Ghost of Computer Author Past

You could tell a lot about an author or conference speaker by tracking the changes made to that person's short bio over the years. Here's how I described myself in 1996 for Java Unleashed, Second Edition, a frankenbook written by 24 authors in the book publishing rush after Java was launched: Rogers Cadenhead is a web developer, computer programmer and writer who created the multi-user games Czarlords and Super Video Poker. Thousands of readers see his work in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram question-and-answer ... read more

Interview with Zoe Zolbrod

A version of this post originally appeared in the May 2013 mailing of the Capa-Alpha APA. During the early '90s when I took a stab at becoming a comic book writer, I requested submission guidelines from several dozen publishers. One of the people I heard from was First Comics submissions editor Zoe Zolbrod. Her letter of Feb. 5, 1991, shared a new plan the company was undertaking. "First is going to begin to publish black-and-white, limited-series, creator-owned comic books," she wrote. "These would be sent to us ... read more

Teach Yourself Java 8 in 24 Hours

I'm working on author review today for the Java 8 edition of my book Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours. This is the phase of the project near the finish line where I get all the chapters back as edited Word documents, review the changes recommended by editors and answer any questions they have. I also give each chapter a quick read and make sure the code compiles. (I hate it when a computer book has code that doesn't compile.) One of the things I like about writing a 24 Hours book is that my publisher, Pearson ... read more

Subscribers I Lost When Google Reader Died

Back in July, I noted how many RSS readers my sites had. I figured that the July 1 closure of Google Reader, by far the most popular feed reader used by my visitors, would show up in the stats at some point and I wanted to quantify the change. The subscriber numbers didn't drop for a long time, but it appears they finally are reflected in the analytics on FeedBurner, the service I use to deliver feeds. Here's the past and current RSS reader counts for my sites and the percentage drop: Drudge Retort: 15,449 ... read more

Seth Finkelstein Kills His Blog

One of my favorite writers who covers the societal implications of technology, Seth Finkelstein, is shutting down his blog after 11 years. The closure of Google Reader this morning, which will cost bloggers a huge chunk of readers who follow them over RSS, was the final straw: It's been clear for a long time I've considered blogging to have been a failure, for me. I'll skip reciting again my delusion. In sum, while I treasure the occasional indication that someone has enjoyed something I've written, the ... read more

Matt Haughey on Running a 'Lifestyle Business'

There's a great interview in Willamette Week about my friend Matt Haughey, who has turned MetaFilter into a successful small business that employs around 3-5 people and gets 25 million hits a month. Haughey, who was one of the founders of Blogger, left Silicon Valley for McMinnville, Ore., several years ago. The interviewer does a nice job of picking up on the phrase "lifestyle business," which is used in the dot-com world to insult startups that make a sustainable amount of money for their staff but don't get ... read more

Consultants Sue Huffington Post for Stealing Idea

Democratic political consultants Peter Daou and James Boyce have sued the Huffington Post, claiming that Arianna Huffington and other founders took their idea for the site and never compensated or credited them. Daou and Boyce had a lot of planning meetings with Huffington before the 2005 launch of the site, which was originally intended to be a liberal counterpoint to the Drudge Report. They sent Huffington a proposal for a site called fourteensixty.com that pitched features that were later implemented on ... read more