Archives for May 2007

Review: Lisey’s Story

Lisey's story by stephen KingLisey’s Story
by Stephen King

If you’ve hung around this site long enough, you might have caught on to the fact that I’m a big fan of Stephen King’s work. More his early stuff than his late stuff, but that’s just my opinion. Lisey’s (prounounced lee-cee, pet name derived from lisa) story is a novel about a woman who was married to a prolific writer. He died and now she’s struggling with some secrets that they both kept that may end up destroying her in the end. Add to that the fact that there are a few unsavory fellows that want her late husbands remaining work and you’ve got a recipe for a pretty mundane novel. Then Stephen goes to work.

Lisey finds herself reliving old memories in a “bool hunt” left by her husband. A bool hunt is a little like a treasure hunt, except twisted as only King can do. This hunt takes her to “Booya Moon”, a secret world that her husband frequently went for inspiration and nearly didn’t come back a time or two. Now Lisey must go there to save her sister and in the end, herself. And of course, there’s something dark waiting on Booya Moon for her and it may never let her go.

The reason that I like Stephen King’s earlier works more than his later works is because his later works are soft. The plot’s don’t vary all that much and the only real change is the way that King tortures his characters and brings them through it. His later works have also become much less violent macabre and more of a psychological mind f-ck kinda writing. He’s also done a little too much with characters that are aging prolific writers. Can you say soul searching?

I miss the books like IT, the Stand, and Christine. Meaty novels that are dark and twisting. Now I get novels like Lisey’s Story that, while still twisting, are near love stories. In fact, the jacket blurbs on the back even call it that.

But I digress. The book is well written as are all Stephen King novels. It has a meaty and twisting plot that is often obscured from the minds eye. It doesn’t compare to his early works, and is about middle of the pack in his more recent works. It’s an average King novel. Of course, that still means it’s better than about 75% of the fiction novels on the market.

Stephen, if you’re listing. This constant reader wants some more of the old Stephen’s work. Hell, if you don’t think you can write it anymore, maybe Richard Bachman could give it a stab.

If you want to read Lisey’s Story, you can buy it at Amazon and on eBay. You can also read more of my book reviews at my recommended reading page.

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IPTV from Microsoft or just catch-up?

Ars Technica found an interesting bit of news today. Microsoft has trademarked a logo for what is described as an on-demand IPTV service of some sort.

The trademark itself is for a logo, described as “arrowheads diverging from disc.” That’s the boring part of the trademark, though. The goods and services described along with the trademark are what raises some eyebrows, as Microsoft hopes to offer software that will allow users to watch “broadcast-quality video and television programming” over their broadband Internet connections.

Sounds like it could be interesting right? Well. It could be. There are already several places online that a person can get “broadcast-quality video.” You can download just about any television show from most of the major broadcast outlets. Ahem. iTunes in particular.

Why does it seem like Microsoft has been trying to play catch-up so often lately? I’m not even sure that the Zune can be called an attempt at catch-up. It took them how many years to bring an iPod competitor to market? Don’t get me started on Vista. If you’re going to rip off every other OS on the market, at least make it somewhat stable before selling 40 million copies of it. The only thing they’ve played catch-up on and actually succeeded is the xBox.

So, is this new service a bright example of some new innovation from Redmond or is it just another attempt at catch-up? Because that’s what it comes down to. I’ve called my self a Microsoftie a few times and to some extent I still am. But Microsoft hasn’t done an innovative thing in nearly a decade. A decade. If they didn’t have the market share that they already had, they could have been in some pretty deep trouble. Instead, they’ve managed to hold on and make a small resurgence. Now, they need to turn on the minds in the vault again and see what kind of innovative products and services they can come up with.

I should mention, in the spirit of disclosure, that I am a shareholder in Microsoft.

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Buy Text Link Ads here!

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m generally a fairly humble person and don’t like to toot my own horn. However, I’m going to take a small break from that today to point out that I have several open positions available for purchase in my Text Link Ads spots. (here) currently has 2 ad spots on the right sidebar available and 3 spots open in the RSS ads. There are currently around 100 pageviews a day here and consistently a little over 50 RSS subscribers. Purchase a link here. currently has 10 ad spots open on it’s right sidebar with none currently taken and 3 spots open in the RSS. Buy now and you can be on top of the list. There are currently between 150 and 200 pageviews a day there and RSS subscribers range between 40 and 55 subscribers. Purchase a link here. currently has 4 ad spots open on it’s right sidebar and 3 RSS ads available. There are currently between 190 and 310 pageviews a day and there are over 135 RSS subscribers. Purchase a link here.

The text link ads and RSS ads are $25 a month on and and are $22 a month on

If you don’t have a account at Text Link Ads, you can sign up through my affiliate link and make me a little extra on the side. 😉

I do sell links privately also. The prices are exactly the same on a monthly basis, but I can cut deals on more long term ads. If you’re interested you can contact me.

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Maybe you’re trying to reorganize your office desk. Maybe you’re trying to organize a new server room in your basement (I’m not the only one who wants one of those am I?). Whatever it may be, you’ll likely find what you need among the Thousands of products at! In fact, you might find a few things that you didn’t know existed. I know I did.

There are plenty of other things that should come in super handy if you’re organizing a new or old workspace. Take the Altinex Tabletop Outlet. It’s a nice little unit that clamps onto the edge of your desk and gives you full customization ability to add outlets for whatever you choose, be it network, power, audio/video or just about whatever you want.

By far, my favorite page on the site is the Racks and Enclosures page. Why you ask? Because I seriously want one of their computer desks in my basement. What better way to start up a new office space than with one of the desks. The 48″ model would fit quite nicely against one of the walls down there.

22 piece tool kitIf you’re looking for a great affordable tool set, you can’t beat the 22 piece Computer Tech Deluxe Tool Kit. It’s got the basics that you’ll need and is a fairly portable kit. Of course, it doesn’t have everything. It’s only 22 pieces so there are some obvious things missing. There are only the most common of everything. For instance, you only get T10 and T15 star bits. The most common, but not necessarily all the ones you will need. Another thing that I noticed is that the included soldering iron doesn’t look like it’s of the highest quality. By that I mean it looked cheap. I have only the slightest idea how to solder, so I didn’t test it, but it just doesn’t look like it would hold up to much use. Overall though, it would make a great travel kit for those trips when you really just can’t bear to take your full kit along with you.

PowerSquid 5 outlet power multiplierI also had the opportunity to test out a couple of power cord management power strips. The first of which was the legendary Power Squid. I’ve got to tell you that I have thought that this is the most ingenious thing for quite some time. So, it didn’t take a whole lot of time for me to decide that this is one of the coolest things for a home office. Heck, it’d work pretty darn well in a big corporate office too. It’s got a 4 foot cord that branches off from the “squid” into five grounded socket outlets. It’s got slots on the back for wall mounting (which looks pretty darn cool btw.) and the “tentacles” get shorter as they progress towards the outside of the “squid”. Not only does it allow for just about any configuration of those messy big electrical boxes, it also helps with the varying lengths of it’s “tentacles.”

SmartSockets tabletop surge suppressorThe other Power strip that I got to test out was the SmartSockets Tabletop surge suppressor by Kensington. I honestly couldn’t find a good usage for this in my house. It’s design is so pinpointed to being used in a roundtable like format that it makes a bit of a rats nest if it isn’t used for that purpose. That being said, this would be an excellent strip for anyone with a table where you would need power on two sides or in a 360 degree configuration. The design of the strip would allow for great access for impromptu meetings and study groups with laptops. As a tool for that purpose, I think it’s great. I just couldn’t find a good application for it in my household without making a bit of a rats nest out of the cables. I think I’ll stick to the PowerSquid. 😉

I was supplied with the Tool set, Power Squid, and Smart Sockets to review. That qualifies this post as a paid post and as always, I tried to keep it honest and sincere regardless of the fact that I was paid to do it. I really do want one of the 48″ Computer Benches, and the power squid really is the bomb!

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