For the next three Sundays I’ll be doing an extra hour on my KFI radio show from 3-4p. We’re taping calls for later airing, so if you’ve had trouble getting in before, try between 3 and 4p for the next three Sundays!
My buddy Alex Wellen’s book, Barman, is out, and it’s a peach. Sexy, funny, and a great read.
Alex will be doing a reading at Cody’s on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, 7:30 tonight. I’m going to have to miss that one, but Megan and I plan to attend his reading Wednesday at 7:00p at Book Passage in Corte Madera. See you there?
You may notice a new look for the blog today. I’ve migrated from Movable Type hosted on leoville.com to TypePad, a Movable Type based program hosted at typepad.com.
TypePad offers me all sorts of additional features including the bookshelf at right and photo blogs. I’ll be moving the mobile phone blog over here as soon as they figure out how to support Sprint PCS phones.
The direct url for the blog is http://leo.typepad.com, or click the Blog link anywhere in Leoville. The RSS link has changed, too. Please update your aggregator to point to http://leo.typepad.com/tsn/index.rdf.
The Screen Savers own Yoshi has started a message board focusing on hardware hacking. It’s really great! Check it out at yoshi.us/forums
In one week my book will go into its second printing. That’s a good thing; it means we’ve sold out the first printing of 50,000 copies. It also means I can correct any typos or errors in the first edition.
Laura and I have been going through it, and we’ve found some errors. If you’ve found any yourself, please let me know. Send me an email or add a comment to this blog entry. No error is too small to ignore – I want to make the second edition perfect!
I’ll send a Leoville mug and t-shirt to the person who finds the most errors.
Thanks for your help!
A programming note… I’m taking today off to take Henry to game 3 of the World Series. Henry plays for the Angels in Little League, so he’ll be rooting for the Angels. But as a concession to me he’ll be wearing a Giants warm-up jacket to offset his Angels cap. I’ll post pictures if we don’t get beat up.
I’ll be back on the show tomorrow.
A quick programming note: I’ll be hosting Call For Help on Friday while Chris is on vacation. That’s 10/11 at 5p Eastern.
Also Patrick and I will be making a rare appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area, at the Best Buy in Dublin, on Saturday, November 16. It’ll probably be from noon to two. And because it’s a local appearance we’re hoping to get the entire Screen Savers crew there, too! That’ll be a real first.
Normally I’d be very slow to change versions on something as complex as a message board, but everyone is raving about UBB.Threads 6.0, and it’s been out for six weeks now so it’s fairly stable. I guess I’ll take the chance and update Leoville’s Town Square this weekend. The boards will be down for a few hours on Sunday morning, but barring catastrophe, should be back up by the early afternoon. (They better be, I want to go to the beach!)
It will take me a little longer to modify the appearance to suit the Leoville style, and there may be some bugs at first, so please bear with me.
I know how important the message boards are to many of you, and I think you’ll like the improvement once the dust settles.
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.
During the writing of the Almanac I downloaded and tried a new CD writing program from Germany called InstantCD (nice little program actually). After burning a disc it puts up this message.
I’m exhausted. Tomorrow I have to start on the Foreword. Monday it’s back to The Screen Savers. But for now I’m going to go out and get drunk. G’night!
It’s a beautiful day in New York City, a little breezy but a balmy 75 degrees. I just had brunch with my long time director, Chris Adair, and her husband Marty. Chris directed both Call for Help and The Screen Savers for years. She left us last November to take over NewsNight with Aaron Brown for CNN. She’s doing so well in the Big Apple, like other former TechTVers, Kate Botello, and our beloved booker, Casey Fisher. It’s good to see that there’s life after TechTV. In Chris’s case a pretty good life, too!
After brunch I visited the National Museum of National History ‘ it’s incredible. I can’t wait to take the kids there the next time I come out.
I’m in town to do two pieces for World News Now, ABC’s overnight newscast. I’ll tape both at around 11p tonight, one for air tomorrow around 3am, the other for a month later. It looks like I’ll be doing this every other month from now on. I brought some very cool new gadgets to show.
Monday, 6/3 I’ll be showing:
* Logitech Pocket Digital credit card sized digital camera.
* Panasonic SV-AV10 mini video camera
* POGO Flipster portable Windows media player
* Wave Industries Olympia Soundbug that turns any flat surface into a microphone
* Nyko Airflo Controller, a Gamecube/PS2/Xbox game controller with a built-in fan
* and those cute Tomy Bit Char-G mini RC Cars
Next month I’ll show:
* the new Sony/Ericsson T68i cell phone
* Motorola’s beautiful new v70 cell phone with swivel cover
* Good Technology’s G100 Blackberry killer
* the Handspring Treo 270 color PDA/cell phone
* the Sony Clie NR70V Palm PDA with keyboard, MP3 player, and camera built in
This visit I’m trying a new hotel in the Upper West Side ‘ closer to ABC, and just across the street from the museum. I picked the hotel because it claimed to have high-speed Internet access. Hah! Their idea of broadband is Web TV. There’s no way to hook up my laptop. Fortunately, I brought a little program along called MacStumbler, a port of the netstumbler program. It searches out 802.11b or WiFi wireless networks. I stuck my iBook out the window and found not one but two, unprotected connections. You’d be amazed how many of these there are. I’m finding that I can get online almost anywhere. I’m ‘borrowing’ one of the connections to post this. I have to sit near the window, but otherwise it works great. I guess the hotel does have high-speed Internet access after all!
I’m flying back tomorrow morning, but instead of going to the studio I’m going home to take a one month sabbatical. That’s right, I’ll be off the air until July 8! My publisher came to me last Thursday and asked to move the publication date back two weeks to September 1, which means they need a completed manuscript by July 1. I told them I could only do it if I took the entire month of June off, never expecting that to happen. But it turns out that the book is very important to TechTV, and they really want to get the benefit of the promotion (and resulting sales) that can happen if the book ships by 9/1, so they agreed to do it.
I’ll be using two weeks of my vacation time, and a two-week sabbatical I earned in 2000 but never took. In order to make the deadline I’ll have to write about 7,000 words a day. This blog entry is just under 700 words so multiply by 10! Fortunately, I’m seldom at a loss for words (have you noticed?) and much of the material comes from stuff I and others have already written for the TechTV web site. It’s going to be like pulling 30 consecutive all-nighters nonetheless. Come July 8 you’re going to see a guy very anxious to get back on TV!
Well I’d better post this and give Mr. Hartmann back his WiFi connection. I’ve got to run out and get a slice of pizza and then come back and rehearse for my segment tonight. It’s my last day of freedom before I have to get down to it and start writing. I’ll try to post once in a while, but you’ll understand if you don’t hear a lot from me until next month. Wish me luck!