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I have been writing books, articles and other material since 1996.

As soon as people know that I write, many wwill start asking me questions about the process:

How did you get started?
How do approach a publisher?
Should I have an agent?
Do you have editors correcting your work?
How do I promote my new book?
Who do I contact to get my article published?

I’ve always answered every question thrown at me. Often at some length, and I’ve always tried to give a level, and considered response, usually providing information and opinions from multiple perspectives, as well as warnings and pitfalls to be aware of before going qith a particular solution.

The Writing Biz is where I will post my responses to these past questions, along with new issues, ideas and comments, so that people other than those who originally posed the question can benefit from my experience.

I don’t claim to be an expert on these matters - but I do have a lot of experience from a number of different angles, and I’m willing to share that others.

If you have a specific question that you want to see answered, please use the Contact Us page.


Have you ever watched a film, listened to music, read a book or watched TV and come across a word or phrase that you didn’t know before. HAve you ever wondered what a particular word or phrase from one those sources meant, and wanted to know more than you could find out from a dictionary?

Perhaps you misheard the word or phrase, and now can’t find an entry for it?

That’s what Improve Your Vocab is designed for!

Partly for my own edification, this website is designed to provide information on those words and phrases that I come across in the material I watch and listen to. The blog is designed to help me document what Ifind so that I can remember it and, hopefully, in the process make the information useful to other people.

Here you’ll find information on English and other language words and phrases, including where the expression came from, derivations and an original source for the expression so that when you watch or read the same film, TV show or book you can also find the information.


I’ve been using virtual machine technology for many years, and today I think I would be hard pressed to live without it. Since I test many different software packages, operating systems, environments and try out and test different systems. Without virtual machine technology this would be very difficult, with it, it’s incredibly easy.

I use lots of different types of virtual machine technology - I have a permanent Windows Server 2003/Microsoft Virtual Server installation that runs six different operating systems which I use as my ’sandbox’ - I have a second a Windows Server 2003 installation, Gentoo, NetBSD, Fedora, CentOS, Solaris 11 and Windows XP. I then also have a number of ‘pre-configured’ VMs which I can execute on a desktop VirtualPC solution when I need to. In addition some some standard environments, I also have specific applications sets - for example a Rational development platform for my IBM work, and a test environment for mail servers (for SPAM/Virus removal).

On a Linux desktop, I VMware to play with Linux environments, and a Sun Ultra 60 enables me to play with Solaris Zones.

All of them have their advantages, and their disadvantages and problems.

Originally I was going to cover all of this in a book, but I decided the scope (and long term usability) of the book format were not really suitable for an area of computing which is constantly evolving, so I created this website.

It’s early stages yet - and I still have to map out the content of the site beyond my original book plan - but stay tuned, and we’ll start looking at virtual computing in more detail soon.

For more details on the exact content of the site see the About page. Or just stay subscribed.