Attacking the modern JavaScript world

Learning all the JavaScript libraries that have come out in the past two years is hard work.

I attacked the modern Javascript approach through first focusing on functional programming.

1) Python + functional programming in Python

Python is hardly a pure functional language, but it’s lovely and simple and has all the core concepts including list comprehensions. This leads you on to…

2) Haskell

If you want to find a pure functional solution to a Python problem, first search for the Haskell one and translate it. Then read Learn You a Haskell which was the funniest programming book I ever read and almost, almost taught me about monads (I had it for a second, then tried to explain it in Python and all was lost)

Now you can relax cause the hard bit is done.

3) Read Javascript the Good Parts

Only pay attention to the functional programming bits. Suddenly mentions of currying aren’t so scary.

4) Work your way through the funfunfunction videos

The funfunfunction videos are brilliant, especially the functional playlist and for added bonus he has videos where he works through the first few chapters of Learn You a Haskell.

Then you’ve got map, reduce, filter all completely under control. Now immutability makes more sense, arrow functions don’t look so strange, promises are just friendly monads really and we all love those.

Now you’ve got Immutable.js, lodash, underscore all reasonable to understand.

React’s moaning about state and pure functions makes reasonable sense.

5) Following the Meteor + React tutorial

Babel really isn’t that hard, the Meteor + React tutorial got that all working without me really noticing. Then, holy moly you’re all reacted up, with JSX and pure sweet smelling functions.

6) Linting

Follow some of Dan Abramov’s excellent blog posts such as about getting eslint working in Sublime Text.

Yeah that’s as far as I’ve got, but adding in Redux to this mix doesn’t seem so scary, at least I understand the language now. Angular will just have to wait.

TeX fonts for the Web

I love the fonts that come out of LaTeX. However I’ve never seen sites displayed using the same fonts, so I wanted to find if it was available to put on a website.

TLDR; It looks like you can get a very close free font called Latin Modern Roman.

Self help

This meant a bit of self education to see if I could get the fonts on the web. Donald Knuth created a program Metafont to create the font which is called Computer Modern and is part of the AMS Type-1 fonts. However there doesn’t appear to be any direct web fonts (i.e. .eot + .otf + .woff + .svg) files for Computer Modern. The best I found was the Unicode otf font that you can download for windows.

Latin Modern

However one ‘Computer Modern woff’ search did bring up a monotype font Latin Modern Mono, which has in its notes:

The Latin Modern fonts are derived from the famous Computer Modern fonts designed by Donald E. Knuth and first published by the American Matematical Society (AMS) in 1997. One of the main extensions is the addition of an extensive set of diacritical characters, covering many scripts based on the Latin character set, mainly european, but not only, most notably Vietnamese.

Then its a short hop to the actual serif font (which doesn’t have those helpful notes, so you don’t find it on the internet). So I give you Latin Modern Roman the Computer Modern font for the web.


Of course now that I’ve found it, I’ve acutally spotted that there was a link in one of the first places I found, the wonderous stack exchange: . I’d just followed the first Unicode link instead of reading further.

Head First Design Patterns code examples in PHP

Head First Design Patterns in PHP

The Head First Design Patterns book is great. But the examples are all in Java – so rather than actually do some work and convert the files yourself – you can just thank Wren Weburg who’s done it for you.

Update: Wren has added it to a Github repo now.

Those who haven’t bought the book can buy a DRM free copy from the O’Reilly shop.

Hooray for O’Reilly ebook pricing

Its always good to see a major retailer having similar ideas as you. I was looking at the Integrating PHP Projects with Jenkins book by Sebastian Bergmann. I always check out the pricing structures first because I’m always interested. They have the pricing structure as follows:

  • Print: $19.99
  • eBook: $9.99 (so 50% of the price)
  • Print & eBook: $21.99 ($2 for the eBook)

2013-07-09 16_17_50-Integrating PHP Projects with Jenkins - O'Reilly Media

O’Reilly are pricing eBooks exactly as I think they should be done. The concept that makes the most sense is that an eBook is a cheap optional extra when you by the paper version or otherwise as a significantly lower priced stand alone copy. So hooray for O’Reilly. O’Reilly have recognised the other big failing of eBooks I hate – which is that their eBooks are DRM free. Awesome. Plus beyond that they have for a very long time (more than a decade) had the Spotify model of books with their Safari Books Online catalogue e.g. you can start reading the book I was interested in straight away and then pay out $42.99 / year to read all the books you can ever get your hands on.

So basically, never buy an O’Reilly book through Amazon, buy it directly through O’Reilly.

This is water

This  speech by David Foster Wallace is taken from the web archives. Continuing the eBooks saga… Amazon want to charge you $9.99 for the Kindle version when its available for free. I’m republishing it here because I don’t understand why its buried, and the original post was taken down (I hear the patter of a thousand tiny lawyer feet) and also to highlight the mild farce of paying for a Kindle edition when its available for free. I understand if you want to buy the hardcover for $10.47, as its a beautiful speech, but why oh why would you pay for the Kindle edition? Read on little fish.

Transcription of the 2005 Kenyon Commencement Address

May 21, 2005

(If anybody feels like perspiring [cough], I’d advise you to go ahead, because I’m sure going to. In fact I’m gonna [mumbles while pulling up his gown and taking out a handkerchief from his pocket].) Greetings [“parents”?] and congratulations to Kenyon’s graduating class of 2005. There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

This is a standard requirement of US commencement speeches, the deployment of didactic little parable-ish stories. The story [“thing”] turns out to be one of the better, less bullshitty conventions of the genre, but if you’re worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise, older fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don’t be. I am not the wise old fish. The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude, but the fact is that in the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance, or so I wish to suggest to you on this dry and lovely morning.

Of course the main requirement of speeches like this is that I’m supposed to talk about your liberal arts education’s meaning, to try to explain why the degree you are about to receive has actual human value instead of just a material payoff. So let’s talk about the single most pervasive cliché in the commencement speech genre, which is that a liberal arts education is not so much about filling you up with knowledge as it is about quote teaching you how to think. If you’re like me as a student, you’ve never liked hearing this, and you tend to feel a bit insulted by the claim that you needed anybody to teach you how to think, since the fact that you even got admitted to a college this good seems like proof that you already know how to think. But I’m going to posit to you that the liberal arts cliché turns out not to be insulting at all, because the really significant education in thinking that we’re supposed to get in a place like this isn’t really about the capacity to think, but rather about the choice of what to think about. If your total freedom of choice regarding what to think about seems too obvious to waste time discussing, I’d ask you to think about fish and water, and to bracket for just a few minutes your skepticism about the value of the totally obvious.

Here’s another didactic little story. There are these two guys sitting together in a bar in the remote Alaskan wilderness. One of the guys is religious, the other is an atheist, and the two are arguing about the existence of God with that special intensity that comes after about the fourth beer. And the atheist says: “Look, it’s not like I don’t have actual reasons for not believing in God. It’s not like I haven’t ever experimented with the whole God and prayer thing. Just last month I got caught away from the camp in that terrible blizzard, and I was totally lost and I couldn’t see a thing, and it was fifty below, and so I tried it: I fell to my knees in the snow and cried out ‘Oh, God, if there is a God, I’m lost in this blizzard, and I’m gonna die if you don’t help me.'” And now, in the bar, the religious guy looks at the atheist all puzzled. “Well then you must believe now,” he says, “After all, here you are, alive.” The atheist just rolls his eyes. “No, man, all that was was a couple Eskimos happened to come wandering by and showed me the way back to camp.”

It’s easy to run this story through kind of a standard liberal arts analysis: the exact same experience can mean two totally different things to two different people, given those people’s two different belief templates and two different ways of constructing meaning from experience. Because we prize tolerance and diversity of belief, nowhere in our liberal arts analysis do we want to claim that one guy’s interpretation is true and the other guy’s is false or bad. Which is fine, except we also never end up talking about just where these individual templates and beliefs come from. Meaning, where they come from INSIDE the two guys. As if a person’s most basic orientation toward the world, and the meaning of his experience were somehow just hard-wired, like height or shoe-size; or automatically absorbed from the culture, like language. As if how we construct meaning were not actually a matter of personal, intentional choice. Plus, there’s the whole matter of arrogance. The nonreligious guy is so totally certain in his dismissal of the possibility that the passing Eskimos had anything to do with his prayer for help. True, there are plenty of religious people who seem arrogant and certain of their own interpretations, too. They’re probably even more repulsive than atheists, at least to most of us. But religious dogmatists’ problem is exactly the same as the story’s unbeliever: blind certainty, a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.

The point here is that I think this is one part of what teaching me how to think is really supposed to mean. To be just a little less arrogant. To have just a little critical awareness about myself and my certainties. Because a huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. I have learned this the hard way, as I predict you graduates will, too.

Here is just one example of the total wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe; the realist, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness because it’s so socially repulsive. But it’s pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: there is no experience you have had that you are not the absolute center of. The world as you experience it is there in front of YOU or behind YOU, to the left or right of YOU, on YOUR TV or YOUR monitor. And so on. Other people’s thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real.

Please don’t worry that I’m getting ready to lecture you about compassion or other-directedness or all the so-called virtues. This is not a matter of virtue. It’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self. People who can adjust their natural default setting this way are often described as being “well-adjusted”, which I suggest to you is not an accidental term.

Given the triumphant academic setting here, an obvious question is how much of this work of adjusting our default setting involves actual knowledge or intellect. This question gets very tricky. Probably the most dangerous thing about an academic education — least in my own case — is that it enables my tendency to over-intellectualize stuff, to get lost in abstract argument inside my head, instead of simply paying attention to what is going on right in front of me, paying attention to what is going on inside me.

As I’m sure you guys know by now, it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your own head (may be happening right now). Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about quote the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.

This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.

And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. Let’s get concrete. The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what “day in day out” really means. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration. The parents and older folks here will know all too well what I’m talking about.

By way of example, let’s say it’s an average adult day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging, white-collar, college-graduate job, and you work hard for eight or ten hours, and at the end of the day you’re tired and somewhat stressed and all you want is to go home and have a good supper and maybe unwind for an hour, and then hit the sack early because, of course, you have to get up the next day and do it all again. But then you remember there’s no food at home. You haven’t had time to shop this week because of your challenging job, and so now after work you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It’s the end of the work day and the traffic is apt to be: very bad. So getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there, the supermarket is very crowded, because of course it’s the time of day when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery shopping. And the store is hideously lit and infused with soul-killing muzak or corporate pop and it’s pretty much the last place you want to be but you can’t just get in and quickly out; you have to wander all over the huge, over-lit store’s confusing aisles to find the stuff you want and you have to maneuver your junky cart through all these other tired, hurried people with carts (et cetera, et cetera, cutting stuff out because this is a long ceremony) and eventually you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out there aren’t enough check-out lanes open even though it’s the end-of-the-day rush. So the checkout line is incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating. But you can’t take your frustration out on the frantic lady working the register, who is overworked at a job whose daily tedium and meaninglessness surpasses the imagination of any of us here at a prestigious college.

But anyway, you finally get to the checkout line’s front, and you pay for your food, and you get told to “Have a nice day” in a voice that is the absolute voice of death. Then you have to take your creepy, flimsy, plastic bags of groceries in your cart with the one crazy wheel that pulls maddeningly to the left, all the way out through the crowded, bumpy, littery parking lot, and then you have to drive all the way home through slow, heavy, SUV-intensive, rush-hour traffic, et cetera et cetera.

Everyone here has done this, of course. But it hasn’t yet been part of you graduates’ actual life routine, day after week after month after year.

But it will be. And many more dreary, annoying, seemingly meaningless routines besides. But that is not the point. The point is that petty, frustrating crap like this is exactly where the work of choosing is gonna come in. Because the traffic jams and crowded aisles and long checkout lines give me time to think, and if I don’t make a conscious decision about how to think and what to pay attention to, I’m gonna be pissed and miserable every time I have to shop. Because my natural default setting is the certainty that situations like this are really all about me. About MY hungriness and MY fatigue and MY desire to just get home, and it’s going to seem for all the world like everybody else is just in my way. And who are all these people in my way? And look at how repulsive most of them are, and how stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed and nonhuman they seem in the checkout line, or at how annoying and rude it is that people are talking loudly on cell phones in the middle of the line. And look at how deeply and personally unfair this is.

Or, of course, if I’m in a more socially conscious liberal arts form of my default setting, I can spend time in the end-of-the-day traffic being disgusted about all the huge, stupid, lane-blocking SUV’s and Hummers and V-12 pickup trucks, burning their wasteful, selfish, forty-gallon tanks of gas, and I can dwell on the fact that the patriotic or religious bumper-stickers always seem to be on the biggest, most disgustingly selfish vehicles, driven by the ugliest [responding here to loud applause] (this is an example of how NOT to think, though) most disgustingly selfish vehicles, driven by the ugliest, most inconsiderate and aggressive drivers. And I can think about how our children’s children will despise us for wasting all the future’s fuel, and probably screwing up the climate, and how spoiled and stupid and selfish and disgusting we all are, and how modern consumer society just sucks, and so forth and so on.

You get the idea.

If I choose to think this way in a store and on the freeway, fine. Lots of us do. Except thinking this way tends to be so easy and automatic that it doesn’t have to be a choice. It is my natural default setting. It’s the automatic way that I experience the boring, frustrating, crowded parts of adult life when I’m operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the center of the world, and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world’s priorities.

The thing is that, of course, there are totally different ways to think about these kinds of situations. In this traffic, all these vehicles stopped and idling in my way, it’s not impossible that some of these people in SUV’s have been in horrible auto accidents in the past, and now find driving so terrifying that their therapist has all but ordered them to get a huge, heavy SUV so they can feel safe enough to drive. Or that the Hummer that just cut me off is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he’s trying to get this kid to the hospital, and he’s in a bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am: it is actually I who am in HIS way.

Or I can choose to force myself to consider the likelihood that everyone else in the supermarket’s checkout line is just as bored and frustrated as I am, and that some of these people probably have harder, more tedious and painful lives than I do.

Again, please don’t think that I’m giving you moral advice, or that I’m saying you are supposed to think this way, or that anyone expects you to just automatically do it. Because it’s hard. It takes will and effort, and if you are like me, some days you won’t be able to do it, or you just flat out won’t want to.

But most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she’s not usually like this. Maybe she’s been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it’s also not impossible. It just depends what you what to consider. If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.

Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re gonna try to see it.

This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.

Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, bet it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.

They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving and [unintelligible — sounds like “displayal”]. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.

I know that this stuff probably doesn’t sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational the way a commencement speech is supposed to sound. What it is, as far as I can see, is the capital-T Truth, with a whole lot of rhetorical niceties stripped away. You are, of course, free to think of it whatever you wish. But please don’t just dismiss it as just some finger-wagging Dr. Laura sermon. None of this stuff is really about morality or religion or dogma or big fancy questions of life after death.

The capital-T Truth is about life BEFORE death.

It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:

“This is water.”

“This is water.”

It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime. And it commences: now.

I wish you way more than luck.

2 Hardcovers for 1 Kindle edition

As part of the on-going saga of eBooks, here’s yet another quite stark example. are a cool company, they wrote Ruby on Rails which is a simply stunning piece of software to have produced.

They have a book REWORK, which when you read the sample looks excellent, anything which sets out so neatly why meetings are rubbish has to be good.

Interestingly they have Jeff Bezos the Amazon CEO as an advisor, which adds more spice to this.

So if you go to buy their book from Amazon:

  • Kindle: $10.68
  • Hardcover: $12.98
  • Second-hand hardcover:$9.77 ($5.78 + shipping)

First off the Kindle is within 20% of the Hardcover price (I’d made a guess at 10% in my previous article on the proper price of an eBook).

Secondly and more importantly is the re-sale value of the hardcover / paperback.

A paperback has an intrinsic worth – you are free to sell it on. If you buy a second hand one and treat it well you can read it and sell it on for the same price. Obviously if you do it through Amazon they’ll take their 20% cut, plus you lose money on the shipping.

So if you buy the hardcover, read it and sell it back on Amazon it will cost you (taking shipping and 20% Amazon cut): $12.98 – $5.20 = $7.78

If you buy a used hardcover and do the same: $9.77 – $5.20 = $4.57

That’s half the price of a Kindle version.

So I can get two hardcover books for the price of a Kindle version.

However much R&D costs Amazon need to recoup for the Kindle fire, the Kindle edition simply isn’t worth it.





The proper price of an eBook

£ eBook = £ (book – printing) / (eBook sales / book sales)

I have major issues with the way Amazon prices eBooks. They are consistently (I’ll need some proof of that…) within 10% of the price of a paperback. That’s a farce.

Here is one perfectly good example of a more sensible pricing structure, from Jon Hicks’ The Icon Handbook:

So the main paperback book is £32. But the eBook is half that (AND DRM FREE). Further to that, if you buy the paperback then you get the eBook for £6. Six quid is almost an after thought, so there’s a good chance that anyone buying the paperback will buy the  eBook too. Thus the author gets more money per book and the reader gets extra value for their book.

When you print books especially for a small publisher you have to invest in printing so many books. There’s a cost associated with gambling on the correct number of books to print and there’s always a cost associated with printing another one, storing it and shipping it.

Cost of printing another eBook – zero. Cost of storing eBook – zero (Dropbox do free 2GB accounts and you only need to store one of them).

The only other cost of producing an eBook is the creation of the eBook in the first place. Now given that pretty much all books now will be typed on computer, its likely that what ever program is used to print the book will also convert it into a PDF, so it would seem that an eBook is simply a by-product of creating the paperback.

I bet you don’t have to pay double for the printing software to get it to print eBooks. Of course if you want to put DRM on it , you’ll probably have to pay a shedload to Adobe. They’ll be happy and your customers won’t.

I guess this comes down to two simple questions:

  1. How much does the company make once the costs of paperback printing are set aside.
  2. How many more copies do you sell of an eBook than you do of a paperback book? (So that the author can still make the same income).

Proper eBook price: £ eBook = £ (book – printing) / (eBook sales / book sales)

May the farce of eBooks be with you

Day Against DRM vertical banner

Its May the 4th. Star Wars day and more importantly its the International Day Against DRM.

Buying eBooks currently is a farce. Here’s my experience.

I love the Big Issue that’s sold in the UK, its fantastic in the service it provides, the magazine it produces and the cracks in the society that it fills.

So I started following the Big Issue twitter feed. From that came a tweet by a Big Issue seller Stonejenson, whose now written his own book, The Unwritten Timetable. So I set about buying his eBook.

The direct offering is through Amazon. For the first time in ages they have a reasonably priced eBook (unlike all the other eBooks which are priced the same as their paperback equivalent)  However its their ‘Kindle’ edition – so you’ve gotta install their Kindle reader.

But I don’t want to install the Kindle reader.  These two things mean that I’ll currently never buy an eBook through Amazon:

  1. Massively over priced eBooks at the same price as paperbacks
  2. Kindle only crap

You’re next option is Barnes and Noble copy – they convert into dollars whack a good margin on top ($8.99 does not equate to £3.25 – it doesn’t cost you anything to produce a copy) and is only available on their stupid Nook readers.

So I search for the publisher Lulu and find their version of the book that they sell directly. They seem quite cool, help independent writers get published. So I buy it through them. Interestingly they do have a large price difference between the eBook (£3.50) and the paperback (£14.50) – Amazon take note.

So I buy it, and download it.

The only version you can buy is ‘ePub for Adobe Digital Editions Format’. Now I know and understand epub formats, they the standard format for eReaders everywhere. Well  ‘ePub for Adobe Digital Editions Format’  sure as shit ‘aint the same as ePub. It has feck all to ePub as far as I can tell. Its DRM infected. That you can read on a sum total of 83 devices. Probably about 0.1% of all eReaders.

Adobe claim it can be read on the Aldiko eBook reader. My Aldiko eBook reader on my Android phone will import .epub files but  not DRM .acsm.

So the only place to read my book is on my PC and I have to bow to the Adobe “install our crap” wishes.

DRM sucks, its defective by design.

Update: it turns out the Aldiko eBook reader on the Google Play market will open Adobe DRM books, just not my crappy pre-installed version. You only have to be a programmer for 10 years to figure that out.

Many thanks to Stonejenson for replying – you can get DRM free versions of his book at