Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Getting Published - Catch 22

It's a bit of a Catch 22 situation. Most publishers will not accept "unsolicited manuscripts" and only accept manuscripts recommended by literary agents. Most agents agents don't seem to accept authors who haven't been published before. See the catch?
Now fortunately I have been published before, but if you haven't getting your first publication must be really daunting. I'm lucky that my editor from my previous publisher (who is not the right publisher for this project) is going to point me in the direction of some contacts she has. I'm also doing some footwork myself.
Interestingly all the publishers and agents' websites say (often in bold) "we do not accept unsolicited children's fiction". I guess that's the Harry Potter effect, they must be buried under mountains of paper for the next wizard franchise.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

John Cleese, a dead fish & a Compaq computer

I stumbled across this video on YouTube of an advert from the 1980s featuring John Cleese comparing a Compaq 2 computer to a dead fish. It appears that he did a whole series of TV adverts for Compaq in the mid 1980's.

Friday, June 25, 2010

World Cup & RoboCup

There's been almost a viral posting about RoboCup doing the rounds since obviously the World Cup is under way and the slightly lesser know RoboCup 2010 competition is under way in Singapore.
The article, which originated in the Guardian,  refers to Prof. Manuela Veloso as "he". Manuela who has been very influential in Robocup for years though is a lady. The cynical may of course think "oh of course, the reporter assumes all computer science Professors must be male". Hopefully not from a liberal newspaper like the Guardian.
Unfortunately all the reposts, blogs reports and tweets of this continue to spread the error.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Writer's block

And I thought that the gap between lectures and exams would give me some time to get back to the book. Boy was I wrong, even less done than usual, thanks to spending some time programming the Nao robot & taking it on school visits.
So I'll have some exam marking to do for the next few days and then semester break.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kids love robots

I guess all children love robots. I took our new Nao robot to Ponsonby Primary School today (my wife is a school teacher there). The children loved it, and some were very observant and asked some very insightful questions. They particularly liked it when he fell over, tried to get up, fell over again and then finally made it back onto his feet - they all cheered then and were really emphasising with it.
A video clip of it is here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

We Live in Public

I watched a documentary last night called "We Live in Public" about dot com and social networking pioneer Josh Harris. I highly recommend it. Wow what a weird ride. It won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and was also shown at SXSW Film Festival. I have to say I thought he was a bit harsh to his mother.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Steve Jobs - On whether tablets will replace the PC

Steve Jobs - On whether tablets will replace PCs: he Compares them to vehicles..."When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that's what you needed on the farms. But cars eventually became more prevalent as people moved to cities. PCs will be like trucks...they are still going to be around, but there is a transformation coming, and it will make some people uneasy. Is it the iPad? Who knows? Will it be next year or five years from now?" http://bit.ly/cjH47i

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Last Week of Lectures...

...and we have that glorious window between the end of lectures and exam marking. So I should be able to get some writing done for a few weeks.
Still loosing time with the new Nao robot. I've just put in a bid to Faculty to purchase three more so we can have a RoboCup team. That would be cool, the students would love it.