Saturday, 2 November 2019

I think I'm taking this computer language lark a bit too far.

I had a nasty dream last night.

    I was being chased by a multi-dimensional array through a scene which reminded me of the first DOOM game. A game I enjoyed at the time, but then I wasn't actually being hunted by faceless daemons.

    The fact that I'm still not entirely sure how to write a fully functioning multidimensional array didn't help - and the soundtrack was absolutely rubbish.

   But I won't let it bother me, because I also got a snippet (see what I did there?) of and idea for the second chapter from my programmer from hell novel.

    I've scoured the house and retrieved my Android tablet which almost wept for joy when I pulled it out of the cupboard. We parted company acrimoniously last year when it broke down halfway through a software update - exactly half way through a software update, leaving me with a main memory of rubbish.

    I booted it up, and after some stern finger-wagging and barely veiled threats of what I would do if it buggered up again, it pinged victoriously and now I've begun the first draft of the first chapter. It's great to be back even if the Bluetooth keyboard is utter c**p. I could type faster with that awful screen keyboard, but I don't want to do that anymore since my furious prodding has already cost me one new screen.

    Onward and upwards, I'm expecting to finish the first draft of this , oh easily within the next year or two (ish).

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Sorry for my absence but I've been on a mission.

Apologies for not posting for a while now. This is partly because I never get time anymore. 

   My daily routine in short: get home really later. Option a: actually speak to my wife for the first time in two days. Option b: eat, sleep and don't see her again for another three days.

    As she recently reminded me (with a sharp knife close to hand), it's our wedding anniversary in a few weeks; either the 35th or 36th. Can't remember which although it always seems so important the fairer sex.

    So I began my newest project at work, where I get quite a lot of time to myself.

    I learnt C, and C# and Python, and now I'm half way through learning C++.

    On the basis that in order to write fiction, one has to be factually correct in most things lest someone complains, as they did in one of my Three Hoodies books, that I'd created a paradox and how was I going to get out of it etc etc.

    I have an idea, quite a good one I think for a novel concerning a programmer so engrossed in his work that he doesn't realise he's responsible for... but enough of that. I'm going to keep it for myself.

    I'll be glad when I'm finished the research - I'm dreaming about classes and variables.

    On the plus side, I'll always be able to code my own Pac Man game.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

I don't think I'm overly fussy but...

Firstly, I'm coming right out of the closet and admitting - I love Android.

    There, I've said it, and I'm proud.

    I bought the very first Android, appropriately named Android 1. It was full of bugs and barely worked but showed promise. Google must have thought so because they didn't even bother with Android 2 and a year or so later out popped version 3, and I've stuck with it since.

    That's where my problems began, and continue.

    The other day I popped into a phone shop to ask a simple question. When I say "a" shop, that's just a representative number for the thirty or so shops I've visited, with simple questions, or so I thought.

    The only problem is, that if you ask any of the so-called assistance for, well assistance, you get nothing. Here's a sample question:

    "When is Android Q coming out? I've looked on the net and called your customer support but they don't know."

    There, simple. Oh, didn't I tell you that if you mention that each Android platform has a name as well as a number then the look of furious puzzlement turns into a loud clanking in their heads, followed by a wisp of smoke issuing from their ears.

    When I asked in yet another shop if the next Nokia after mine was also going to be Octo-core I thought the women was about to suffer apoplexy. Good job I didn't ask something really complicated like: what day is it, or What did you have for breakfast?

  When I requested one of them to describe the (missing) phone specs of a new machine in yet another shop, brain-dead assistant's response was: "Well, it's black."

    Even when I get to the bank the situation's hardly any better.

    T'other day I ventured into my own branch, supposedly staffed with people with at least double figure IQ. I found someone milling aimlessly around behind the counter and after smiling nicely told him that my banking App was very good, but I happened to know that it wasn't going to work with Android Q, and did he know when the bank was going to upgrade the App, since my phone was going to upgrade me from Pi to Q automatically. After a terrified glance at the guard, the young man started fingering the panic button.

    Am I being picky? All I want is for the people who are selling me high-tech computer wizardry, to know at the very least how to switch it on, or the people guarding my meagre savings  to understand how to work all the computers and screens surrounding them.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

It's been almost a year, so I've got a new idea.

It's been nearly a year since I published my last book - one of my best in my own opinion.

    However, since I told nobody about it, I haven't sold a single copy.

    That's alright, I just love writing, although not apparently enough to actually do any more since.

    That's going to change.

    I've decided to write a new novel, in a completely different style from all that have passed before it. And I'm also going to write in under a pen name.

    Unfortunately, that's where my newest brainwave begins to fall apart, since I haven't the foggiest idea what it's going to be about; not even the genre.

    I'll plug in what passes for my brain and wait for something to hit me. It usually does if I let if percolate for a few days, or weeks.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Time for a change

I don't have time or, frankly, the energy to re-edit my books again, so I thought I'd make another change.

    This is the cover I've always used for my first three Hoodies books. I quite like it.

    I once painted another but never used it, and as my sales aren't exactly stellar at the moment I thought I'd give the other one a shot.

    Whether it's any better is for others to decide. Maybe they'll vote with their wallets and either buy a million, or, more likely, none.

    But I live in hope.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Never let it be said...

I live in England, which is pretty well obvious with all my moaning.

    Last week, after selling my soul to the gods of Aprillia, I managed to replace the scooter I had to sell for next to nothing when our Bloo...beloved mayor decided that anything built before 2007 was a belching behemoth exuding enough CO2 a day to slaughter the population of greater London, and subsequently taxed them out of existence for everyone but the ultra rich.

    Imagine my joy as I drove to work on a moderately new machine capable of an impressive turn of speed. 

    Zooming along at legal-ish rate I almost managed to ignore the ferocious heat of the hottest day in the UK since that asteroid blew all those prehistoric creatures to their graves.

   Until, halfway there the temperature light came on, whilst I was doing about forty mph. I absolutely couldn't believe it. I finally get what I want and mother nature comes along and blows it for me.

       And to top it off, after waiting almost half an hour for it to cool down, when I finally got to work it was to a raised left eyebrow from my boss (a sure sign of irritation) as it looked like I'd just taken a shower in my freshly cleaned suit.

     There was no coolant leak and apart from the kind of dry arid wind one might expect from the Atacama desert, all was well. But it was truly hot: 37.5 degrees C, or 99.5 F in old money. I know that's not really much for people in desert climes, but in England it seldom struggles above above zero degrees.

    Far be it from me to shun the sun but I wish our extremely transient summer would sod off. I like it cold.

Sunday, 21 July 2019


Just before I chucked my dinner in the microwave the other night (who said haute cuisine was dead?) I checked the timing for said wonderous machine.

    On the back in large letters was a warning.

    Oh no, I thought, what could it mean?

Warning, it repeated, this product may contain raw fish.

    I should hope so. It was a fish pie.