Troubleshooters.Com Presents

The Latest Thing
Copyright (C) 2011-2012 by Steve Litt

Email Steve Litt

Thursday: 4/19/2012: Introduction to Python at LEAP Meeting

David Billsbrough and I will present "Introduction to Python" at the Linux Enthusiasts and Professionals (LEAP) meeting Thursday, 4/19/2012 at 6:45PM, at DeVry Orlando, 4000 Millenia BlvdOrlando. Plenty of free parking. David begins around 7PM after an introductory speaker. I do the "Introduction to Python OOP" part a little after  8PM: See the LEAP website, for details.

7/7/2011: My new book is out!

My new book, titled "The Key to Everyday Excellence", went on sale to the public on 7/4/2011. The introductory price til 7/31/2011 is $9.80, and sales have been brisk. This is a discovery novel (a business novel teaching things not entirely related to business) in which you learn these four tools:
These are explained more thoroughly at

After 7/31/2011 I expect this eBook to sell for $19.95 due to its 110K word length and the value of its tools.

5/20/2011: Why Scan and Exploit is Different

Scan and Exploit is my latest process, joining my Universal Troubleshooting Process and Rapid Learning Process. Here are the process steps, straight out of my soon-to-be-completed book:
  1. Know your tools and techniques
  2. Scan the current situation for patterns related to those tools and
  3. Exploit a pattern with the proper tool or technique
  4. Go to step 2 and start over
The Universal Troubleshooting Process and the Rapid Learning Process are highly specialized to do one and only one activity. Scan and Exploit is different because it can be used in a wide variety of situations. It's especially powerful in changing situations, unpredictable situations, and when you want to find your way from one condition to another.

More later...

5/11/2011: Business Novels

"The Goal" by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox is a business novel. The premier business novel. A fiction book designed to teach. With this book you can learn the complex Theory of Constraints in a fun way by watching the main character (Alex Rogo) figure things out. If you haven't read this book, read it.

I first tried my hand at writing business novels (actually business short stories) in the following stories from "Twenty Eight Tales of Troubleshooting":
Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, so my new book, "The Key to Everyday Excellence", is  written as a business novel. It should be available in June.

5/6/2011: My New Book is in the Edit Stage

My new book, "The Key to Everyday Excellence", is being edited by a professional editor right now, and will be available for sale in about a month. It's going to be cool.

Have you ever wondered how I keep creating productivity processes like the Universal Troubleshooting Process and the Rapid Learning Process? Me too. I had no idea.

Then, while writing "The Key to Everyday Excellence", it became clear exactly how I create these processes, so I made sure this book teaches you how to do it.

It's pretty cool. Need to be good at something? No problem, create a productivity process for that activity, and next thing you know you're a Ninja!

Umm, I'm sorry for the 14 month gap in my tweets. There was a big influx of work and "The Key to Everyday Excellence" consumed A LOT of time. But that's no excuse. I'll never have a gap like this again.

3/13/2010: Half Way Done With My Next Book

I backburnered "The Woman's Guide to Dealing With Repairmen", and there's no estimated date when it will be ready. My next book, which I started about 2 weeks ago, which is about starting a business when you're unemployed, is about half way done. I expect it to be available before May 2010.

Sometimes, when there are just no jobs to be had, you have nothing to lose by starting your own business. This book gives tips on how to quickly do that without going into debt or committing in a way you can't get out of. After all, that spectacular job offer might be a week away, but you can't count on it, so you need to start taking other steps to get money in right away.

11/16/2009: The Woman's Guide to Dealing With Repairmen

The working title of my next book is "The Woman's Guide to Dealing With Repairmen." As the title implies, this book is for women, and it discusses how to deal with repairmen. I'm outlining it now, and will start writing it within the next two weeks. It will be a free download eBook in PDF format.

Judging from my wife's observation and those of many other women, repairmen don't make it easy if you're female. If you're a woman, I'd very much like to hear from you concerning any problems you've had with repairmen, technicians, mechanics, computer geeks for hire and the like.

The book's information page is at

NOTE: If you're a man, please show this to your wife, mother, sister and female friends. The more feedback I get in the outline stage of this book, the more useful the book will be.

9/13/2009: New Book!

My latest book is finished. It's called "Thrive in Tough Times: The Thinking Person's Guide to Success and Fulfillment." It's COMPLETELY different from the books in your bookstore. Read all about it at

8/14/2009: New Linux Productivity Magazine

This magazine shows how to turn Ubuntu into a desktop/laptop Linux that just works(tm). It describes installation, updating software sources for nonfree software, Wifi configuration and troubleshooting, custom hotkeys, and lots more. Read it at

8/13/2009: Win9x/Me Samba Failure Syndrome

Changed defaults in a recent Samba upgrade cause heartache for Win9x/Me machines. This article at describes the symptom, the solution, and the theoretical underpinnings of this nasty little problem. It also gives a proactive fix so you'll never see the problem.

8/13/2009: Did You Miss Me?

Due to family illnesses, broken computers, and various other time sinks I haven't written here in June or July. But I'm back.

5/24/2009: I've Created a Troubleshooting Process Discussion List

I've created a discussion list (mailing list) specifically for professional discussions about the process of troubleshooting. This is a professional list rather than a bull session. It's intended to host only on-topic posts without personal insults, profanity, and other distractions. It will have an extremely high signal to noise ratio. You don't have to be a professional to join, you just have to make your posts professional.

If you'd like to subscribe, go to

5/17/2009: The Bicycle Wheel Building Subsite Is Available

And wow is it complete! This subsite has facts you can't find anywhere else on the Internet. I think that this just might be the most complete source of wheel lacing content on the Internet. The only thing missing is a spoke length calculator, but spoke length calculators are available all over the Internet, and personally, if I were going to spend $36.00 on 36 spokes, I'd bring the hub and rim into a quality bikeshop, let them do the calculations, and get them to guarantee that the spokes they sell me will fit.

My document covers inside and outside pull, rim polarities, hub bevel polarities, and much more. Equipped with this document, I think any fairly competent person who can follow instructions can build themselves a wheel with any hub and rim combination as long as they have the right length spokes. See the wheel building subsite here.

5/14/2009: New Bicycle Wheel Building Content Coming

Tuesday 5/12 I laced a bicycle wheel from scratch, for the first time in 20 years, following some very quick, concise and accurate instructions from John at Orange Cycle, my favorite Central Florida bike shop. Unfortunately, I got the hub countersink polarity wrong and one spoke already snapped off at the head.

John's instructions helped me understand wheel building better than I understood it when I was a professional bike mechanic. Further detailed web research plus some experimentation has given me ideas on building a strong and durable window regardless of rim polarity and hub countersink polaritity.

Deceased bicycle authority Sheldon Brown earlier wrote the best wheel building content at However, like most others, Sheldon failed to take into account hub spoke hole countersinking, so I will soon be creating some wheelbuilding content to augment Sheldon Brown's.

5/10/2009: Analysing my Dabo App

My first step in learning Dabo ( was to analyze the code written by its auto-generator (AppWizard). The autogenerated code is organized into three directories, ./ui, ./biz, and ./db, corresponding to the three parts of a typical 3-tier app. Everything is pretty much where you'd expect it, and contains pretty much what you'd expect, and is fairly simple given what is accomplished. The three tiers are brought together with a python program, named for the application, in the main directory.

I only had a few minutes, but was able to re-order the columns on the grid and the form.

After a few more hours looking through and fooling around with the autogenerated code, the next step will be to develop something with the Class Designer.

I don't know enough of Dabo to evaluate its value as an app framework for Troubleshooters.Com, but what I can say is "so far so good."

5/7/2009: GoLUG Meeting Was Great!

Richard Ostrow's presentation clearly and succinctly explained Qt -- what it is and how to use it. Then, in real time, Richard used Qt to create a web browser (sans the http component -- it opened only local on-disk files). He could have added the http component, but the presentation was only two hours, and we all got the point.

I'll be investigating Qt soon now, and I don't think I was the only attendee who was inspired. Great work Richard!

5/6/2009: GoLUG Meeting Tonight

I'm looking forward to tonight's GoLUG meeting. Richard Ostrow will demonstrate development with the Qt programming framework. If you live in Central Florida and want to attend, here's all the info:

Location info:
Full Sail Campus Map:

If you live in Central Florida, I hope to see you there!

5/5/2009: My First Dabo App

For a decade I've been looking for a RAD as productive as Clarion. I'd still use Clarion except there's no Clarion for Windows. I tried RAILS but it didn't quite float my boat, so now I'm trying Dabo (
So I make a test database with a test table called people, and bang, just as advertised it autogenerated a simple CRUD app. A picture of the app's data grid is on the right.

The first time I tried it I'd forgotten to include a primary key when creating the table, so I recreated the table with a primary key, re-autogenerated the app, and it worked perfectly, at least for what it was.

At the right you'll notice the fields are ordered fname, job and lname instead of fname, lname and job. My next step is to find out how to fix that.
    My first dabo app

After I have a 1 table app autogenerated and the fields reordered, I'll try autogenerating a 2 table app (with a 1 to many relationship). After that, I'll start evaluating whether to use Dabo for in-house programming.

5/3/2009: Updated Steve's Scheme Society

I updated the Scheme at a Glance page to include local variables, tail recursion pros and cons, random numbers and a kludge to print rational numbers as fractions.

5/2/2009: Steve's Scheme Society (with Guile)

Scheme is an oustanding language for math, puzzles, and controlling other programs. It's also the native language of Gimp's script-fu. I've created Steve's Scheme Society (with Guile) as an easy way to learn and understand Scheme and its GNU implementation, Guile. The first two pages of this subsite, while not complete, are quite adequate to get started with Scheme.

 [ Troubleshooters.Com | Email Steve Litt ]

Copyright (C) 2011 by Steve Litt. -- Legal