Category Archives: Design


Effective immediately (6/8/11), the subject blog has moved to its new site: The blog will be but one element in a larger site that I  self-host, and that will give you a significantly richer experience. Items of significance for you … Continue reading


FlaAuthor blog has moved to Continue reading New Site Going Live

Our main website, will go live this Thursday, June 9, 2011.

The blog currently found at will be transferred as of that date.   There will be a link pointing to the new site, for some period of time.

Please add the to your address book and watch for our first post on that site will appear this Friday.

Meanwhile, our book is available for purchase at Amazon USA and Amazon
, plus Barnes & Noble, and if I may say so, is doing well.  I’ll
see you in the book and on the new site.


Proof: The iPad Is Affecting Consumer PC Sales

In my recent post, The iPad is becoming The Only ‘PC’ That Matters, I postulated that the computers that we have used since 1978 are becoming less and less relevant, due to the introduction of smaller form-factor computers that we have today.  These new devices, Smartphone’s, tablets and the like, are really cutting into traditional computer sales and use.

In a recent article in Business Insider, Proof The iPad Is Affecting Consumer PC Sales , my prediction appears to be validated.

Please take a look to follow the conversation!

When will you add a tablet to your digital inventory?  I know that I can effectively write stories and chapters on my iPhone 3GS.  I have read entire books on my phone.  They are viable and a starting to become pervasive.

Yes, I still own a laptop and a home PC.   They still have their place but they don’t integrate well into my current lifestyle.  ‘Choices’ aren’t they wonderful!

The Internet is ‘Full’: No More Room at the ‘Inn’

I wondered when this would happen…

Of course, it was only a matter of time when these two events would occur!  The first is running out of Internet addresses.  The second is that streaming media (movies transmitted to your computer, from the cloud, in real time) now amount to the largest consumer of Internet traffic in North America.

A Shortage of Unique Internet Addresses

As of February of this year, all of the assignable Internet addresses available, have been assigned.  That means that very shortly, there will be ‘no room on the Internet’ for new assignments – unless something changes.  That change is a move from the IPV4 to IPV6 address schema.

“IPv4 and IPv6 are two different types of the Internet Protocol (as in IP address). IPv4 is the current standard and is used by the largest majority of systems that connect to a Local Area Network (LAN) and/or the World Wide Web.

IPv4 is only capable of holding four fields in an IP address. IPv6 is capable of holding six fields. One reason IPv6 has come into play is because, with the growing number of computers in the world, IPv4 will run out of possible combinations. There cannot be more than one device with an IP address otherwise it will cause conflicts.”  Please take a look at a single-page PDF that compared IVP4 and IVP6 here.

We have known that we were consuming internet addresses far faster than anyone could have envisioned when the IVP4 address (TCPIP Protocol address standard was last revised in September, 1981).

Conventional wisdom is that the creators were only thinking about computing devices that would deliver information to a sitting user.  They did not consider that a day would come when even a refrigerator in our home, or a traffic light on our streets, could take advantage of an Internet connection.  The standard provided for four address fields.  This results in a possible four billion addresses.  IVP6 provides for six address fields.  If you have six address fields you have a potential of 2 to the power of 128 and ends up being 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 unique IP addresses.   That is a whole lot of potential and assignable addresses.  Given what we know today, that should take us down the road for the foreseeable future.

There is a problem however.  To implement the new standard, that need to be a massive hardware change, or running a parallel network (Internet 2) with switching between the two networks. This is a huge undertaking and will cost us all money!

How Internet Bandwidth is Used Today

Roughly one third of the total Internet is being used to stream movies to your TV, from the Netflix Cloud.  This startling news has been brought to us, once again, by Business Insider.  In an article released today, they report that: “Netflix’s streaming service is so popular that it’s now consuming 30% of peak downstream internet bandwidth in North America, according to data from Sandvine, a broadband equipment company, via TechCrunch.

It is only after Netflix, that the main (and intended) HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) traffic shows up with 18%, a little more than half of the 30% Netflix traffic.  Are movie theaters going the way of the Music Industry, (soon) the Bookstore Industry, and may other information delivery institutions!

You can read more by going to the original article on Business Insider, and their data source TechCrunch.  The times, they area changin’.  If you can develop the skills to be a Technology Forecaster, you can provide a needed service, and become very rich in the process!

Read more:

Credit for some of the content in this post goes to an unknown poster on Yahoo Answers.

I am a Non-Fiction Deviant

I have just run across the most amazing chart that is clearly for fiction writers.  Being  (up till now) a non-fiction writer, there is limited use of this chart (and what is behind it) for me.  Never the less, is a MAJOR boon to fiction writers because it codifies the decision points an author must go through, either consciously or non-consciously, as he crafts his/her stories.

Periodic Table of Storytelling

This information provides a non-fiction writer with a structured tool that MUST make them a  better story-teller, and will lend cohesiveness to a less-experienced writer.  Of course, to get the material you must admit that you are a deviant (a Good deviant).  I have no problem is doing so as my friends and family already know this about me.  It hasn’t seemed to cool their love for me.

And so, without further ado, I present to you the Periodic Table of Storytelling.

Hope that you enjoyed it!



Who’s the Designer?

The spine of the book is an important aspect i...

Image via Wikipedia

 Today I saw a great post by Joel Friedlander called “When Self-Published Book Design Goes Bad” .  It documents a book design project that looks to be in a “Death Spiral” to mediocrity!  At the worst, it has perhaps given true book designers like Joel, as well as my own designer Walt Shiel, cause to think twice when they accept a commission to design a book, a cover, or a multi-volume project.  In the end, it is the authors and publishers who will suffer when the designer says “Is this turning into THE project from Hell?”

When you give unbounded choice to an author that has slaved over for years, or a month, on how their baby will be clothed, you clearly must establish boundaries on “Can you do this so I can see what it will look like?”  Book design, like any other business, has a few important goals:

  • To satisfy the artistic demands that the manuscript
  • To create a product in which both can take pride
  • To compel the ‘shopper’ to BUY
  • To create a (limited) ‘work of art’ that will further the careers of both
  • To Collect Money (the goal of all business)

Walt did this well by clearly stating the number of revisions allowed as well as the number of person-to-person communications that we would have.  After that, it was a fee per hour.  End of story. Please take a look at Joel’s article: When Self-Published Book Design Goes Bad!

Website design continues as my web designer Mike at Smart Author Sites, cuts up the approved proof into pieces, for my use in building the site.  Our first joint design conference call will be on March 29.

I may not blog tomorrow (who knows”) so I would like to remind you all that my beloved Lynn passed away eleven months ago tomorrow!

Love each other today as if there is NO tomorrow!


To Blog Today or Not to Blog

I’ve taken a few days off this week on the blogging front.  Real life intruded on my idyllic cocoon of my computer, my view of the golfers putting on the first green of the Sugarmill Woods Southern Woods golf course, and the drone of CNN in the background.  The news has been particularly unfortunate this week but it allows me to focus on how blessed I am.  Not blessed in my social life, but blessed in the small measure that I am taking to crawl out from under this cloud.

Do you follow Twitter?  I have a rather eclectic group of 1,100 followers that follow @CliffordF2.  My primary sphere of interests include: Writing and Authors, Publishing, Science, Technology, and all things contemporary.  It also includes a world of mindless fanatics, including those ‘space pilots’ who follow Justin Bieber and Britany Spears.  If I get one more ‘GET MORE FOLLOWERS MY BEST FRIENDS I WILL FOLLOW YOU BACK IF YOU FOLLOW ME.  These are the bloody terrorists of the Twitter world! An example of one of these characters name is BoyBelieberGaGa.  Believe it or not, it is NOT a girl; it is a 17-year-old guy from the UK.  I don’t know how many times that I have told them that my immediate reaction to this kind of tweet is to immediately unfollow them.  Is this a problem for you Twitters out there?  Please leave a comment.

The genesis of this terrorism seems to be an outfit called  They promise you 3,000 new followers in 30 days, for $65.  Right! If it were not against my principles, not to mention illegal, a hack of that site would now be in progress.  Terrorists!!

Last Friday Mike from Smart Author Sites completed the Views from Sandhausen sites ‘look and feel’.  I need only one small tweak to make it perfect.  Where Lynn and my picture is, there will be a scrolling marquee that cycles through (118) significant photographs of our lives there, including photos of some of you, our dear friends.  I’ll be doing a grand announcement when all the pieces are in place.  In the meantime, please leave a comment and tell me what you think of the site’s appearance.  I really need your opinion to confirm my opinions! 🙂

That’s about it for today all.  Have a Wonderful weekend and I’ll be back next week.  Live long and Prosper!


Information Delivery: Times Marches On

There has been a lot of discussion about the future of books. 

Views from Sandhausen Website - First Draft

As we look back at the Record, Movie, and Entertainment systems evolution, we see a shift of media; content reigns and delivery system evolves.  Since the same things are happening to all of these information delivery systems, it tells us that it is not about these ‘Information Niches’; it is more about how we are evolving as a species.

As an abject Lover of books, it has been of concern to me personally. As I strive to move forward in my writing and publishing efforts, I feel like I felt in my 30’s when White Water Rafting meant so much to me.  The analogy is not only solid, it is absolutely fundamental to what we are experiencing.  We avoid the rocks (new ideas), are sucked into whirlpools (when we bet on an innovation that proves to be a dry well), and are relentlessly pushed by the overpowering force that we feel (Time) to our greater glory – or total destruction.

As said by Julius Wiedemann in his recent (excellent analysis) post The Book Is Dead. Long Live The Publishing Industry! , “We are moving toward an ever-growing differentiation between the book as object versus content delivery system. As this occurs, we cannot ignore the fact that our lives are shifting dramatically toward a digitalized experience. This shift is happening not just for the sake of technology; it is happening because we–as in, society–are changing, as is our behavior.”

My lifelong desire was to write and publish a book.  I love to write so it was just a matter of time.   I published Lynn’s Story in a hardback version only.  It went to close family and friends who intimately loved and shared joys with Lynn and me.  I am publishing Views from Sandhausen in all formats less audio.


The paperback proof copy of Views from Sandhausen was just delivered!  It is Brilliant!!!  I may sleep with it tonight.  WOW!!!

 As pointed out in Mr. Wiedmann’s post, I expect that people will still buy a physical copy of the book, if they liked the eBook that they have read.  If this comes to pass, it is VITAL that eBooks have the same pagination as does the hard or soft cover edition.  The current practice of paginating eBook’s as ‘screens’ will make it slightly more difficult to read the eBook on your commute, the PC version in the office (whoops, did I say that?), and the hard/soft cover version whilst trying to fall asleep.  Not impossible mind you, just more difficult.

I intend to leverage that trend by offering book bundles Hard + eBook, or Soft + eBook, on my personal sell site,  OF course, pricing breaks will be offered.

Other happenings: (things are moving very fast) over the last two days, include my sending the first round of comments back to Smart Author Sites on the look and feel of the site that they are currently designing. Today’s photo will give you a quick look at the first draft of the site Home Page.  Please feel free to comment on what you see!  (You always are welcome to leave me comments: it makes both you and I better!)

The Twitter following continues to grow; I am weeding out the ‘chaff’ and adding people who are ‘movers and shakers’ in this business.  If I’ve learned something from you (and I know that you don’t care) – I’m following You!  Lastly, I’m continuing to work with PhotoFunia and their very clever software that produces images like this:

What a great tool for subtle advertising!!

Views from Sandhausen Advertising

Now take a further few moments and read Julius Wiedmann’s insightful post The Book Is Dead. Long Live The Publishing Industry!