Patty Goes Geeky

A techno odyssey

Archive for August 2010

Beautiful geek jewelry

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My dear niece, Amber, has elevated geekery to art. Check out her beautiful jewelry with binary code secret messages on her Etsy site. Is that a wonderfully creative combination of art and tech, or what?

Written by geekypatty

August 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Got a book in you? Publish it! (And then market it.)

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My favorite author, Mike Henderson, just opted to publish his book, “The Obligatory Year,” on Smashwords. The publish-on-demand online service posted a professional ebook, thanks to the content produced by my husband, the design produced by our friend Deb Dahrling and the technical delivery of Smashwords. It’s yours for $9.99, and a bargain at that. I must say it’s an engrossing, well-crafted novel, even if I’m not the most disinterested of reviewers. For the money, you can access it in a variety of formats, including pdf if you really need to hold a paper book in your hands. However you read, you should buy it.

Our friend, Solveig Torvik, published her book, “The World’s Best Place: Norway and the Norwegians,” there, too.

The parallels between book publishing and newspapers are interesting. As the control of MSP and MSM shatters into fragments, the ease of distributing content is inversely correlated with the difficulty in getting audience attention. It used to be that finding a publisher to distribute your book was hard. Now your work is widely available just by tapping fingers on a keyboard. But another body part — readers’ eyeballs? Not so easy. The Smashwords site claims 14,000 books, and says up front that authors shouldn’t expect to sell much. Here’s what founder Mark Coker says: “Although thousands of readers march through our virtual doors every day, the the [sic] bulk of your sales will come as a direct result of your own marketing and promotion efforts. We provide you free tools to help you do this, but it’ll be your hard work that makes sales happen.”

It’s pretty much life, I guess. Something getting easier just creates a new way for something else to get harder.

Read “The Obligatory Year.” I think you’ll like it. And that’s my marketing and promotion effort.

Written by geekypatty

August 10, 2010 at 10:17 am

Posted in Misc Tech, Resources

Gmail infobits

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If you think your Gmail account has been hacked, or that somebody’s snooping, or if you just have time to kill, scroll to the bottom of the Gmail page and find “Last account activity.” You’ll see a history for your account and the IP address for each access. Here’s hoping it’s just you.

And if you have had your account for a long time, you might not have the extra security of “https” that now comes standard with new accounts. Click the “Settings” button in the upper right and scroll down to “Browser Connection.” Google’s explanation. Making the switch did screw up my Dell start page gadget, but I don’t care enough about one more keystroke to see if there’s a solution I can find. I’ll just live with it until there’s a fix. Here’s the error message I get, along with a live link to open my account:

“The Gmail gadget does not support the “Always use https” preference that you selected in your Gmail settings.”

I think tech people must be really smart. They always build a glitch that needs to be addressed into each improvement they make. Rolling job security!

Written by geekypatty

August 4, 2010 at 10:06 am

Posted in Misc Tech