Argh

deadxbox1

It’s true. My xbox has succumbed to the red ring of death. No more lunchtime drum breaks until it’s fixed. Of course, it might be a good thing, as repeated Run To The Hills fails have given me an inferiority complex, but still — we’re all very sad.

Packing it up to send it for service excited the cats to no end, however. In order to catch the UPS guy, I had to pack it up in about half an hour, with not a single suitable box in the house and no bubble wrap.

I solved that problem easily enough, but have you ever tried to pack something in a hurry with the help of three bored and lonely cats? I’d get one out of the box and stop the other from shredding the foam just in time to stop Booger from getting his whiskers stuck to the packing tape.

(No one — and I repeat, no one — must ever tell el Jeffe what happened to his roll of stuff that goes under laminate flooring.)

Wake Me When School Starts

You can always tell how busy I am by how often I blog. Obviously, things have been a bit crazed around here, juggling work with family. We’re sticking with the theory that things will settle down once the kids are back in school.

Yeah, I know better.

We’ve also got a huge end of summer event ¬†coming up the last week of August on the LPI blog. Next there’s a new promotion model workshop to contend with, now that consumers have steered ebook distribution into oddly familiar waters.

In other news, I’m so not enjoying my preliminary heart attack over the Microsoft Word custom xml schema meshigas. Did I mention our entire, revolutionary and custom-made production system runs (in part) on said schema?

There’s also a burgeoning conspiracy theory in this house that if federally or state funded universities a/o government entities commit seriously to etextbook technology, digital publishing could become the next industry facing government regulation. National ebook care, anyone?

Somehow, the highly capitalistic Tower of eBabel doesn’t make me cry so much at night anymore.

I’ll leave you with that troubling thought. Enjoy.¬†drama

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Well, vacation’s a bit of a misnomer, I have to say, but I’ve been so quietly lately I figured I should explain myself.

I’m in rather a holding pattern, it seems, quietly watching the industry we all knew and loved change utterly from one minute to the next. Even something so basic as the ISBN is in flux, new markets are emerging, old ones are collapsing. What’s been standard business practice for years is being warped and twisted and wrung for its last penny by whichever enterprise has the biggest, most shameless vise, all wrapped up in shiny red “groundbreaking” packages.

I seem to go from excitement to outrage to apathy and all points in between, worrying about how to protect our authors, worrying which risks are viable and which will turn out to be mistakes. And of course there’s always “how to make buying a digital book a better experience than torrenting it” and “was Netflix on to something” debates to really keep the graymatter spinning.

I do take the occasional step back far enough to realize this is the turning point digital publishing has been waiting for. Of course, that brings with it the hope that someone will come to their senses and preserve the best parts of tradition and quality control for the readers taking their first steps into what’s sometimes an insanely complicated process that used to be as simple as buying a book, finding somewhere quiet to read it, and opening the cover.

In a nutshell, I think I’ve spent my summer vacation thinking too much. Boring of me, but it’s certainly an interesting time.

Meow?!

If you’ve ever worried what long-term effect text-messaging, LOL or 733+ speak might have on literature, I have good news.

Child #1, who is fourteen now, has reported that one of her friends on the internet told her the following:

“However many exclamations you leave in your manuscript is how many cats you’ll have when you get old.”

Fear not. The future is in sarcastic, but good, hands.

…an den?

Brian just showed me one more reason to love the internet.

Adventures in Computing

Here’s a little tip from the newly educated…

If you’re running Vista, and especially if you’re using Windows Live One Care, and your hard drive’s getting full? Run, do not walk, to the nearest Clean Disk utility. Let it run, then click the More tab.

Delete your old restore points.

150 GB (yes, that’s GIGABYTES, not megabytes) gone, just like that.

I’m so annoyed right now, I could scream.

Oh NOOO

Only three days of school left, which makes this extra funny.