"I took myself down to the cafe to find all the boys lost in books and crackling vinyl
And carv..." ~ Passage - Life's for the Living (Quote)

New Books Available for Pre-Order

I’ve spent the last three months working hard on writing two new e-books. They are “iOS 8 for Users and Developers” and “OS X 10.10 Yosemite for Users, Administrators, and Developers”. These are available in two different formats, iBooks and ePub.

iOS 8 for Users and Developers Cover

iOS 8 for Users and Developers looks at all of the new features for iOS 8 including Family Sharing, Health, Spotlight, iCloud, Extensions, Custom Keyboards, Handoff, HomeKit, Changes to Messages, Safari updates, and Mail changes.

Specifically for developers we look at Handoff, HomeKit, extensions, Custom Keyboard Security, Touch ID API, Sprite Kit, Scene Kit, CloudKit, PhotoKit, WebKit (WKWebView), Universal applications and Size Classes, switching to Modern Objective-C, Visual Debugging, the basics of Swift, and how App Bundles will affect developers.

Pre-orders are available from Apple (ePub), Apple (iBooks), or Amazon (ePub).

OS X 10.10 Yosemite for Users, Administrators, and Developers

OS X 10.10 Yosemite: for Users, Administrators, and Developers looks at all of the new features of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, including Handoff, SMS Relay, the updated look, Extensions, and changes to Safari and much more.

For Server Administrators we look at the ability to customize connectivity globally as well as on a per-service level and the implications of some configurations. Also discussed is the new “Reachability” feature and security.

For the Developers we take a look at the new Frameworks available with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the changes to Xcode, and a brief look at Swift.

OS X 10.10 Yosemite for Users, Administrators and Developer has something for all users of OS X.

Pre-orders are available from Apple (iBooks), Apple(ePub), or Amazon (ePub).

One section of the OS X 10.10 Yosemite for Users, Administrators and Developers has also been made into a separate e-book. That e-book is titled “OS X 10.10 Yosemite for Server Administrators”

OS X 10.10 Yosemite for Server Administrators

OS X 10.10 Yosemite for Server Administrators looks at all of the new features of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, including Handoff, SMS Relay, the updated look, the ability to customize connectivity globally as well as on a per-service level and the implications of some configurations. Also discussed is the new “Reachability” feature and security.

Pre-orders for OS X 10.10 Yosemite for Server Administrators are only available from Apple. The two versions are iBooks or ePub.

Defining Ourselves

This post is an off-shoot by my post “How I Use Twitter”. Originally I was going to publish it was one post, but after looking at the length of each, I decided to separate them out. Either way, both of these stem from Episode 3 of Analog(ue) on Relay.fm where Casey and Myke discussed Identify. There was one section in particular that got me to thinking about it, because I can completely relate.

During the conversation Casey stated:

“I think of myself…and as a hard worker, and decent at my job. I scratch fewer itches with my JOB job, and I scratch more itches with this…that’s been an odd thing for me to come to terms with. Where I used to put 150% into my JOB job, I don’t feel as though I haven’t gotten a lot out of my J.O.B. job lately, and because of that I would say that I’m not putting in 150% anymore.”

This last sentence, absolutely rings true for me. Sure, I still do my job and get things done but I am no where near as happy, nor as fulfilled, with my J.O.B. job as I used to be. It could be due to burn-out, or it could be due to having to pick up too much slack from others. Regardless of the reason, this also got me to thinking “How have I been “scratching my itches?” For the last 3 months it has been writing two e-books (which are almost ready as I write this). That’s how I have been scratching my itches lately. In the past I have done other things to scratch my itches, more on those in a bit.

There’s another show on Relay.fm, Inquisitive where the first question is always “What do you like to be known for?”, and it’s a very good question. When I first thought about the question, I honestly didn’t know how to begin to answer it.

But, after some thinking about it I did determine how I would respond. My answer would be “Writer”. You might be thinking, “But you don’t write for a living” and yes, you would be correct. However, I do write. I may not be writing what most people would considering “traditional” writing, but it is writing none-the-less. Yes, I do write e-books and I write blogs posts, like this one. Do I write for a living, no. I write in my spare time. It’s what I use to “scratch my itch”. The things I do write are Objective-C Code, HTML, CSS, and Javascript. These are most definitely not what one would consider “writing”, but it is writing.

The writing of e-books is pretty self explanatory. Thus far I have only written non-fiction e-books. I have not yet delved into the world of fiction. While all writing requires effort, Non-fiction requires some effort with unique items. Effort in the actual writing, through research, in editing the e-books, assembling the book and even posting them to the different stores. All of these take time and when something doesn’t go right, it requires additional effort to fix the issue.

I’m an engineer by nature. As an example, in a meeting after Amazon announced their Drone program, the topic of having a drone fleet at work came up. Instead of worrying about the implications and policy of what a drone fleet would mean, I was thinking “How would one control a drone fleet?”, “What servers would be involved?”, “How would one keep them charged?” and countless other engineering questions.

Given my engineering nature, writing non-fiction could easily be seen as a natural fit. Non-fiction, much like engineering, makes you think about how everything fits together and works together. As an engineer you want to make sure everything is working, and most importantly, to do it yourself. Yes, you will have to rely on others for some things, yet you want to accomplish a majority of this by yourself.

Since I like to write, would I like to write for a J.O.B. job? I think I would. If it’s a “traditional” writing position it would have to be one where I can do some more in-depth research and does not necessarily have a strict quota for churning out posts. Sites that require a huge turn out, particularly at being the first to break some news, are the sites that I despise the most.

When I write an e-book, I do have a deadline. It is typically the release date of the item that I am writing about. However, when I’m writing a web-app, or an actual app, there typically isn’t a deadline. It’s ready when it’s ready. Regardless of what I’m working on, some days I make significant progress, others I do not. It just depends on what happens during that day.

Overall, I want to be known as a writer. A writer of not only words, but code. Whether you write words or write code, the end result is a product, and that product should be what defines you. You shouldn’t be defined by what clothes you wear, what phone you use, nor whether you are up to date on the latest trends. All of these are fleeting and in the grand scheme of things, not really worth the time. However, the result of these products that could last forever. These are what defines us.

So my question to you, “What do you like to be known for?”

How I use Twitter

I finished listening to Episode 3 of Analog(ue) on Myke Hurley’s Relay.fm. The topic was “Identity” and during the episode Casey and Myke were discussing Twitter and how some Twitter users all about the numbers. Hence, how some users define themselves by those they follow, or follow them, on Twitter. To some extent, I do this. While I do care about the number of people that follow me, because on some level we all do, it’s not how I use Twitter. I have been using Twitter for 2775 days, or just over 7 1/2 years. During that time, the way I use Twitter has changed.

I originally used it as a way to indicate what I was doing throughout the day. If you look back at my first posts on Twitter, you would see this. A little over 2 1/2 years after joining Twitter, October of 2009, I started doing my “Daily Run Down” blog posts where I would summarize the news of the day in a list of links. I did this to garner more attention and share more on Twitter. I ceased the publication of my “Daily Run Down” articles on July 4th, 2013. Subsequently, the way I use Twitter has shifted again. Now I use it as a way to actually communicate and connect with people, not just as a broadcast medium.

I have never been a 100% completionist when it comes to Twitter. In the beginning of Twitter, I was more so than I am now. I follow too many people (1,551 as of this writing). I usually consider Twitter to be like a party. I don’t usually know what happens before I arrived, and while I may hear about it during my current session on Twitter, I wasn’t there at the time. Likewise, I don’t know what happens after I leave. There are times that I will scroll back a bit to see what was said, and if the conversation is interesting enough I will try to trace it back to its start and read the entire thread.

When Twitter introduced lists back in September of 2009, I immediately began grouping those that I follow, and sometimes those that I do not. Some of the lists are just categorizations, like “Chicago”, “Apps”, “Bloggers” and more. Yet, there is one private list that where I am a completionist. It is a list called “Friends”. This list is purely for those who I would, and in most cases do, consider friends. These are the individuals where I actually do care what happens and these are the individuals I interact with most often. If you’re on this list then I will very likely read everything you post. Yet, you will never know if you are on this list, because it’s a private list.

I don’t have many “meat space”, or “real life”, friends. I only have a few. I make up for my lack of “real” friends by using Twitter. As mentioned before, I do consider many, if not all, of those on my “Friends” list, to be actual friends. You could say considering those I have never met to be friends, as an aspect to the introverted part of myself and to some extent this would be accurate. In general, I am not one who like parties (I don’t mind family parties most of the time). I don’t enjoy being the center of attention. Yet, strangely, I have no issues giving talks on things, provided it is a topic that I am well versed in. I tend to prefer staying out of the spotlight and at the edges of gatherings.

Twitter is where I go to find news, do quick rants, and overall converse with people. Twitter fulfills that physical interaction, which was mentioned in Episode 3 of Analog(ue), that a vast majority of humans need to survive. While I do not use Twitter like most others, It does serve a purpose for me. The question becomes, how do you use Twitter? Do you only follow celebrities? Do you only use it to socialize with your closest “meat space” friends? However you decide to use Twitter, as long as it works for you, ignore others if they say “you’re doing it wrong”. Because what’s right for them, is not always right for everybody else.

Snoopy’s Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS association is having people take the Ice Bucket Challenge. The idea is you dump a bucket of ice water over your head to raise awareness for ALS. If you accept the challenge you can nominate 3 others to take the challenge. They have 24 hours to accept the challenge.

Here is a video of Snoopy taking the Ice bucket challenge.

No, I will not take the challenge… not unless the temperature gets to be about 95 here.. then maybe…but highly unlikely.

E-books Purchasing Poll

Right now I’m working on my next two e-books and I’m wondering where people purchase their e-books from. So I have setup a poll to determine where the best place to sell the e-books would be. Please take part and let me know where you like to buy your e-books from. There are three questions total.

Where do you purchase e-books?

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What is the most you would pay for an e-book?

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Would you purchase an e-book directly from the author?

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