27 Oct 2009 @ 10:47 PM 

7Swebcover Today is the release of a print version of one of my all time favorite podcast novels! For those of you who are not familiar with podcast novels, I would invite you to take a look at PodioBooks.com They have some stellar up and coming authors as well as a few established writers looking to try out a new way of doing things.

J.C. Hutchins is not completely new to the print game, his book Personal Effects: Dark Art has made the rounds in my house and I have passed along the link to order to several friends. J.C. is always looking at ways to do things in ways that no one would have ever thought of before.
His 7′th Son series has entertained many over the last few years and with the book release there is going to be an updated version of the podcast. So go buy the book and support this sci-fi genius, and then add the podcast version to your favorite podcatcher. It’s a great way to pass the time on the way to work.

J.C. is promoting this book through various social media avenues, and has been courteous enough to answer a few questions for me.

> 1. For those of us that have listened to the original podcasts what amount of change should we expect from the print edition? Will it be like an extended director’s edition where most of the key elements are the same with the addition of a few scenes, or more like an updated version with changes throughout?

Longtime fans of 7th Son will notice some key differences, all of which I believe improve the story:
- Since the main characters in the book share variations on the name “John Michael Smith,” one character — named “Jonathan” in the original version of the novel — has received a name change to avoid reader confusion.
- New chapters and set-pieces have been written; most of these changes are in the first act, and mostly feature the villains.
- John Smith, the book’s main protagonist, was not put in mortal peril at the end of the novel, in the original book. In the “print edition” his life is now in danger during the book’s action-packed climax. He has been “swapped” with another character in the book, who now remains back within the safety of the 7th Son facility.

> 2. What is the time frame you are looking at to release the rest of the series?

The sequels have not yet been picked up by St. Martin’s Press. Descent must become a success in order for my publisher to invest in printing the sequels. There’s a lot riding on this book launch … particularly the rest of the series in print. It’s mission-critical that the fans come out to support the book.

> 3. Personal Effects had a lot of extras such as photos, working phone numbers, web sites, etc. Will 7′th Son: Descent have any of these elements?

Nope.

> 4. What was your inspiration for the 7′th Son series?

I’ve always enjoyed superhero “team” books — like the Justice League of America — and action-packed high-tech thrillers, such as Jurassic Park. This was a great way for me to dig into those genres, while still telling a very well-grounded story that “felt” real. There are no superheroes or dinosaurs in my book, but there is a lot of technology and thrills. Human cloning is a fascinating subject, from a scientific, ethical and spiritual perspective. That was fun to explore.

> 5. Do you have any new stories in the works?

Always. I’ll soon work on a podcast fiction project called “The 33,” and begin writing new novels next year, as well. Nearly all of them are high-tech thrillers like 7th Son: Descent.

> 6. What television shows to do you draw influence from?

I’m afraid I don’t watch much television. I’m too busy!

> 7. Do you plan on having a book signing tour, and if so will you make a stop in San Antonio?

At present, there’s no formal book tour planned to promote 7th Son, due to personal budget constraints. If I can make it happen, my fans will be the first to know.

> 8. Is there anything else we should know about the book?

If folks want to learn more about the plot of 7th Son, and its “podcast to print” success story, they should visit my site, JCHutchins.net.

If you love a good book, you will want to make sure that this is a hit. Please support this release by going out to http://JCHutchins.net/order and picking up on a few copies, the make GREAT gifts and the holidays are right around the corner!

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Last Edit: 27 Oct 2009 @ 10 47 PM

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 05 Sep 2009 @ 3:07 PM 

Good news! I have my netbook back. It came back with a note from the repair guys stating that they replaced the motherboard. Gee, didn’t I tell the support techs that I had a bad mother board? Yeah, like about 20 times!

So I plugged it in and powered it up. The first thing I noticed was that HP Logo is gone and has been replaced with a Compaq Logo. Not a big deal, but the service guys could have at least fixed the “No Serial Number Found” error message. What ever, it’s an easy fix…

Now, did I get a wiped machine, or did they leave my OS alone? Look, that Apple Logo! So I won’t need to reload OS X, but the bad part is that the system has been down for so long that my Office 2008 trial ran out. So now I have to either buy it or look for another app.

I downloaded the trial for iWork so I am going to try that and then check out NeoOffice as a free alternative. I’ll let you know what I end up with.

So, anyone have any great, must have MAC Apps that I should try? Also I am looking for a way to set a bookmark in an audi file on my iPhone.

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Last Edit: 05 Sep 2009 @ 03 07 PM

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 21 Aug 2009 @ 10:47 AM 

sick laptop

 

So, I was working on a post detailing how I had wiped Windows 7 off the drive and installed OS X 10.5.7 from an iAtkos DVD. First off, it was working great! Sound worked out of the box and so did the wired network, which I seldom use. I was really happy with the way it was working. I downloaded Office for MAC Trial Version and gave that a shot, it was pretty cool. I installed a few other programs that were nice to work with. I set the system up so I could use Remote Desktop and Cisco VPN software so that I could work remotely on my mini. Then one day I hit the power switch and nothing happened.

I did not hear the machine try to POST, the BIOS options never came up, there was no HP logo, nothing…. The power light, wi/fi light, and the track pad light came on. If I plugged the power cord in, then the charging light came on. But that was it. No fans, no system beeps, no indication that anything was going on.

So I went online and did the HP Chat Support thing. The guy had me do some things like unplug the system, remove the battery, and hold the power for 30 seconds. Then plug it in without a battery and try to power on. He also wanted me to hit F10 during boot up, even though I explain that if it doesn’t post, the BIOS won’t load, and if the BIOS doesn’t load then you can not enter BIOS options. he didn’t get it, so I just did what he asked. Ultimately he determined that something was wrong and said he would ship me a return mailer box and a pre-paid FedEx label. I should have it in 3 -5 business days.

Well, a week went by without anything showing up. So I again went to HP Chat. I gave the guy my Activity ID from the previous session and he said he could see what I had tried before and yet he had me do most of the stuff again. Whatever, I asked where my box was. Apparently the first guy never ordered one for me. So after confirming my address and phone number, another box was ordered. Again, this would be a 3 – 5 day delivery time frame. I waited yet another week and still nothing.

I was on the MyHPMini.com web site and I see that someone was talking about how best to get through to tech support for the mini and they even listed a phone number. So the next day I used my lunch break to call them. It took a little while and they guy had me repeat some of the same steps the previous two guys did, but ultimately he did get a box shipped to me. I received a confirmation email from FedEx within a few minutes so I felt confident I would have my box soon.

I wish I would have taken pictures of this little box. It looked like a coffin for my netbook. So I played amazing grace on my iPhone, said a few words and packed the system up. There was a bag for the unit, and a smaller box for the power supply and battery. I filled out the form with the description of the problem and a phone number. It was nice of HP to include a long strip of packing tape to seal the box, I don’t think I have any at home. I took it to work with me the next day and left it in the mail room for FedEx pickup. I tracked it online and it got there yesterday, and I received a confirmation of receipt from HP this morning.

So, I should have it repaired or replaced within a few days. I’m sure I will have to reinstall OS X on it, but hopefully I won’t have to worry this any more.

Anyone ever deal with tech support and have a story to share? Tell it in the comments.

Tags Categories: Tech, The Netbook Projects Posted By:
Last Edit: 21 Aug 2009 @ 10 47 AM

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 28 Apr 2009 @ 7:26 PM 

Pirate Apple Steve Jobs was once quoted as saying “Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?” It is in that spirit that the OSX86 Project thrives. I have discussed turning my HP Mini 1000 into a Mac Netbook for some time now, and I think the project has come along enough to make this a useable Mini MacBook hack.

Image used with permission from David Cortes. Download this image as a wallpaper or buy a T-Shirt version at shinyblacksheep.com.

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Last Edit: 28 Apr 2009 @ 07 26 PM

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 20 Mar 2009 @ 10:52 PM 

 

I have been testing Camtasia Studio on my netbook and made a little video showing some of the cool things that Windows 7 is offering.   More »

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Last Edit: 20 Mar 2009 @ 10 52 PM

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