The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘html’

Building The Best Library

Posted by BigWords on September 18, 2009

There’s a big reshuffle going on here at the moment, with piles of books and stacks of boxes being shifted back and forth. In the midst of the chaos it became clear that there are serious gaps in my collection, so starting here I’m going to see what I need – with the assistance of anyone who wants to chime in with a recommendation. The first stack that came to hand was – not entirely surprisingly – computer books.

I have managed to get through quite a few of the …For Dummies books, and as useful as they are I guess I don’t react as well to the format as others. They feel like light reads despite their subject matter, and there are better books being published with computerly writings. For the record, the following are the ones I have held on to

Java For Dummies by Barry Burd (4th edition, 2006)
Windows Server 2008 For Dummies by Ed Tittel & Justin Koreic (2008)

No, I don’t have as much as a clue as to why those two in particular remain, the second especially so because I would rather poke my eyes out with a rusty spoon rather than use most Windows products, but remain they do. I must have read something in those books that I thought would make a good prompt, but for the life of me I can’t remember what made me refrain from handing them off to someone else.

The Ultimate HTML Reference by Ian Lloyd (SitePoint) covers code, so any other – similar – books aren’t necessary unless they offer something really different. What ‘something really different’ would be, I have no idea, but if there is something I should be reading then I’ll find out soon enough.

The bare bones ‘n’ facts are important, but context is king, right? History lessons:

A Brief History Of The Future by John Naughton
Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte
Encyclopedia Of Cybercrime by Samuel C. McQuade, III
Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig
The Microsoft Way by Randall E. Stross

And that about covers the computing books. I know I’m missing some important texts, but that’s all there is at the moment. Fiction takes up a larger portion of my collection, so the non-fic grouping needs fleshed out with some good stuff. Any suggestions are welcome.

Note: I haven’t included the Photoshop books or gaming books, because they would really need sections of their own.

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All The Subtlety Of The Tet Offensive

Posted by BigWords on September 4, 2009

Damn… I keep meaning to keep on top of things, but trying (badly) to memorize worksheets, books and other important stuff to bluff my way through essential work-related stuff has had the odd effect of turning my brains to shit. All the walking I am doing isn’t helping, as I’m often operating under less than optimal performance. I’ll share some of the projects from my To Do list here, and show you why things are a bit more insane than normal.

There’s a small company which needs technical manuals, class handouts and such, so I’m putting together a comprehensive pack of computer literature for them. I’ve sorted out most of the important (and essential) basic material, including the fundamentals of HTML, Java, the history of the internet, clear guidelines on website creation and some Photoshop stuff. I’m not going to get myself involved in the teaching aspect, but I’ll help out where I can.

And that’s put in the shade by a massive commitment to a group which has approached me for assistance with a British comic-book guide along the lines of Overstreet. I’ve got a lot of comics from the eighties and nineties… well, some 2000AD, and a shitload of Viz, Oink!, Scream and lots of seldom-heard titles. The girls comics alone (Misty, Judy, Bunty et al) are going to take a lot of research, so I’m sticking to the stuff I’ve heard of.

Re-reading some of the eighties’ relaunch of Eagle reminded me how much I hated the photostrips, especially since the Doomlord strip was eminently readable in strip form. Not sure what to make of the pictures of eighties television though… I must have blanked all memory of big hair, shoulder-pads and oil barons from my memory banks.

My involvement seemed a good idea when I added the project to my schedule, but I’m stepping back for a couple of months to complete my course and get some free time for real writing. The fiction kind. They’ll still be there when I’m ready to concentrate on the project, unless somebody manages to fill in a shitload of information on pre-1930’s comics… I think I’m safe in that regard.

And there’s the continuing saga of the WIPs to take into consideration.

So there is little in the way of free time. Yet I’m still fucking away the small hours of the night with endless games. Between about 2am and 5am is the best for playing something that requires a moody setting, such as Doom 3 – or the tunnel sequences of most FPS titles. All the better for frightening myself with.

Time seems to be slipping away.

November is scratched out in my calendar for NaNo, the end of December will be wasted with Christmas parties and alcohol, and I’m almost certain that the first couple of weeks of 2010 will be hazy at best. October, being ignored for the most part till now, seems to be filling with work.

The endless e-mails flying to and fro at the moment, proposing my involvement in groups, asking if I need work (and generally sucking up) are welcomed, but I really don’t have time to jump into another commitment without going completely fucking insane. Which I’m sure would amuse everyone, but I’m not giving anyone the satisfaction of seeing me in a straight-jacket. (cue bug-eating and shit-flinging)

Did I miss anything? Probably. I’m lost without my post-it notes, and those are upstairs. If I have promised anyone that I would do anything then I guess this is as good a place as any to badger me into progress. I check in with this blog every day, even if I don’t post anything, so I’ll answer anything that comes up.

Just don’t ask me to start a new project…

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Busy, Busy, Busy

Posted by BigWords on June 29, 2009

There’s Not Enough Time In The Day

Last night (and into the not-so-small hours of the morning) was a battle of wills between myself and the beautiful designs of HTML. I’m a big fan of computer languages as art-form, despite having seen the travesties imposed on simple code by folks who would rather be playing in the murky depths of obscure and complicated math. HTML can be manipulated and twisted to allow for all sorts of formatting options, but it gets to be a bit much when I have been staring at a notepad document filled with it for any number of hours.
…And I’m still not done yet. There are fun blogs I have visited, though not bookmarked. I’ll get around to the ones I have overlooked soon enough.

There have been a lot of new additions to the ‘to do’ list in the last week, and (with the lack of sleep ‘n’ all) I have added more jobs. I need something to do, or else I’ll end up chain-smoking, drinking endless cups of coffee and bemoaning the lack of take-away service at 5am. One of my bright ideas was a blog dedicated to book reviews. It’s been set up, ready to go, but there aren’t any actual reviews on it yet. I’ll post one up on Wednesday or Thursday, after I manage to deal with more pressing matters.

Ah, the other projects… Yeah, they seem to be multiplying.

Tomorrow evening is already set aside for the construction of a base on which to situate the largest shed I have ever laid eyes on. It is massive, and will comfortably hold the excess books, computer games and comics once it is insulated properly. When the shed is filled, which will probably take some time, I’ll gain back two rooms which have been used primarily for storage.

A complete list of my collection, for insurance purposes, has been an on-and-off-again job which desperately need doing. It’s #2 on the list.
The notes I’ve already taken for reference has thrown up some surprising items. I’m was working through boxes of European comics, and came across  Greek (I think) editions of Lucky Luke, French reprints of Marvel Comics material and other weirdness. The Italian reprint of Secret Agent X-9 (in hardback format) and a Disney annual (which translates some duck stories to Italian) I vaguely remember purchasing, but I have no idea where all the others came from.

There are also the external hard drives which I have been meaning to tidy up. Files are kept all over the place, and having all of the material relating to connected subjects stored together makes sense. I’m guessing that the job will take a few weeks, though with new ideas popping up every so often – sometimes just as I have exited the word processing suite – I’m holding off from immediately jumping in to this.

Lack Of Sleep x Things To Do = Time Distortion

What seemed like a few days ago to everyone else, Friday to be exact, is more like a week for me. I figured this out about an hour ago, when the compulsion to call a friend up hit me. He said that he was going to buy a new car (Friday, to be exact, not a month ago, just on Friday), and I was about to call to see if he ever managed to get around to buying one. It’s a shock to realize that it wasn’t a long-gone conversation, and I’m beginning to think that I need to keep better notes on any interactions I have – just so I don’t bring up anything which is still in the process of being handled.

It feels like a couple of days since I added anything to the blog, if that makes any sense.

The Milk Doesn’t Go In The Cupboard

Maybe the sleep-deprivation is having more of an effect than I would normally admit. I was making coffee earlier, and I discovered I had put the jar in the fridge and the carton of milk in the cupboard. It wouldn’t be the first time my brain has completely left my body while doing automated actions, and I know that I’ve left the oven on for too long as well. My grasp on the minor activities is one reason why the aforementioned insurance policy has to have accurate information.

Be thankful I don’t have a driving license.

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