Well, life has certainly been a bit different recently. I will ignore the week spent feeling half-dead as we caught a stomach bug, and talk about the more interesting parts of life.
First a bit of blatant self-advertising. As some of you may know I wrote a book (a modern-day thriller based round the world's energy problems) and published it on Amazon and Lulu.
Well, I was feeling inquisitive so I wondered if could get it published as a Kindle book, because we both have Kindles now and think they are ace. Good news for those who want to try it, it is an easy process. (Yes, I know the links above are all UK ones, but I have also done it on Amazon in US, Germany and France).
Having done that, I though I would also try it on smashwords, as they distribute to other channels like Barnes & Noble, Sony etc. Then the fun began as I had to fight Open Office to reproduce the already accepted and printed manuscript in epub format. The fact that the PDF I had already worked fine on my Kindle - I checked it - was immaterial, you have to rejig it and play around with paragraph spacing and different ISBN etc. etc. Anyway, got it to work eventually. Of course, just after I had finished that, the original online publisher I used (Lulu) sent me an email saying they were now offering a whole range of epub distributions - was I interested?!?!
OK, so the good news is that having gone through all the rigmarole with smashbooks I now had a version that worked on lulu, and I have blasted it all over the place!!!!
Now, why am I boring you with all this? Well, there is always the vague hope that one or two of you might buy a copy as it's nice and cheap, but a lot of you will probably say "I haven't got a Kindle, or I've got an iPad or whatever." So here's the good news:
- Yes, it works on all sorts of devices. Of course, being run by computer people they are all different formats so we authors have to go through the tedium of converting it multiple ways!!
- You don't need a Kindle to read Kindle books - there is a free Kindle reader app for the PC, the Mac, iPhone, Blackberry (handy when you can't do anything else with it as the server's down?), the Android etc. There is also a free Adobe Digital Editions app for epubs. So you can read lots of cheap / free books on your laptop / pad / whatever.
- My apologies if the price keeps changing - the one part of the Kindle process that doesn't seem to work the way I expect is the pricing. I tried to make it about a quid (UK one pound) everywhere, as I didn't want to stretch anyone in these hard times!
Now the other half of my life!
I got stung by a wasp a couple of weeks ago. I've been stung before and not had any great problems beyond a bit of pain and a secret desire to eradicate all wasps worldwide. This time, however, I reacted quite violently and came out with a mega rash over my chest and arms so off we go to hospital.
Being a sad old computer process man, it was interesting to watch the stages:
- Initial diagnosis / triage where the most important question was asked, namely was my breathing affected, fortunately no
- See doctor, get treatment confirmed - some injections
- Injections with check that they were correct ones
- Check to see all is ok and explain about medication to be taken at home
- Controlled emergency reaction as I suddenly collapse and my wife is somewhat worried by call of "he's not breathing"
- Come round a few seconds later to find team of specialists doing what is needed - oxygen, drip etc.
- Constant vigilance of blood pressure, which apparently dropped off edge of cliff earlier
- Tests to see if I can talk, sit, stand, walk
- Revisit by doctor to see all has been resolved
- Close of trouble ticket and my wife drives me home
Now, if you can't see the parallels to an ITIL/CobIT scenario there I will be very surprised. Thank you hospital for having the right processes and the right controls.