Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

February 23rd, 2009:

Odd Lots

  • I’m 77,241 words into the revision, of which about 25,000 words are new. So I now have a little less than 100,000 words to go, and I’ll have a book. More has to be rewritten than I thought, but mercifully, not all of it. This is going to be almost my sole project for the next four months or so. Maybe I should get one of those writers’ progress bars for WordPress, if such exists.
  • I finished the second ASCII chart, for the IBM-850 code page.
  • The glyph for the German sharp-s (esset) character is not called “szlig” except within HTML pages, where it appears to be a name invented for the glyph by people who do not speak German, perhaps from “sz ligature.”
  • Bright green Comet Lulin whistles past us today, at its closest a still-comfortable 38 million miles off, but it’s apparently a fine object in even a small telescope, and can be seen with the naked eye if you’re out past city lights. It’s very close to Saturn in Leo. Space Weather has a nice map showing where to look, and when.
  • This may be the hoax of the decade.
  • And while we’re talking digital TV, I’ve been wondering if those little USB TV receiver thingies are digital-ready–but not wondering hard enough to go research. (I watch almost no TV, but you knew that.)
  • David Stafford and Jim Mischel informed me that there is an audiobook of someone reading my story “Drumlin Boiler” in what we think is Russian. (“Dramlinkskiy Kotel”) It’s a 50 MB MP3, so think twice about downloading it, but I would like some confirmation as to the language. Sure, it’s a pirate edition, but these days I’m happy someone is reading me, even if aloud.
  • Bruce Baker sent me a link to an intriguing article by Rudy Rucker on self publishing. The problem: Only your friends will buy your book. The solution: Work hard at having a lot of friends.