitalize WrestlingSites.com too! SquaredCircleSites.com is available. Too bad that wrestlers are some of the hardest people to get cash out of.

I’m tired of Marvel Comics

I’m tired of Marvel Comics

With the recent dismissal of Mark Waid from FF, and this past weekend’s annoucement of Grant Morrison signing on exclusively with DC…I think it’s about time for me to seriously reconsider Marvel Comics.

First off, why am I buying the single issues when they are getting reprinted seconds after storylines are completed? Sometimes titles are collected into trades a week or two after the final issue in the mini-series is completed.

Right now I’m reading: Exiles, Fantastic Four, New X-Men, The Ultimates, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Uncanny X-Men

Exiles sucks, I’m dropping it. Fantastic Four will suck once Waid is gone, so I’m off it. New X-Men is going to go through a creative change, Ultimates is similarly going through a creative change, and Uncanny is just sticking around because I’ve been with it for 12 years. Honestly though, I should be dropping it since it’s so inconsistant, and utterly crappy. Ultimates and Ultimate Spidey rock the mike…but Ultimates comes out once in a blue moon, and Ultimate Spidey suffers from the “5 minutes after an arc is done, it’s collected”.

So should I drop all of my Marvels?

I’ll be picking up JLA/Avengers, 1602, and Supreme Power…but you just KNOW these are all going to be collected as well…and the collected versions will be better because they’ll have extra stuff and/or be hardcover collections with gorgeous binding. I know I’ll buy both editions, I guess I’ll just sell the originals.

I’m just tired of being such a lemming. Why do I do it?

Where the heck was I last week?

AOL lays off Netscape developers, and essentially declares the browser dead…and I miss it? One of my new favourite web sites “Mezzoblue.com” said it best:

In future news: November, 2009 — Microsoft issues a press release, raising Internet Explorer licensing fees to “eleventy billion dollars”. AOL executives surprised to discover ‘foresight’ carelessly crossed out of their dictionaries.

No kidding. Microsoft has already said that version 6.0 is the last “free” standalone version of I.E. which they will be releasing. They have stopped development of future browsers for the MAC OS, and are now only focusing on bundling the next version into Longhorn.

I love “the evil empire”, but damn, this makes me shudder. Thankfully we’ve still got Mozilla, who have recently updated the look of their site Mozilla.org, and they’ve started focusing on marketing the browser.

Damn…what the heck’s Firebird? Tabbed browsing, pop-up blocker…annoyance eliminator, skinnable, and faster? Oh no, I may have to switch.

Four Brands…one product

Ryan has convinced me of the need for multiple brands to sell our tool. We’ve already figured out the inline hockey market (hockeyupdater), we’ve started on the comic book market (comicbookwebs), we’re working on the writer’s market (writersquill), and we’ll finish it off with a general retailer tool (retailupdating). HeadsDown will still be the main company, and the place where we sell just plain hosting through, while all of the individual sites will be where a user goes to buy their particular product. Different look, different brand…same great services (although they each have their own twists).

It is a pretty cool concept, and I’m quite excited about it. Especially since it means that we get to branch out to so many different markets, and it really makes us ready for the next waves.

Yahoo buys Overture to secure IP

Yahoo buys Overture to secure IP

Oh for the love of…so now Yahoo has decided “Hey, we can’t beat Google, we don’t want to pay licensing fees to them anymore…so what’s next? I know, buy a smaller company which has some obscure patents, and then sue all of the other players out of existence!”. This same tactic has been tried by several other companies, and usually ends up being it’s own death knell as users flock to “the underdog”, and abandon “the champion”.

Anybody besides me remember Compuserve and their attempt to regain control of the .gif format which they had invented, and then chose not to pursue their rights to? Only to years later attempt to sue everyone into complying with their antiquicated intellectual property.

As you can see by the proliferation of Gif’s everywhere on the web…they lost their fight.

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, DUMB!

Archon revisited!

Archon revisited!

This is pretty cool…One of my favourite games for the Commodore 64, Archon, is being resurrected and brought into the new millenium by this crew of crazies. The screenshots and conceptual art is pretty impressive. I’m dying to play this one!

By the way…

By the way…

The Toronto Inline Bruins lost 6-1 last night…yours truly, scored our only goal. It was definately our best game of the season so far…but that’s not saying much. Some of us are going to play this weekend. We’ll see what happens.