Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Im back at work

I've just been cleared to return to work. I Have almost finished the first edit, currently at 700 pages. Before my next operation in two months time I will do some more work to get the book into a shape that it can be sent to some publishers. This will involve a little restructuring and writing some of the missing chunks. I have another operation in Jan so I will be working flat out. I will answer all remaining emails tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Progress Oct 10

I have now reached Chunk 44, hope to get up to 50 by the weekend.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I have started again

I am now able to start some work on the project: edited chunk 38 yesterday (excellent)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More on my eye

Things seem to be going well. I have another week off and then will return to the project. I have to have another operation sometime after three months; this will depend on how well the retina has adhered. Im feeling a lot better.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My eye

I have had to go into hospital (the fantastic Radcliffe in Oxford) for an operation to put back my retina, part of which had been detached. This means no work for a fortnight. I will need a second op in December. I am hoping to catch up lost time in October when I shall be home on a sabbatical. Feeling very frustrated with an eye that feels it has been punched.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Progress Aug25

As many of you will know I have an eye problem and have had to stop for at least a fortnight. I have reached chunk 37 and, so far, the quality has been excellent. I have had very little editing to do. There will now be a hiatus but I will let you know when I return.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm back

I have just returned from Malta and started editing again. Have reached chunk 25. Hope to get to 40ish by the end of the month. Do have a good holiday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Progress 17th June

I have reached Chunk 20 in the editing. I hope to complete the first full edit by the end of August and then carry out a structuring exercise which would involve adding some glue text to cover the interfaces between the chunks.

It was an excellent event on Monday. Ira has offered to write a preface; something I have taken up with alacrity.

If any of you want to be put on the reserve list for chunks that were not delivered please email me.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Webcast Details

The webcast page for the 15th June event is here. It automatically refreshes itself, adding the Live links when the event goes live. You will need QuickTime 7 or later to view the webcast.

Progress 6th June

So far I have edited 13 texts. All are excellent. The main problems (all small) are:
  • Punctuation
  • Sometimes an over laid-back style
  • Two small assumptions about what students have learned in previous chunks were not correct.
  • Figure referencing needed fixing up.
I estimate that I have changed 3% of a chunk on average. I had hoped to get to 15 by tomorrow but family illness intervened. Hope to get to 18 by 13th June. The bulk of the editing will occur in July/August

I may need to look at structure once I have done the first twenty. However, I will not be touching the texts that were delivered and edited, they are uniformly good.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 15th

We are finalising the arrangements for the four hour session on the mass writing project. It will take place on June 15th. The first session will be from 11.00 to 13.00 and will be devoted to Processing. Ira Greenberg will talk about his journey from artist to programmer and describe recent advances in Processing.

The afternoon will be started at 14.00 with a short talk by me introducing the project (about 30 minutes) and then four students will describe their involvement. We hope to finish by around 16.00. The event will be webcast so you can follow it live; however, it will also be recorded and made available for viewing later. Details of the webcast link and the link to the video will follow in about a week.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Progress 25/5/09

Just to let you know that I have edited the first seven chunks. They have all been of the highest quality. Most of the changes have been cosmetic, for example adding semi-colons. Other changes have been done to get the book into a consistent style. I estimate that I have only deleted or modified about 3-4% of your texts so far. this is amazing!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I have edited the first three chunks. I plan to do two more tomorrow. I suspect that my rate will be about five chunks a week until the summer when it should accelerate: I stay with my mum-in-law in an area of France which is, without a doubt, the most ill-served in terms of the attractions that I enjoy. So, apart from a two day wine buying trip to the Loire, I shall probably be up to 15 a week for a fortnight. Incidentally, if you are ever in Fontrevaud, just off the Loire, I recommend the Hotel Abbaye Royale in Fontrevaud; its cheap for what you get and having breakfast in the cloisters of an old nunnery is quite something. Advanced booking recommended. Also La Licorne is a stellar restaurant in Fontrevaud.

So far the chunks I have edited have been fantastic. I calculate that in editing them I have only changed about 2-3% of the text which is amazing. When I have done I will put them on an ftp server.

Update June 15

The arrangements for June 15 are now almost there. I will do a brief fifteen minute introduction. Ira will talk for two hours about Processing and his journey from artist to computer programmer and four of you have bravely volunteered to give short 20 minute talks. I still have about five chunks of £50 pounds for expenses if anyone wants to join us on the 15th. As a minimum we hope to video the sessions. We are, however, hoping to webcast the four hours. Watch this space over the next few weeks; a webcast would also involve recording the four hours and putting it on a web site for download.

Friday, May 8, 2009

In June Meet Ira Greenberg

Ira Greenberg will be visiting the department in either June or early July. he will be giving a talk about Processing and I will be giving a talk about this project. There may be some money around to pay travel expenses for some of you. I will know in a few days. Unfortunately, the talks will be on a weeekday so I am assuming most of you will be at work. However, watch this space if you want to come. It will be first come, first served for travel funds.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My role from Sunday

Thanks to all of you who have submitted chunks so far. My part in the project starts on Sunday when I will start editing the first ten chunks. I intend putting the book up on a web site after each of the ten chunks has been completed. I will send you the URL in due course.

I would estimate that editing the book and writing the small number of chunks that remain will take me up to the end of Aug. I will then get a version of the book printed using Lulu or some other company and will send you each a copy. I will, then try and interest a publisher such as OReilly in publishing it formally.

I also intend developing an e-learning course based on your material which will be put on the OU Open Learn site.

So, watch this space. If you are interested in doing a second chunk please let me know.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Deadline looming

The end of month deadline is looming. I would be grateful if you could get your chunks in to me by 7th May.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


There are still some writers who have not nominated a chunk and/or sent me their blog address. Could you send me these as soon as possible

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The first of the chunks are starting to come in. Don't panic though, the deadline is the end of April. However,if you have not chosen a chunk could you do so by Feb 27th. When that is cleared I can see how many spare chunks there are if anyone wants to write a second one.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Post holiday news

I'm now back monitoring mail regularly. It looks like all the book supply problems are over. Also, many thanks for those of you that sent sample programs, they all look good. I am planning to post some photos of the launch of our video screen in early February.

An interesting new book on Processing authored by Daniel Shiffman has just been published. Its very technical but excellent. The URL is below. I can also recommend Ben Fry's book on visualising data that uses Processing, again the URL is below.

Can you post your blog details and chunk choices to me by the end of January.

Hope you all had a good holiday and I wish you all the best of years.

The visualising data book

The new Processing book by Shiffman.