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Hi. That Angry Guy here. Feeling better, hence more angry.

If you haven't heard about it yet, there is a huge price war going on among companies that sell e-reader devices. It seems that the Apple cart (via the iPad) has upset a bunch of people, mainly those people who thought they had the e-book and e-reader device market cornered.

I knew that the $400 price tags on Kindles wouldn't last long, because even though it put many different technologies together in a synergistic fashion, it was still a device with a singular purpose (as are its immediate competitors like the Nook) - in essence, a digital book.

The iPad, like the Amazon Kindle, didn't introduce any radical new technology; it assembled existing technologies into a neat little package that ends up being greater than the sum of its parts.

Tablet computers were conceptualized back in the days before GUIs were even invented, so Apple didn't invent the idea of a tablet computer.

Tablet computers, with varying degrees of interaction, had been manufactured by other companies since the early 1990s, so Apple didn't invent the form of a tablet computer.

But Apple did make a computer that utilized a number of robust interdependent technologies, and that computer had the right form and was introduced at the right time to break the collective inertia of the buying public.

And even though the competing devices may someday add other functions besides downloading and displaying e-books, the public perception of them is already set. The perception is that the Kindle, Nook, etc., are one-trick ponies whereas the iPad has no boundaries.

And, fortunately or unfortunately as the case may be, perception is reality.

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Mary Anne and I weren't always married, though it seems like it after 20+ years. I still had a lot to learn about women when she and I first got married. One of those things I had to learn was how women had an entirely different methodology for shopping than men.

I found it best to think about it in terms of our hunter-gatherer ancestry. Men were the hunters; the first thing we saw that could provide the necessary meat for the tribe was the first thing we stabbed to death and brought home. We knew the general locations where those meals on legs could be found, so we just went there, waited for them to show up, go Stone Age on their asses, and then, VOILA, lunchtime.

Men today shop the same way, except huge discount stores make it so much easier to spot that button-down oxford shirt, sneak up on it, spear it, and drag it back to our caves.

Women? That's a whole different game. One that men will never understand, except to note it somehow evolved from jabbering at each other while wandering among groves of fruit trees.

As an example of what happens when these worlds collide, I present an account of my first married shopping trip with Mary Anne:

...continue reading "AOFM-MWU – Our First Shopping Trip"

AOFM here, not feeling too well. Bad lifestyle choices + piles of stress = world of hurt. We're going to have to make this one short.

As you know, Mary Anne wrote on June 6th about serialized books and how they could open up new (but actually very old) ways of making electronic distribution a little more interesting for the reader and more educational and fun for the writer.

Well, the very same day a bigwig in the e-publishing industry wrote about the very same thing, listing a subset of the same authors my wife listed in her blog post.

Same-said bigwig posted on the same topic on the bigwig's site the next day. That same day, the bigwig wrote about it on a bigwig political & news site.

Wow, that's an unbelievable coincidence, isn' t it?  Predicting on the very day the very topic and even the very list of authors that the bigwig was going to write about, before he did so!

It's like my wife is psycho psychic or something!

AOFM here.

As an old guy who has followed technology since cell phones resembled my BFF, I was more than a little shocked when the news broke that Apple had become bigger than Microsoft.

I really shouldn't have been all that surprised.

The three big things that Apple always did while Steve Jobs was in charge was innovate, innovate, and innovate. While Jobs has had failures both inside (Lisa, Newton) and outside Apple (NeXT), he always manages to learn things from them and, most importantly, to keep the good stuff. In other words, Apple doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Since Microsoft inherited its 800-pound gorilla status from IBM back in the late 80's/early 90's, it hasn't innovated as much as it has... ahem... "borrowed". Which isn't necessarily a bad business model - hell, it's how Apple got a little kick-start from Xerox. But innovation wasn't the most important component of Microsoft that got Bill Gates his billions upon billions. What was important was making sure Windows and other Microsoft products were an indispensable part of affordable computers.

...continue reading "AOFM-MWU – The Apple Cart Upsets Microsoft"

Hi there my little steamed dumplings, it's yours truly, Angry Old Fat Man. We've decided to add a new feature to the website, mainly me rambling on about stuff in the middle of the week to augment Mary Anne's weekend posts.

Mary Anne has a lot on her plate, especially writing-wise. She writes legalese while daylight burns, then comes home and puts in another work shift taking care of me and the children while trying to find time to write her books. Then the weekend comes, and it's laundry, cooking, and bill-paying while trying to think of something to fill a blog post. And then actually typing out the post.

I swear to you, I don't know how she does it. I would have run out naked into the street with a growling chainsaw and a Pez dispenser full of Xanax if I had that kind of schedule.

So being the helpful hubby, I suggested to her that I could post something in the middle of the week to keep readership up.

Yeah, she bought it. HA!

Now I get to torture entertain YOU, the formerly unsuspecting blog reader, with inane garbage insightful comments on random brain flotsam whimsical ideas and interesting events.

Just look for AOFM-MWU in the title of the post around Wednesday or Thursday of a single an occasional every week.

Tentative subject for next week: Apple overtakes Microsoft. See you then!

... it'd be just as unoriginal as all the others, but a good bit more honest about it. (link for the embedding-impaired)

Includes a jab at Grey's Anatomy starting at 1:51.

Made back in 2008 just after the TV writer's strike was over.

All video clips used in this work are copyrighted by their respective owners and are for parody purposes only.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

He is not here, but is risen...

 

May you have a happy and joyful Easter!

Hey guys. Mary Anne's busy with work on top of work, so she asked me to write a blog entry. Everyone always says to write what you know, and I'm a technology guy, so this is going to be about my take on digital publishing technology and some of the changes in store for books because of it.

First off, I don't think paper books are going to completely go away. There's something comforting about the physicality of a book. The smell and feel of the pages, the easy-to-see contrast of the ink on the paper, the order of the vertical lines on a filled bookshelf - it all adds up to an experience you can't get from any digital device. At least, not yet.

A good model that we can use to see where books are headed is music. Saying that the e-book will eliminate paper books is like saying the MP3 song has eliminated concerts. Obviously, that hasn't happened. There are sights, sounds, and other stimuli you get at concerts that you just can't get from iTunes.

...continue reading "An Angry Old Fat View of E-Book Technology"

Hi kiddies, AOFM again. Just wanted to inform you all that Griffin's Law is now available in both paperback and e-book from Amazon, Smashwords, and CreateSpace. Once a few other e-tailers' systems get finished digesting it, it should be out for the Nook and Barnes & Noble as well. Keep watching our book list page for updates on where all of Mary Anne's books can be obtained.

Have a great Sunday, and talk atcha laters. AOFM out.

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The not-so-jolly fat man here again, peeps. Apparently Mary Anne had wanted a serious post, even though she knows I hate serious. I think everything should be fun and funny, especially for an audience. I'm not so different from my wife in that aspect; she's trying to provide her readers an escape from their humdrum everyday lives through fantastic love stories, where I try to lighten everyone's mood via humor.

But she wants serious, so now I'll take you there.

...continue reading "Creating a Book Cover, Seriously This Time"