david.given

david.given

  • Commented on Breaking in to pimp my next book
    I found a copy of Cities of the Air (thanks for that, BTW) on Diesel eBooks here. Are they legitimate? I've never heard of them before....
  • Commented on Breaking in to pimp my next book
    I don't want to download the app --- I don't have anything it would run on, anyway. I just want to download the goddamned book file so I can convert it to mobi and read it on my Kindle. Jumping...
  • Commented on Breaking in to pimp my next book
    I'm actually trying to find a copy of Sun of Suns (because, you know, starting at the beginning). I am failing. Amazon think it's out of print in the UK and won't let me buy the US version. Tor link...
  • Commented on Breaking in to pimp my next book
    Please ignore that lowercase d. While it may make me look like an illiterate denizen of the sleazier reaches of the interweb, Youtube manure fresh on my boots and Slashdot metamoderation points between my teeth, it was in fact a...
  • Commented on Breaking in to pimp my next book
    do you have a preferred ebook vendor? I read Ventus, thoroughly enjoyed it, and want more......
  • Commented on Why I don't use the iPad for serious writing
    Have you seen this? http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/740785012/touchfire-the-screen-top-keyboard-for-ipad It's a dumb plastic overlay that drops over the iPad screen, fastening on via the iPad's own magnetic lid clasps, and provides shape and flex to the onscreen keyboard. It's allegedly possible to touch-type on...
  • Commented on World building 101
    Regarding basic mistakes: I remember one of the late lamented Anne McCaffrey's less good books where, after peace breaks out, a mighty space fleet does a majestic 360ยบ turn and headed for home. Sigh. Regarding the actual article: world-building is...
  • Commented on Cooking in zero gee
    Murray Leinster thought about this in his surprisingly readable 1953 book Space Platform (which to my surprise is on Project Gutenberg). His solution? Saucepans with inflatable teflon balloons inside the lid. The saucepan clips to the cooker, and the balloon...
  • Commented on En route
    I dunno, 'that crazy shit Cyriak does' is a complete and precise description of the genre. (Also check out Cycles and, of course, MOO!, which I think is the best thing he's ever done.)...
  • Commented on I may be being unduly optimistic ...
    Massive, fuzzy, difficult to model problems suddenly become loads easier --- such as machine vision, world modelling, and weak AI. The end result: robots that can actually operate usefully in the real world. We're already seeing some of this, as...
  • Commented on Polite Note
    I gave up cool years ago. I know my limitations. My phone is currently an Alcatel OT-808. It cost me 35 UKP from ebay, and was the smallest qwerty flipphone I could find. A hacked MIDP ssh client lets me...
  • Commented on Synthetic Babies
    It's not genetic, but while we're on the theme of self-improvement, did you know that it's possible to teach yourself to see polarised light? http://www.polarization.com/haidinger/haidinger.html Never managed it myself; the main training tool is a big sheet of polariser, which...
  • Commented on Lies and lying liars
    Regarding the overheads in running your own email: absolutely yes. I only do it because (a) it's my home address, not my work one; (b) I need to dogfood spey because otherwise I won't find bugs (like the one I...
  • Commented on Lies and lying liars
    Regarding greylisting: I run my own mail. When I started doing this, my home server was a Very Small ARM box with no moving parts, a 266MHz CPU and 32MB of RAM, and was just too small to run SpamAssassin...
  • Commented on Lies and lying liars
    Has anyone here not read David Langford's seminal New Hope For The Dead? It's only a few pages long, and it's a member of the very exclusive list of short stories that got published in Nature......
  • Commented on Swirling/writing (3): When I Was Stephen King
    When I was doing Nanowrimo, I used to fall asleep at the keyboard. But I would keep typing. Usually I'd end up with random gibberish, but once I got a complete pageful of really freaky dream sequence (which actually fitted...
  • Commented on Swirling/writing (2): <em>shugyo</em>
    If people like the Silmarillion, they might be interested to look up Brian Stableford's The Days of Glory / In the Kingdom of the Beasts / Day of Wrath, an exceedingly weird future/mythological high space opera/parable thing which starts out...
  • Commented on Swirling/writing (2): <em>shugyo</em>
    I can strongly recommend doing Nanowrimo as an exercise: National Novel Writing Month. You commit to writing a 50000 word novel in the month of November. That's about 1500-2000 words a day. Note that it's very much about quantity, not...
  • Commented on "These Aren't the Worlds You're Looking For"
    Aside from the whole Earth-like-planet bit (and the total utter lack of interest when the colonists discover a local life form that can frickin' *teleport*, for heavens' sake), Dragonsdawn hangs together pretty well. If you consider that how damaged the...
  • Commented on Big Ideas, Little Ideas
    I read Van Vogt. Not often, mind, but I have some on my bookshelf and read them occasionally. He's dated badly but his better books are still worth trying: The Weapon Shops, for example, or Voyage of the Space Beagle....
  • Commented on Rule 34 reviews (contd.)
    ...or even modern text adventures --- there's a thriving community and some frankly awesome new technology for writing them (go look up Inform 7). If you're interested in playing them, go look at The People's Republic of Interactive Fiction, which...
  • Commented on Rule 34 reviews
    Of course, what we *really* want to know is whether there's a scene in the legendary London pub The Frog and Tourettes. I suspect I'm going to have to buy a copy to find out. Curse you, Stross, and your...
  • Commented on Virtually there
    Alas, WordGrinder is almost certainly too slow to be usable on a Psion 5 (I've run it on a 266MHz ARM box and it can barely keep up with my typing). That's the price for writing it in an interpreted...
  • Commented on Virtually there
    Alas, WordGrinder is almost certainly too slow to be usable on a Psion 5 (I've run it on a 266MHz ARM box and it can barely keep up with my typing). That's the price for writing it in an interpreted...
  • Commented on Virtually there
    (1) I have just booted this on my Kindle. It runs as slow as a frozen dead dog with no legs, but it runs. Yes, even the C compiler. (2) I always remap Caps Lock --- that big, convenient, and...
  • Commented on Going underground
    I got a rather confused leaflet from the No campaign yesterday. As far as I can make out, their argument appears to boil down to: AV is bad, because Nick Clegg....
  • Commented on Make it stop!
    You may be interested to know that the Apollo Theatre in London is doing a special. From Ansible: For eager royalists, the eve of the royal wedding (28 April) has a thematic all-nighter including Bride of the Monster, Bride of...
  • Commented on Five year retrospective
    The superhero games City of Heroes / City of Villains has procedurally generated dungeons, typically made of rooms glued together to form cave complexes (or warehouse complexes, submarine complexes, office complexes, field complexes, supervillain lair complexes, etc). They'd scale up...
  • Commented on Obsolete before it ships
    I got all excited for a moment before realising that you weren't about to let slip a nugget of information about that half-mythical, half-legendary establishment, The Frog and Tourettes (which is in London, anyway). Enquiring minds want to know....
  • Commented on Travel tips
    I have, somewhere, a folding keyboard for the Palm III. It's fantastic. It folds up in a sort of four-way zigzag into something about the same size as the device itself, and once unfolded it turns into a full-size, half...
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