Packt Publishing reaches 1000 IT titles and celebrates with an open invitation

As a Packt author, they asked me to help share the great news—Packt is about to publish its 1000th book!  To celebrate, everyone who registers on at by September 30 will receive a free gift.  Here is their press release:

Birmingham-based IT publisher Packt Publishing is about to publish its 1000th title. Packt books are renowned among developers for being uniquely practical and focused. Packt books cover highly specific tools and technologies which IT professionals might not expect to see a high quality book on.

Packt would like you to join them in celebrating this milestone with a surprise gift – to get involved you just need to have already registered, or sign up for a free Packt account before 30th September 2012.

Packt published their first book in April 2004. One of the most prolific and fastest growing tech book publishers in the world, they now have books on everything from web development to web graphics, e-learning to e-commerce, IT architecture to games, and app development.

Packt supports many of the Open Source projects covered by its books through a project royalty donation, which has contributed over £300,000 to Open Source projects up to now. As part of the celebration Packt is allocating $30,000 to share between projects and authors in a genuinely unique way, soon to be disclosed on their website.

Dave Maclean, founder of Packt Publishing explains, “At Packt we set out 8 years ago to bring practical, up to date and easy to use technical books to the specialist tools and technologies that had been largely overlooked by IT publishers. Today, I am really proud that with our authors and partners we have been able to make useful books available on over 1000 topics and make our contribution to the development community.”

For more information about Packt, the kind of books they publish, and to sign-up for a free account before the 30th of September, 2012, please visit their website:

It’s Microsoft Monday at Packt Publishing

Packt Publishing printed my book on Microsoft’s Azure (, and to show their commitment to Microsoft technologies, today is Microsoft Monday, with two special offers:

To mark Microsoft Monday, Packt is highlighting five new Microsoft books:

And, of course:

New Office Terminology for 2008

(note: this came to me as an e-mail with a thousand forwards, so if you know the original copyright holder, please let me know)

1. BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
2.SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.
3.ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success, and advancement by kissing up to the boss, rather than working hard
4.SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.
5. CUBE FARM : An office filled with cubicles.
6.PRAIRIE DOGGING : When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people’s heads pop up over the walls, to see what’s going on.
7. MOUSE POTATO : The on-line, wired generation’s answer to the couch potato.
8.SITCOMs: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. That Yuppies get into when they have children, and one of them stops working to stay home, with the kids.
9.STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
10.SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that  has been rendered useless because magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
11.XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies, from one’s workplace.
12.IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are Annoying, but you find yourself unable to stop watching them.
13. PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.
14. ADMINISPHERE : The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the admonisher are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
15. 404 : Someone who’s clueless. From the World Wide Web error Message ‘404 Not Found,’ meaning that the requested site, could not be located.
16. GENERICA : Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same, no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.
17.OHNOSECOND : That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize, that you’ve just made a BIG MISTAKE. (Like after hitting send on an email, by mistake).
18.WOOFS: Well-Off Older Folks.
19. CROP DUSTING: Surreptitiously passing gas, while passing through a Cube Farm.

Parallels Workstation and more – FREE from LunarPages

I’ve had hosts offer all sorts of free components on their servers you can use, or install, but Lunarpages takes the cake this month.  They negotiated with some fine software vendors for free tools or free advertising credits.  All told, you can claim $775 worth of goodies just for hosting with them!

All the free goodies are detailed in the June 2008 Newsletter, but here are some highlights:

Parallels Workstation – I’m stoked about this one.  Similar to Virtual PC or VM Ware, but much lighter.  Free for Windows and Linux users, only a discount for the Mac crowd.  Honestly, I didn’t know they had a Windows version, so their promotion worked on me.

WinSettings – There’s a lot of crap built up in my startup.config I need to clean out, and I’m always looking to boost performance or speed the boot process.

The Logo Creator – I’m a sucker for pretty logos.

Also, they offer bunches of components with their hosting plan, and some additional free tools for managing your site.  Lunarpages has been a very stable and affordable host for me, so if you’re looking for a host and wnat some free stuff, too, chek out Lunarpages.

Community Credit is Fun Again!

In the beginning, Community
was fun.  Make some blog posts, answer some forum questions, and
get a geeky prize (don’t judge me, swag whores).  After a while, some folks
figured out how to game the system a little, and some seriously major
participants also signed up.  Not sure how some of these people got all
those points.  It wasn’t fun, because you couldn’t even come close.

Recently, David has made some changes.  Some of the top contributors
were promoted to the Hall of Fame, point values have been changed, and a
negative curve is applied to winners for two months.  Suddenly, stupid
prizes are readily available again.  I’m awaiting my 10th place from
July.  Woot!

MySpace: New Home for Dumbest Criminals is attracting its share of tech-savvy criminals who are brazen (or dumb) enough to brag about their criminal exploits online. Needless to say, law enforcement officers are finding to be a true goldmine of information for closing out criminal investigations.

Full story at:  It’s a good laugh.

Update: Part 2 at