Leo Laporte’s 2003 TechTV Almanac

Now that my fingers have uncramped I can tell you a little about the book, “Leo Laporte’s 2003 TechTV Almanac” (2002, Que, ISBN: 078972829X).
My deadline was July 1, but I got it to Que at the end of the day on July 6. Five days might not seem like much, but the schedule is so tight that it was pretty late. My unflappable editor, Rick Kughen, is now burning the midnight oil to get the thing out the door in time to make the all-important September 1 publish date. Thank you, Rick!

I know how he’s feeling right now. Doing this in such a compressed amount of time is something like running a marathon. Kathleen captured my feelings perfectly last night at 5:30 when I crossed the finish line…


We’ll do a photo shoot in a couple of weeks for the cover and some goofy inside pictures. The cover is going to be a take off on da Vinci’s Vitruvian man with my head and a bunch of different gadgets in the hands.

I am very proud of this year’s edition. It’s going to be a lot richer than last year’s. There’s a page for each day of the year.

  • Laura did a spectacular job with This Day in History, and every day has an entry. They’re totally fascinating in their own right. I couldn’t stop reading them.

  • There’s a short article on each page, many of them by some of TechTV’s best guests over the past year including Bert Monroy, Mikkel Aaland, John Navas, Alex Lindsay, Donovan Keith, Kevin Poulsen, and others. There are articles from the Screeen Savers, too, including quite a few of Martin’s best Twisted Lists, some knockout articles by Megan, and even a couple by Chris Pirillo. And I had a little to say in there, too. 😉
  • Each and every day also has a download of the day and a tip.

There are more than 500 recommended downloads in the book and several thousand URLs, all of which I checked and validated. I’m going to have to rebuild my computer this week I installed so much stuff on it.

One criticism about the last Almanac was the lack of organization, so this year each week has a theme, Online Security, Windows, Linux, Mac, Auctions, Shopping, Cooking, Pranks, Hardware, Fun Projects, etc. The pages will be tabbed so you can quickly get to the subject you want. The focus is on Windows XP and Mac OS X with some Unix/Linux in there for good measure.

There’s also a chapter of stats and graphs, a phone book of resources, and a pretty killer glossary, one of the best tech glossaries I’ve ever seen, and I can say that because I didn’t write it. A very talented freelancer named Mike Miller did the back chapters. All told the book should be nearly 500 pages and much more like an almanac than last year. I think there’s something for everyone on nearly every page.

Amazon has already started taking orders for it. I have a direct link at leoville.com/book and I get a little extra if you buy it through there, thanks to the Amazon associates program. So tell all your friends to go to leoville.com/book ok?

I really appreciate all the support I’ve received through the message boards and in my email. It helped a lot to know people are looking forward to the book. It also gave me the energy to make every single page just right. I know it’s going to be a valuable resource and lots of fun to read. This is the book I’ve always wanted to write.

I’ll be back on The Screen Savers on Monday, July 8, as scheduled. I hope I can remember how to talk again. It’s been a gratifying, exhausting, exhilarating five weeks.

49 Replies to “Leo Laporte’s 2003 TechTV Almanac”

  1. The KING is Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Will you sign my book Leo if i buy from leoville? i hope if so ill take two!
    long live the KING of the GEEKS! ……..GEEK LUV………….

  2. Leo,
    It sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to get my two copies (one for my parents, actually). Thanks for working so hard to make it great. Now go play 🙂

  3. Hi Leo
    I already bought mine. I would love to have it signed also. I’m sure that will be all planned this fall.
    Thanks again for letting us share in your hard work. The screen shots and two cameras were fascinating.
    Not being an XP user yet (still living in the 98SE era with a Dell PIII) – your desktop seems really amazing. This this stock windows — or a separate program you bought? The calendar feature is particularly interesting. If you (or anyone else) can comment on that, I would be grateful.
    Thanks Leo

  4. I can’t wait to read the new book, it sounds great. I’ll make sure to buy it from your direct amazon.com link so you get the extra profit 🙂

  5. It’s pretty much a stock XP desktop with the Webshots wallpaper. Webshots does the calendar. It’s free for all versions of Windows from webshots.com.
    I paid for the upgrade to get higher rez pictures, but the lo-res shots look just fine.

  6. Leo,
    I am so proud of you. I had a friend in from out of town
    this week and didn’t have a chance to check on your progress.
    I am extremely impressed! I will definitely buy your book,since I
    too have procrastinated moving to XP, waiting for all the bugs
    to fly away. I am a tech. coordinator/teacher at an elementary school
    in Fort Worth, TX., and would like to know what sort of device
    can I get to project the computers image onto a TV screen. Our
    school only has two infocus projectors and I want my other teachers
    to use their computers and software for instruction. Very difficult to
    find the time to teach kids in small groups to use software all
    crowded around 1 computer (especially 4-7 yr. olds) ya know what I
    mean? I also teach in a economically disadvantaged area, so
    my kiddoes have little exposure to real computing skills. I also would
    like to start doing some video editing etc., but am still paying off
    my laptop. I know what I should get,but what can I get away with
    for the fewest amount of $ with PIII 500-900mhz and 256 of RAM. I
    have a digital still camera and some video editing software, Movieworks
    5.2 for a PC. Can’t afford a mini DV and at this point not overly
    concerned with quality. I’m so glad you’ll be back tomorrow! Hope
    you get a nap in today. I’m on vacation and this is the only time
    I can ever fit in a nap. ZZZZZZ Karen Thomson

  7. Long Live The King !!
    Glad to hear that you are done with the book. I know that it will be a great read and I can not wait until it is out on the market. I am going to tell everyone I know who loves computer as well as the newbees to read the book.
    From what you have written in your blogs as well as the screen shots, that I have seen from time time,it should be a great book. To you Mr. Laporte, I would like to say thank you for doing the great job that you have been doing.
    Have a great day

  8. Congratulations Leo. You really outdid yourself this year. I’m proud to be a part of this project.

  9. Leo,
    Congrats on finishing the book! I was watching your webcam when it said 364pages down – 1 to go. I could see the happy and excited look on your face that you were almost done!
    I will be buying the book from leoville.com/book definatly!
    Thanks for that webshots link, I used to use them but stopped: I didn’t know they had that calendar feature! I’ve been seeing that on your desktop cam and I’ve wanted to know what it was! Thanks
    Looking forward to reading the new book,
    Tony Santos.

  10. Couldn’t have done it without you, Laura. I mean it! I think people will buy the book just BECAUSE of the this day in history stuff. It’s really interesting!

  11. you were missed.
    congradulations from a former classmate. While I miss the horned rimmed glasses it will be great to visit with you almost live every day.
    my life mate works with the c4h group so we sometimes get to see you really live.
    i do wish you could check into what is going on with the chat.
    i recall when there was over 200 people in there, with over 100 as a norm. With such a live format the chat was a place for fans and others to visit and learn. Not everyone can watch the show live. Please check into lengthing the chat and including a bit more of your self.
    you are missed there as well.
    keep up all the good work. I will look for the book at barnes and noble… unless kathy can get you to sign one for me. Will you still do that with the new book?
    best to you and your family, and may god bless you as s/he has done us.
    /pastor harry/

  12. Wow Leo! The book sounds great! I cannot wait to get it!!! Thank you so much for all you have done. 🙂

  13. hi leo!
    man that WAS great….back to work huh? bet the kids will miss you, but the wife will be glad to get you out of her hair lol…hehehe…
    well with all my “captures” i don’t need to buy the book?..nah i might have missed something!
    hope my words of encouragement helped (i DID keep it to a minimum beleive it or not!
    glad to see you working..but now alas, time to get a real job….does leo need a FULL TIME assistant?
    i can only afford to get one book…so afraid to send it through the mail for autograph…so will have to come to sf or is techtv going to be at ces? comdex?

  14. I hope you didn’t burn yourself out on the 2003 project. It looks and sounds great.
    Thanks for letting us all “look over your shoulder” during the entire process.
    When should we all plan our vacations for next year so we can plan to do this all over again?
    — Wayne

  15. Hi Léo!
    I am happy to read that you have finished the new book. I will go order my copy today. As with your last book, I am really looking forward to it. It is great to see how proud you are of it. Congratulations!
    – Michael J. Titera
    Fremont, California

  16. Way to got Leo & laura, I’ve bought it already and I can’t wait to have it in my hand!!

  17. Leo…
    Congratulations on finally getting the book done. I know it was alot of work, and deadlines probably didn’t help the pressure.
    We missed ya so, but now your back. Yeah!!!!
    Now go have some fun….

  18. I’m really looking forward to reading it! All that stress… –GONE– …Must feel great, huh?
    I agree, go have some fun!

  19. You can’t, of course, but I chose links that are likely to last a year. And if not, welll that’s the way of the net!

  20. Leo,
    It was great watching the author at work.
    Congrats on a job well done. It’s sounds like this one is
    going to be even better than the last. I’ve already preordered
    my copy, I can hardly wait for it to arrive.

  21. Watching you write this book has been fascinating. What a work ethic you have. Being chained to that computer for 5 weeks and gutting it out like that takes someone with extraordinary character. I’ve already ordered two copies but I know I’ll be buying more. Many of my friends are getting it for Christmas this year. I have a very strong feeling of connection with this book after watching all the blood, sweat and tears that went into it. Thanks so much for sharing this experience and your family with us for the last 5 week. I’ve missed you terribly on TSS and I’ll be soooooooooo happy to see your smiling face on the screen agian tomorrow but honestly, I wish you could take off another week and have some down time with your family. You all so deserve it. Thanks for the memeoies Leo!

  22. Congratulations Leo! It was amazing watching you, and also Laura, work on the book through the webcams, etc. It was awesome feeling just a tiny part of the process. Thanks! You are an inspiration not only in computing, but also in writing as well. Watching you work, has reminded me of a dream I had as a youth to be a writer. As a youth I used to write poetry, short stories, and I even wrote a novel once (which I never completed). Maybe, just maybe, I’ll start writing again. Anyway, I’ve already preordered a few copies of your new book. I think instead of Tupperware this year, everyone on my Christmas shopping list will be getting your new book for Christmas! 😉

  23. Looks like I missed the big event..
    I guess I’ll have to settle for watching the welcome home screen savers tonight.
    Good job on the book, I’ll have to buy a few…
    It’s been an interesting month, with the webcam an all..
    We were able to cry with you, laugh with you, Or at you.. 🙂
    I hope all of your hard work pays off..

  24. Another set of congratulations, Leo. Glad you are finally going to be able to make a triumphant return to The House That Laporte Built (i.e., the set). A few things to keep in mind, though…Patrick is your co-hostMartin handles the Twisted ListMegan’s in charge of the Download of the Day (and did a great job as co-host)Morgain wrangles the Windows TipsYoshi builds thingsKevin’s over in the nookand Darci is wearing the earsIn case of difficulty keeping names and duties straight, print out and keep in pocket as emergency reference guide.Just kidding, of course. Good show!

  25. Let this be a lesson to even the casual observer of this blog; Always Preview Your Post! I’d better sign up for Boot Camp. And now, my post (as it should appear…)
    Another set of congratulations, Leo. Glad you are finally going to be able to make a triumphant return to The House That Laporte Built (i.e., the set). A few things to keep in mind, though…
    Patrick is your co-host
    Martin handles the Twisted List
    Megan’s in charge of the Download of the Day (and did a great job as co-host)
    Morgain wrangles the Windows Tips
    Yoshi builds things
    Kevin’s over in the nook
    and Darci is wearing the ears
    In case of difficulty keeping names and duties straight, print out and keep in pocket as emergency reference guide.
    Just kidding, of course. Good show

  26. You did IT! YAY! WOW!
    Not a drop of Bombay in three counties, huh? :^)
    Well, I know it will be a huge success and I wanted to add my congratulations. I was showing my Mom Leoville when I was visiting the folks this past weekend, and we saw the spy cams, she got to see you scratch your head and then go into a really big stretch, maybe that was you dotting the final i!
    My Mom now wants to get a spy cam for HER computer so she can show us the wild turkeys that come up to their birdfeeder everyday! You are quite an inspiration, Leo! I know you will have fun on the show tonight, it WILL seem like a vacation compared to the past 5 weeks of non-stop marathon writing!
    All the best to you and your family,
    (pre-ordered 3 copies)


  28. Leo,
    Congrats on the book. I hope it is a success. Not to be a naysayer, I only have one small question for you: How can you ensure that all of the links will still be there throughout the year?
    I’m looking forward to seeing you again on TV. Patrick is a good host, but doesn’t hold a candle to the ‘Man’

  29. Leo, please tell me Laura will get some credit along the lines of co-author. She has earned it.

  30. Leo,
    Congratulations on a job well done. I enjoyed the 2002 edition of your book and am looking forward to the 2003 edition even more. I’m going to buy a copy for myself and several more to give to my friends for birthdays and christmas. Thanks for writing and compiling such a great resource for the geeks and non-geeks alike.
    Look forward to seeing you back on Screen Savers, but be sure and give Marty and Megan a pat on the back for a job well done while you were gone. And tell Patrick that he does an awesome job no matter who’s sitting across the desk from him.

  31. Glad to see that all your hard work has paid off! I’ll be sure to get my copy via your link – thanks for posting it. Keep up the good work!

  32. I waited to get Warcraft III until the book was done. I’m playing through the first campaign now. Love it!!! But haven’t joined a ladder yet.

  33. So what was your daily routine, Leo? I’ve been wondering how an author such as yourself spends 30 days writing a book. How many hours did you work on the book each day? When did you start working each day? etc., etc.
    Just curious.

  34. OK, I’m a nerd. Anyone know how Leo got started in radio in his early days at Yale?

  35. Congradulations Mr. Laporte please excuse any punctuation or spelling errors. I’m a 16 yr old rising senior in high school and you are my idol. If I can grow up to be as whitty and intelligent as you then i will be truely blessed. I sadly have been cursed with having two left feet when it comes to learning new and wonderous things. I am the most forgetful person on this planet. I got a job so i could get a satellite and watch The Screen Savers, but I’m afraid it went in one ear and out the other. You are truly my hero and will continue to be my hero even when i’m a 37 yr old man working in a record store for minimum wage. Good look to you in life, love, friendship, and happiness.
    Your Wanna Be Apprentice,
    Jeremy Ryan Lewis
    P.S. Say hello to all the folks at The Screen Savers for me Patrick, Meghan , Morgan, and yes even Martin and i know Martin would have a massive attack if he saw my grammar.
    P.P.S. What ever happened to Scott Harriet and Jessica Corbin, i miss those crazy cats.

  36. Hello,
    Congratulations on your new book. I had just orderted one and was wondering if you would autogragh it for me, it was ordered from your direct link, if you could I would appreciate it very much.
    Thanks for all your hard work & information

  37. Leo,
    Congrats on your book and all of the hard work that went into it. I love your show on the Screen Savers. I will continue to watch you as I pursue my Computer Engineering Degree at Clemson.
    Good Luck

  38. Hey Leo, that photo has a double meaning. If you look at the clock it says 365, the number of days you had to make entries for in your book.

  39. Hey Leo, that photo has a double meaning. If you look at the clock it says 365, the number of days you had to make entries for in your book.

  40. Thanks for all your hard work, Leo (& Laura)!! And please give the whole family a hug from us as thanks for their help, too! I’ve already got several copies on order, and am spreading the word.
    I’m glad you like the marathon pic! 😉

  41. Congratulations on getting the book done, you have been getting a great job on the show, and thats all i can think of right now, so until i post again, don’t eat anything I WOULD eat.

  42. Congratulations on getting the book done, you have been getting a great job on the show, and thats all i can think of right now, so until i post again, don’t eat anything I WOULD eat.

  43. Congratulations on getting the book done, you have been getting a great job on the show, and thats all i can think of right now, so until i post again, don’t eat anything I WOULD eat.

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