My big accomplishment of 2010 was finishing the first edition of Dive Into HTML5 and working with O'Reilly to publish it on paper as HTML5: Up & Running (as well as several downloadable DRM-free formats). I also accomplished a few minor personal things, but in this post I'm going to focus on the book.
The book went on sale in mid-August and earned out almost immediately. "Earning out" is a publishing term which means that the book has sold enough copies that my cut of the profits has paid back the advance payments that O'Reilly gave me during the writing process. Which means that I'm already receiving royalty checks for real money. Of the four books I've published through traditional publishers, this is only the second book to earn out. (The original Dive Into Python was the first, and it was on sale for over two years before it earned out.)
"HTML5: Up & Running" sold over 14,000 copies in the first six weeks, of which about 25% were digital downloads and 75% were books on paper. Folks sure do love them some paper. The book continues to be available online for free, as it was during the entire writing process, under the liberal Creative Commons Attribution license. This open publishing model generated buzz well in advance of the print publication, and it resulted in over 1,500 pre-orders which shipped the day the book went on sale. Res ipsa loquitur.
The online edition at diveintohtml5.org includes Google Analytics so I can
evilly track your every movement find out what the hell is going on. The analytics tell me many things. Some highlights:
Although it makes little sense to talk about "editions" of a web site (you can see a changelog if you like), O'Reilly and I have already discussed the possibility of doing a new edition of the printed book. Besides rolling up all the updates since August, we've discussed one chapter on Web Workers and another on web sockets. Since all the world's browsers have recently disabled their web sockets implementations due to a subtle (but fatal) protocol-level security vulnerability, the Web Workers chapter will probably come first. No promises, you understand. No promises at all.
If there are new chapters someday, I will urge O'Reilly to provide them for free to everyone who has already bought a digital copy. But understand that the final decision is not mine to make. Not mine at all. In any event, it will be available online at
diveintohtml5.org for free, like the rest of the book.
I'm not big on predictions, but I do have one for 2011: HTML5 will continue to be popular, because anything popular will get labeled "HTML5."
Zip Chip is an accelerator chip for the Apple //. What follows is 6502 assembly language. You have been warned.
To enable maximum acceleration of everything except the joystick port, the Apple speaker, and slot 6:
LDA #$5A STA $C05A ; write 4 times to unlock chip STA $C05A STA $C05A STA $C05A LDA #$FF STA $C05B ; enable Zip Chip LDA #$80 STA $C05E ; disable I/O delay LDA #$40 STA $C05F ; normal joystick speed, fast language card LDA #$41 STA $C05C ; all slots fast except S6 and speaker LDA #$00 STA $C05D ; CPU at full speed LDA #$A5 STA $C05A ; lock chip
To disable all acceleration:
LDA #$5A STA $C05A ; write 4 times to unlock chip STA $C05A STA $C05A STA $C05A LDA #$FF STA $C05A ; disable Zip Chip
These routines work on both the Zip Chip 4000 (4 Mhz) and Zip Chip 8000 (8 Mhz).
Amazon Web Services (AWS) rents computer infrastructure on a self-service basis.
I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I'm in it for the money.
AWS does not pre-screen its customers, but it does have terms of service that must be followed.
Let's just say we'd like to avoid any Imperial entanglements.
There have been reports that a government inquiry prompted us not to serve WikiLeaks any longer. That is inaccurate.
I have just received word that Emperor Lieberman has dissolved the council permanently.
We've been running AWS for over four years and have hundreds of thousands of customers storing all kinds of data on AWS.
You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
It is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted.
I find your lack of faith disturbing.
Human rights organizations have in fact written to WikiLeaks asking them to exercise caution.
The Force is what gives a Jedi activist his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.
When people go about securing and storing large quantities of data that isn't rightfully theirs...
The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.
Folks need to go operate elsewhere.
Amazon: Let me see your money.
Unnamed Jedi Activist: [waves hand] You don't need to see his money.
Amazon: We don't need to see his money.
Jedi Activist: These aren't the customers you're looking for.
Amazon: These aren't the customers we're looking for.
Jedi Activist: He can take his business elsewhere.
Amazon: You can take your business elsewhere.
The phrase "implausibly illustrated" garnered virtually no hits before I published that piece on Web Workers, and now I totally own it. Could be the start of a new brand, if I cared about that sort of thing. Which I totally don't. Unrelated: you should all be reading Tweetage Wasteland and then unplugging everything you own, just like I am and have. True fact: I am blogging this on paper while playing Prince of Persia on a solar-powered Apple //e. Oh yeah. Just kidding about the solar part.
I've been active online for 9 years now. With one exception, nothing I've done online has brought me closer to making 25-year friends. Life online rewards breadth, not depth. As gratifying as it may be to have 1 million "visitors" read at least one word of my latest online book, chances are none of those visitors will turn into people who turn into friends who turn into 25-year friends.
How many 25-year friends can you hope to make in one lifetime? 25 years is a long time. That's half of a short life, a third of a normal life, or a quarter of an extraordinary life. Depending on when you start counting, 25 years might include some or all of growing up, graduating from multiple schools, getting married (or remarried), having (and raising) kids, changing jobs, or changing careers.
But a 25-year friend is not just "a friend for 25 years." It's not the passage of time that matters as much as the "of course"-ness of it all. Of course I want to hear about your breakup. Of course you can come over anytime. Of course I'll help you move. Of course you'll be my best man, and I yours. Of course we'll be each other's godfathers. Of course you'll "lend" me some money when I hit hard times. 25 years of "of course."
And in the end, and I mean the very end, of course you'll come visit me when I'm all but paralyzed. Of course you'll go outside to throw a ball around with my son while the paramedics take me off to the hospital, again. After I can't so much as lift my legs, of course you'll sit with me in the hospital and help me get comfortable every five minutes. After I can't feed myself, of course you'll ignore the doctor's orders and sneak in some cheese bisque and feed me one spoonful at a time. And after I can't change myself, of course you'll call the nurse to say there's shit running down my leg, and of course you'll stick around to help the nurse roll me over so she can wipe me down, then roll me back so she can change my sheets.
A good friend will help you move. A great friend will help you move a body. A 25-year friend will help you move your own body, if that's all that's left to do.
And when the nurse asks, "Family? Friend?" of course you'll say, "25-year friend." And she'll say, "25-year friend. What a thing. What a thing to be."
In the end, how many 25-year friends can you hope to make in one lifetime? How many do you really need? I would have said "only one," but it turns out what I meant was "one who will outlive me."