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WordPress Book Published

The book!Wow! It’s hard to believe, but my first book is now a reality! Several copies of my first book — “Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress” arrived at my door this morning.

This is the book, published by Apress that I have co-authored with Robert T Douglass and Jared Smith over the last six months or so. It has long been my ambition to be published and when the opportunity presented itself earlier this year, I had to grab it with both hands. It has been quite a hard struggle; writing in a small amount of spare time is not easy, but I do think it has been worth it.

The result is six chapters on using WordPress to help build an online community. Although I wrote the book using version 1.5.x most of the WordPress chapters are version agnostic. This isn’t a “how to use WordPress” book (the excellent WordPress Codex is good for that). This is a book about how to use WordPress to help you build an online community.

You can buy the book online directly from Apress including in eBook form. You can buy from Amazon.co.uk or you can buy it from Amazon.com. I’m not sure whether it will be on the shelves of your local book store yet, but it will be over the next couple of days.

Apress have a good summary of the book (my emphasis):

Content management, blogs, and online forums are among the most significant online trends today, and Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress are three of the most popular open source applications facilitating these trends.

Drupal is a full content management system that allows you to create any type of website you desire, from an e-commerce to a community-based site. phpBB enables you to set up a bulletin board or forum. And WordPress is the software of choice for the exploding blog community. All three technologies are based on PHP and MySQL.

Jamie and I with the bookFinally, I think Jamie is quite proud of her Dad, Jan is just glad it’s finally published! I must thank them both for putting up with me while I’ve struggled through this. The next one will be easier! I have to thank Matt, Ryan, and the rest of the WordPress community, without whom I would have had nothing to write about!

Mike Little Joins The Apress Blog

I have joined the Apress blog. In case you didn’t know, Apress are a book publisher. They publish “Books for professionals by professionals”. As one of the authors of the forthcoming book “Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress”, I received an invitation to join today.
Just in case you didn’t get that, it does mean that there is indeed a WordPress book coming! We are hoping the book will be out before the end of the year.

Update: Links fixed!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Jamie with her copy of  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) [Children's Edition] Jamie and I went to our local Borders tonight to wait for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at midnight. We got to the store around 9:45 pm. There were quite a few people already in the place, but not as many as the last time we did this.

All the staff were very much in to the spirit of the event with lots of costumes and hats. They put on a little entertainment including a Harry Potter quiz. At eleven we had a reading of the last chapter of the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix so we could remember our place in the saga. Has it happens, Jan, Jamie, and I have all re-read the fifth book in the last couple of weeks.

Around 11:30 the queue had started forming and I decided to stake my place so as to not be too far down. Jamie joined me about 15 minutes later. I must say, standing in a queue for 30 minutes without moving is rather dull! We did get talking to a nice chap and his daughter who were just in front of us.

The Borders staff had been announcing regularly the time left before the ‘arrival’ of the book. At five minutes to go they started announcing every minute, then 30 seconds to go, 15 seconds, then a count down from 10. There was a round of applause and two head high palettes, encased in black plastic wrap, were brought from the back of the store to the front of the queue. Without any more ceremony, the wrap was removed, the boxes inside opened, and the staff started handing out books at a frantic pace.

We got our two copies quite quickly and we were out of the store and on our way back home by a quarter past midnight. Now Jamie and Jan are both in bed feverishly reading the book; I have to wait for the first one to finish — again. If Jan finishes as quickly as she did two years ago, I should be able to start it by the end of Sunday!

Update 16/07/2005 17:00 Jamie finished the book a short time ago!

Further Update 16/07/2005 11:00 Jan finished her copy around 10:30. I start reading it tomorrow.

Shopping For Books, Music and Movies

I generally tend to ask people for book or cd tokens for my birthdays and Christmas. It’s easier sometimes than trying to suggest a specific item that I would like. At time like that I seem to only be able to think of terribly expensive or obscure things that I want. So, having got some tokens for my birthday last week, and having some left over from Christmas, I finally got round to going shopping today. And what a lot I got! :-)

I had £95 worth of tokens to spend. Some were for Borders, some were for HMV and some were for Waterstones. Having looked around for the last couple of weeks at some of the things I might buy, I finally got round all three shops this morning and spent all but £2 worth of tokens. Here are the things I bought:

Three Brian Jaques Redwall books: Triss, Loamhedge, and Rakkety Tam. I’d got behind with the Redwall series. These will bring me up to date. Three Terry Goodkind books from the The Sword of Truth series which I only started last year: Blood of the Fold , Temple of the Winds, and Soul of the Fire. Two Neal Stephenson books: Quicksilver and The Confusion. These are the first two of the Baroque cycle which I have been waiting to read. The third, The System of the World, is still only available in hardback so I’ll wait to get that one.

The last two books I got were Black Coffee Blues by Henry Rollins: I love his music, but I’ve not read him before; and O’Reilly’s Extreme Programming Pocket Guide (I had to get one computer book didn’t I!)

I also bought some music CDs: Michael Nyman – The Piano, the Beginners Guide to Bollywood which is a 3CD set for a budget price, and Serge Gainsbourgs’s Initials Sg which is a great compilation of his work through the decades. Quite a mixed bunch that lot. I’m currently listening to the first of the Bollywood CD’s real vintage stuff from the 60′s and 70′s. I don’t understand a word if it, but it’s great!

Finally, I bought a couple of DVDs (I set out to get more, but I can get three books for the price of a DVD!)Akira – The Ultimate Collection. Jan had already bought me the second Akira graphic novel for my birthday. I also got Siouxsie and the Banshees Best of: Deluxe Sound and Vision which has a double audio CD with a DVD. I realised the other week that I no longer owned any Banshees stuff so I’m glad to get this even though it’s only a best of.

So, I’ve got a lot to entertain me for the next few weeks. I’ll try to review them as I get through them. I’ve missed doing reviews for the last 18 months.

‘Baaah’ — 23rd Page

I wasn’t going to, but I couldn’t resist! The instructions are:

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 23.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence on your blog along with these instructions.

Here’s mine:

There were enough exiles, it was reckoned, to support a journal in any one of these languages, not to mention the new floods that were coming in every week.

Does anyone recognise the book? It is not the one I am reading now, but the one I finished yesterday. Yes, I know that doesn’t help.
Hat tip to Matt

Tortilla Flat

I recently bought a set of books by John Steinbeck at a bargain price. Steinbeck is an author I’ve never actually read, but feel that I should have.
I started with Tortilla Flat which is the earliest one in the collection. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very funny in parts, and a little bit sad too. I like the character of Danny, but Pilon is the best for me. Recommended!

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