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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Request for reviews

Just a simple request for readers of my book: regardless of whether you purchased my book or got it for free, if you wouldn't mind, could you please stop by Amazon and post a review of my book? Be honest; if it rates one star, at least tell me what the problems are so they can be corrected. If you love it, let me know.

I would like to know how I'm doing and one way is via Amazon. So far, I've only have four people give a review (three in US, one in UK). I recognize that some people have posted comments to my blog, which I greatly appreciate. However, more reviews on Amazon mean more people are likely to find it. Let me know how I'm doing and if you have anything specific to complain about, let me know so I can incorporate it in the next version.

Revised edition to be started

I plan on working on a new edition sometime next year. I am currently writing a novel and I'm halfway done. When I have it completed and published, I will start on a new version of my Python programming book.

Expectations for the new book include a chapter on web programming and a more in-depth discussion of GUI development, with pictures. Because of the number of digital books I have sold compared to print versions, I will concentrate on making it look good for ebook readers; at least, as much as possible.

If anyone has suggestions for chapters or would like to help out, please let me know.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Additional changes to this site

Based on feedback from visitors, I have included a few new widgets. First, there is a PayPal donation button, for those who would prefer to make a donation rather than (or in addition to) purchasing a copy of my book.

I have added a Google Translate button and a Google+ link to the bottom of the blog, for those who would like to use them.

If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.

Thank you, news links

I just want to put a shout-out to all the news sites that have wrote about my situation. Here is a list of incoming links:

I'm happy about this, because it is helping raise awareness of the fact that copyright enforcement is getting out of hand. For too long, companies and associations (like the RIAA and MPAA) have dictated what can be done regarding copyrighted material. Their actions have resulted in copyright terms being extended time and again, to the point of ridiculousness. Is there a reason to have copyright for the life of the creator, plus an additional 90 or more years?

From a personal perspective, I wrote my book for the betterment of mankind, not because I knew copyright would "protect" my work. I was not "incitivized" by copyright.

On the contrary, I expressly put my book under a copyleft license that encourages others to share it and make changes to it. If I can make some money it, great. If not, that's okay too. It's more important for people to gain knowledge than for me to earn money.

Github link

A commenter (drmrboy) was kind enough to post the raw LyX and LaTeX files to a Github repository (linked at left). This will allow anyone to download and update the book as needed. Please feel free to correct any mistakes you may find. All I ask is that you let me know what changes you make so I can incorporate them into the "official" version.

Another torrent is available

I messed up when I added the torrent file last night. I left the original trackers from the original torrent links, which are no longer valid.

I have just posted a new torrent file without trackers. It should function like magnet links, using DHT, but again, I offer no guarantees. If someone ones to make a better torrent file, please feel free. I realize that it may "fork" the book's torrents, but as long as people can get a copy, I will be happy.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Torrent link available

So, we'll see how long this lasts. I have just posted a link to the actual torrent file, but not to a torrent tracking site. I make no guarantees that this torrent file will work, but there are many other ways to get my book.

Google Ads are back

Thanks to the kind folks at Techdirt, my plight was heard by the bots at Google and my Adsense account was reinstated.

Five hours after the Techdirt article was posted, I received an email from Google stating they had re-reviewed my case and determined that I am not violating their copyright policies and therefore could have Google ads posted on my blog.

I will be posting a link direct to my torrent file, but not to TPB or other torrent sites. I don't want to go through this problem again (though it would be funny to see what would happen if it did).

One good thing about this is that it has helped raise awareness of the problems with corporate copyright policies and copyright regulation as a whole. When a person is unable to post his/her own products on the 'net because someone fears copyright infringement has occurred, there is a definite problem.

Some of the Techdirt comments say that I should have known this would happen because I posted links to TPB and Demonoid, which are "bastions of piracy". Well, my using them as a way for people to find my book shows that they are also able to be used for legitimate purposes. Just because other people post copyrighted material on there doesn't mean they are wholly "evil". They are simply tools, much like a knife. It can be used for good or bad purposes, but in and of itself, it is only a device to be used.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Google Ads disabled

So, even after removing the links to my torrent files, Google's AdSense team still says I'm violating their policies. Unfortunately, since you can never talk to a living person at Google, I don't know exactly what I'm doing wrong.

Therefore, this site is now ad-free. Financially, it doesn't make a big difference to me; I was only making about $6 a month in ad revenue, so it's not like I'm missing the money.

However, I would simply ask that, if you downloaded the book for free and find it useful, please consider buying an electronic copy, or two, or three. :) Since I don't have a donations button, and can't have ads on the site, book purchases are the only way I make any money for my effort.

However, I will continue to offer the book for free for those unwilling or uninterested in purchasing it. Please don't feel obligated in giving me money. I wrote the book for the benefit of others and the money is simply a nice thing to have.

Again, thank you for your interest and, if you buy a copy, I greatly appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Error found and noted

Update: I have reviewed the LyX file and it appears that the line is not actually indented; it only appears that way due to the page formatting, at least on my system. So, if you are having difficulties, just be aware that the try and except lines should have the same indentation level.

A reader was kind enough to let me know that an error is located in the book. On page 72 (Chapter 10, Listing 10.3), line 8 should not be indented. The except line should be on the same level as the try. If you have been trying to make the program work and it keeps failing, this is most likely the reason why.

I will be updating the book and posting new files when the opportunity permits. Making the change is easy. The hard part is making all the conversions.

I will post an announcement when the revised version files are available.

Removal of torrent links

For some reason, Google has decided that I have violated their copyrighted material policy and suspended my AdSense account. I tried to explain to them that the book offered on this site is one that I have written and, therefore, it is perfectly legal for me to provide links to it.

Additionally, I pointed out that I'm technically not violating copyright because the book is not copyrighted; it's copylefted due to the CC-BY license. Thus, there would be no copyright infringement even if I wasn't the author.

But, Google didn't see the wisdom of this argument and maintains that I am violating their policy. The only thing I can think is that they don't like the fact that I am posting links to my torrent files, as I was linking to my book's page on The Pirate Bay. Even though I wasn't linking to copyrighted material, the fact that The Pirate Bay has been blacklisted in the media apparently means there are no legitimate uses for it.

So, if you would like the torrent file, you will have to search for it yourself. I apologize for the inconvenience. I could simply ignore Google but, since this site (Blogger) is owned by Google, there is always the chance that they will yank my book's site down.

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience but appreciate your understanding.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Updated HTML version available

I thought I had taken care of this when I took care of some other conversion problems, but apparently not. The HTML version of the book had stopped in chapter 6 during the conversion from LyX to HTML. I have made a new version which, when I checked it, should have the entire book now.

If you find any discrepancies with any formats, please let me know. There are a lot of versions available and multiple revisions of them, making it difficult to keep track of what is linked.

However, I can guarantee that the print version is as free of errors as I can make it, since that was the format I wrote for first. Converting the original document is where problems creep in, as the automated software doesn't always work.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Raw book files available

Per a reader request, I am making the raw files for my book available (see the navigation sidebar). The files available are LyX (which I wrote the book in) and TeX (converted from the LyX file). Beyond that, the Smashwords link provides a multitude of file formats if you desire something different to work with.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New electronic formats available

I found a new self-publishing company that converts my book into multiple electronic formats, allow readers to purchase the version they prefer. I will not be removing the free versions, however, as obscurity is worse than losing money.

I have spent two weeks editing the book to make it better for e-readers, but there is a limit to what can be done. The conversion process automatically strips leading white space, so even if I manually entered non-breaking spaces, it doesn't make the necessary indents visible. I apologize for this and highly recommend that, whether you purchase my book or download a free version, you also get a copy of the source code files, the PDF version, or purchase a copy of the paperback so you can see exactly how the code blocks are supposed to look.

I am also uploading the new Kindle version to Amazon. While it won't necessarily have the indents, it should take care of the extra line breaks and the missing chapters some people have complained about.

If you notice any problems with the book, in any format, please let me know. It is relatively trivial to make the changes and upload new files to the various distribution services.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Revising Kindle version

After receiving complaints about the Kindle edition, I looked closer at it and figured out that the conversion process sucks. Apparently converting to .mobi format strips a lot of important information from the book, most importantly leading tabs. Since white space is important in Python, if the "white space" is removed, the programs won't work.

I am manually going through the book and attempting to rewrite sections of it so they will convert correctly. I am not having much luck at the moment but will keep working at it.

I apologize to anyone who has bought the Kindle edition and was disappointed with it. I highly recommend getting a copy of the PDF (or the paperback, if you like physical books), as those were the original target for the writing software. Those ones are good, apart from some minor typos I expect.

I have noticed that the .epub conversion appears to work better, so I will see if I can successfully convert it to .mobi. If not, I will try something else.

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Amazon links

Since Amazon has graciously put my book on their Italian and Spanish stores, I have added direct links to these locations in the navbar.

If you are interested in seeing my book translated into another language, please let me know. The current edition is English-only but I can investigate translating services if the need is warranted.