Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

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.

One Comment

  1. Bob Halloran says:

    On the “USB TV-receiver thingies”; if they say they support ATSC, then they’re OK for over-the-air digital TV. If they mention QAM, then they’re good for (unencrypted) digital cable.

    Picked one up on a auction site for cheap and tried it in my home box; split the cable feed going into my router, put a cheapie inline signal booster on it and fed the extra leg into the video dongle. Was able to get most of the digital channels, though I had to work out what raw cable channels mapped to what networks by bringing them up and looking for the little logo in the corner. This is what gets done by the converter box in front of your TV.

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