Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

February 3rd, 2010:


Not having much luck making Workstation 6 function, and two conversations and numerous emails with VMWare’s tech support people hasn’t helped. I install the product, I enter the serial number as requested, and get this error message. Has anybody else ever seen this? Or can anybody even explain it? I emailed the screenshot to VMWare, and that’s about the time they clammed up.

I hate to abandon Workstation entirely. VMWare’s snapshot system is far superior to that of VirtualBox, and I use it a lot. I’ll miss it. Boy.

And while I’m asking peculiar things, let me ask the multitudes here how you pronounce “iodine.” I have always said eye-oh-dyne, but Bob Thompson, who knows more than a little about chemistry (and certainly more than I) pronounces it eye-oh-deen. This lines up with the rest of the halogens; we don’t, after all, say “broh-myne.” So? Which is it?

I edited another half a chapter of FreePascal From Square One yesterday morning, and in laying out the edited material got up to page 136. The book I’m adapting it from is 800 pages long, but don’t look for anything that size. To be workable on Lulu, the book is going to have to stop at or before page 400. A lot of the material in Borland Pascal 7 From Square One just doesn’t apply anymore…who’s called the Borland Graphics Interface lately, or done text output by poking word values into the video display buffer? The BGI chapter was 100 pages all by itself, and when I slice out that and other things like overlays and DOS/BIOS calls, I’m really pulling 400 pages out of no more than 600 pages of useful material, maybe less. Should be done by June. I hope.

The issue of whether Amazon imposes DRM on Kindle publishers is complicated, and I’ll back away some from my statement to that effect on Monday, and will hold off until I try to get one of my own titles into the system. This article suggests that recent policy changes have made DRM optional. Having to face the DRM issue square-on has kept me putting off publishing on the Kindle for some time. As a very small publisher I’ve made this promise to my readers: No DRM of any kind, on anything, ever. I’m willing to forgo Kindle sales if the DRM decision is not my own, but from what I’m reading now, I think that won’t be the case.

As for Amazon caving, well, that’s more complex too. I see that Nancy Kress’s new book Steal Across the Sky is listed on the Amazon Web store, and her publisher, Tor, is one of Macmillan’s imprints. However, you can’t order it from Amazon at this time. (Third-party affiliates are offering it, but Amazon itself is not. Note the double dashes under “Amazon Price.”) Ditto Nancy’s Beggars and Choosers, another Tor book. Yesterday morning’s Wall Street Journal had a story explicitly stating that Amazon had conceded the price issue to Macmillan. But Amazon isn’t selling the books yet, so clearly the struggle goes on.

Off to church, to install an SX270 in place of a doddering old E-Machines box that is four times the size and probably a third the capability.