Making some music

I’ve always been interested in music, and have on and off played guitar, keyboard, and various other instruments over the years – just never particularly well or long enough to release anything. This year, I decided that I would try to actually make some music I would listen to (and hopefully others!), so I picked up a PreSonus StudioOne upgrade to Pro from the “Artist” version that came free with my external sound card (an AudioBox 96).

My first tune, though not great – isn’t too bad:

My second tune is all based on a running joke at work and was a little more upbeat and lo-fi (mostly due to the quality of the vocal samples I used).

So far, I’m having fun making this stuff – even if nobody listens; and it’s quite the stress reliever after a busy day of programming!

Re-enable Windows task manager

To fix the no task manager issue go to start then run (windows XP) or in the search line for vista….or just use the shortcut windows key + R. Copy and paste the following into the run command then hit enter: REG add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableTaskMgr /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f press crtl+shift+esc……task manager should […]

React / Redux Client

Create new package.json ::: npm init -y


  • <app_name>
    • dist
      • index.html
      • {bundle.js} //generated by webpack
    • src
      • index.js //app entry point


npm install –save-dev webpack webpack-dev-server

npm install –save-dev babel-core babel-loader babel-preset-es2015 babel-preset-react


npm install –save react react-dom

npm install –save-dev react-hot-loader

npm install –save-dev react-addons-test-utils


npm install –save classnames

npm install –save-dev css-loader style-loader autoprefixer-loader


npm install –save-dev mocha chai

npm install –save-dev jsdom

npm install –save immutable

npm install –save-dev chai-immutable

10 Ways to Write a Book

I once attended a talk on ideas for writing books, these are a selection of the methods that seemed most appealing from the talk summed up as briefly as possible.

1. Interviews

Method: Interview an expert then transcribe the conversation and lightly edit for grammar and lulls in conversation.
Tools: Recording software/device, signed speaker release form.

2. Blog to Book

Method: Write a blog post of at least 500 words, include the sub-headings and bullet points – then expand on each point making your subheadings into chapters and the bullet points into sub-sections.
Tools: A fairly popular blog post that has the potential to be expanded.

3. Fictional Mini-Series

Method: Plan the basics of a plot that can be spread without feeling thin with good character development. Publish as you write, aiming for a release every 3 – 5 chapters. Create a brand around the series.
Tools: Authoring / writing tool such as Scrivener.

4. One Question = One Book

(aka – the Quick Guide)
Method: Answer one question and expand on it with examples / case studies. While writing, try to avoid passive voice (e.g. “How to Price my Book” instead of “Pricing my Book”).
Tools: Social media and an authoring tool such as Scrivener.

5. Webinar Method

Method: Schedule and promote a webinar, record and transcribe the webinar and edit appropriately so the content does not reference things the reader cannot see or easily visualise.
Tools: Webinar and screen capture software.

6.  Kindle Singles (Fiction, Poetry, etc.)

Method: Choose a topic and write 5000 – 30,000 words then nominate the self-published book and publish via Kindle Direct Publishing and follow the instructions. Amazon vetts the book and promotes if vetting is passed, only works of fiction are accepted.
Tools: A Book proposal.

7.  Speak It!

Method: Give a talk over a powerpoint, slides will become chapters and bullets subsections. Transcribe the audio or write from scratch.
Tools: Recording device, editing and office software.

8. Compilation / Anthology

Method: Choose a theme, get authors to write a short based on the theme – collate and review/edit submissions then compile into a single book.
Tools: Author manager and a website to promote on.

9. Podcast, Kindle Edition

Method: Start a podcast, transcribe each episode or compile like-topics / shorter episodes together – edit: checking spelling, names, resources. Or heavily edit converting from spoken transcript into a reading friendly book edition.
Tools: iTunes account or podcast creation software than can syndicate to iTunes and recording equipment and software.

10. Crossed Micro-Niche

Method: Write one book, then re-tool the content to fit another similar audience – ensure a disclaimer is contained such as an be found on Janis B Meredith’s Softball Moms Survival Guide).
Tools: Your imagination to come up with a topic that can fit into several niche categories.

The Most Important Thing!

Publish quality writing, always start with the writing then edit, edit and edit again. Find a good cover design, hire a designer on Upwork or Fivr if you’re not visually inclined.

Make sure the interior formatting of the book is logical and easy to navigate, don’t rely on auto-generated content/indexes.

If Amazon publishing, adhere to the terms of service for books and their descriptions. Nothing is going to destroy an online reputation faster than negative reviews.