Celebrating one year in self-publishing with 20 titles

By making the ebook of my best-selling title free

In February of last year, I self-published a subset of my 2020 jokebook with Amazon.com. In my first year, I have written 23 books and published 20 of them. (One was held up by Amazon for some reason and two were never submitted.) A computer title FFMPEG Quick Hacks has been the most popular and profitable book in my book list. I had planned to release the ebook free after one year (in April 2021) but I have decided to release it early to celebrate one year in publishing. I have been busy writing books that I have not been blogging much. I am currently making some updates to my last book. After that, I will take a break from writing.

CORRECTION: I finished my first year in publishing with 21 books because Humorous Tweets Of Chairman Mao v2021 was eventually published on other non-Amazon ebook stores.

Link: | Magic Link:

‘A Really Traditional Alphabet Book’ published as paperback

Integrated writing workbook. Jokes and puzzles for older kids.

This is my first children's book. I had created an alphabet book some years ago based on what I could recall from my own alphabet book from kindergarten. Most new alphabet books use totally different words. It is not always A for apple, B for ball, C for cat... Not in this book.

Book cover

I wanted add my collection of 50 traditional nursery rhymes as bonus material but the book seller objected to the public domain images from old nursery books. Their logic is that customers need not pay for something that is essentially free. It is understandable but given the way kids' books are priced or I shoud say overpriced. Recently, I offered to review a children's story book by another author. It is less than a dozen pages of text and full-page pictures but costs $16. My book would have had so much more material but would still cost only $10. (I also added jokes and puzzles from my 2020 jokebook.)

Now, the nursery rhymes collection is part of the free excerpts PDF of the alphabet picture book. Anyone can download it and print it.

The book has 34 pages in all and 32 pages of actual content. (I eliminated blank pages.) It is $9.90 in the US, £6.20 in UK and €7.20 in EU.

"Importing" paperbacks

I do not have a copy of any of my new books. The import deposit charges (into India) are more than the cost of the books. I cannot risk ordering them during the lockdown.

My new FFmpeg article in OSFY magazine

I have submitted a followup for my 2016 FFmpeg article. It will appear in the September edition of Open Source For You magazine. I went to the city and checked the news stand yesterday. They no computer magazines have been available for months now. So, my article will only be read by subscribers. Hopefully, the lockdown is lifted before next month.

Link: | Magic Link:

Youtube Lite Technology Demonstrator

Browser JS to enable old browsers display Youtube videos and more

When Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister, India faced opposition from the US for its space and missile development programme. India's Integrated Missile Development Program was started to develop everything from anti-tank missiles to nuclear-capable inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Rajiv Gandhi strongly supported the programme but was not willing to face US sanctions. So, the initial prototypes of the Agni missile were labelled as 'technology demonstrators'. India later went on to develop ICBM-level Agni versions and the US went on to sell billions of dollars worth of military hardware to India so the 'technology demonstrator' was a tactical strategic position to take at that time.

Bye bye older browsers

When Youtube switched to the slower heavier uglier version that it has now, old browsers could not display the pages. However, you could use a browser disguise (useragent spoofer add-on) and trick Youtube into loading the older light pages. This worked well for me because, I could use my custom browser scripts (user JS) to eliminate Youtube annoyances like autoplay, 'Top comments' (censored comments) and 'Recommended for you' videos, and add support for RSS, video/subtitle downloads and latest comments.

After Google and Microsoft adopted jquery, there was no stopping this junk Javascript framework. It was originally supposed to overcome the non-standard behaviour of Microsoft Internet Explorer but is now introducing its own problems. A lot of other 'special effects' libraries have been built on the obese jquery and fuddy-duddy news sites like The Hindu are belatedly discovering the 'benefits' of jquery. I look back longingly when The Hindu was designed using Microsoft Frontpage. (I had to fix The Hindu web pages with my own browser JS because jquery cannot handle it.)

The Hindu rendered useless by jquery

⛹ YoutubeLite ☔

Recently, Youtube abandoned support for older browsers. And, I had to write a newer version of my Youtube Annoyances Remover script because the Javascript junk the new Youtube loaded would make the browser tab to lock up for a few seconds.

My fix named YoutubeLite does not load comments or related videos. In fact, it does not load Youtube. It grabs the information from the ytplayer.config.args.player_response object and nukes the Youtube page. It then displays the video in the browser's built-in video player. It also adds links for RSS, subtitles, channel videos page and IMDB (I am a fan of bad-movie restorations of 80s movies from old VHS tapes).

A few days ago, this object disappeared and a new ytInitialPlayerResponse object was found in its place. It did not have links to the video file. I found several new obfuscated functions and objects. (I used reflection (window.Object.getOwnPropertyNames) and managed to find the obfuscated types.) Immediately afterwards, ytplayer.config.args.player_response object came back. Now, my code relies on the ytInitialPlayerResponse and the video player objects before nuking the page. If the ytplayer.config.args.player_response object exists, alternate download links and subtitle download links will be displayed.

For obvious reasons, I cannot reveal the source code. But, if you are stuck with an old browser, there is a fix... if you can code it.


Who is Carly Stevens?

This dame is an English teacher somewhere in America. She is an author and a member of the BookTube community. And, unlike other girls/females in this Youtube subset, she is not... you may want to sit down for this one. You should probably ask someone to accompany the children out of the room. You may also want to grab your heart medicine, anxiety blanket, rubber ducky or other dolly, emotional support animal... she is not a big fan of many of the Feminist literary icons that all the others rave about.

Link: | Magic Link:

For older posts, check the archives.