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Fedora 24 - And we represent!

updated July 20, 2016, category: Software & security

Fedora 24 Gnome
All right. Let's Fedora. The background story is as follows: On the dark side, this testing season has been awful. Regression after regression. On the bright side, I have found a new liking for the Red Hat skunk works test bed, especially the Gnome edition. Holy. Yup. I have officially unhated the Gnome.

And this is why I'm going to test Fedora in its original guise today. It should be interesting. The Debian-based distros, the LTS Ubuntu and Mint in particular, are waning in quality and fun lately, but to compensate, I've developed a mega-liking for CentOS 7, and in its Gnome and Xfce editions, it's the blast. So let's see what Fedora does.

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Lenovo G50 & CentOS 7.2 Xfce - As good as it gets

updated July 18, 2016, category: Software & security

Lenovo G50 & CentOS 7.2 Xfce
CentOS 7, Lenovo G50, third time lucky. Recently, I was able to make some huge progress in getting CentOS to run on modern hardware, and then, change this server-made distro so it behaves like a proper home darling. We started with KDE, and it was quite good. Then we tried the Gnome edition, and it was even better. Now, we will attempt to use the Xfce version.

I am still hunting for the perfect distro combo, and I think this should do it. Xfce kind of blends the good sides of both Gnome and KDE, or Plasma if you will. We have already tamed the distro quite well. It has no beef with UEFI or the dozen odd systems installed on the internal disk. The network works well. We have all the codecs and applications. Smartphone support is great in Gnome. The UI still needs tweaking. Hence this test.

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CentOS 7 - Daily papercut fixes

updated July 16, 2016, category: Software & security

CentOS 7 & papercuts
CentOS 7 is a really good system. It is an almost perfect choice for home use, even on dodgy modern hardware with misbehaving network, as I've shown you both in the KDE and Gnome reviews. Lovely jubbly. But perfect proper, not quite.

I had encountered some problems while setting up the distribution on the G50 laptop, mostly with the KDE environment. And I made sure to document all these little flaws and issues, and tried to resolve them. This guide is a compilation of that long, sustained attempt. Think of it as the final piece needed to tame or polish or beautify CentOS into a truly perfect desktop. While it may never be as popular as some Debian-based derivatives, in the long run, it offers a peace of mind that is unparalleled. Let us explore.

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Lumia 640 LTE & WP10 review - Very decent

updated July 15, 2016, category: Software & security

Microsoft Lumia 640
Long story short, a friend of mine - yes, I do have friends - lent me his Lumia 640 for a few days, so I could sample of its goods and give you an honest overview of what the phone can do. More importantly, what Windows Phone 10 can do.

My previous experiences with touch-blessed Windows have been polar. Bi-polar. On the desktop, Windows 8 was horrible, but it kicked ass on my Lumia 520 and Lumia 535. Then, again, on the desktop, Windows 10 is just okay, nothing more, nothing less. To make it all ever so slightly confusing, despite its touch nature, it sure did not blow me away on the HP Stream tablet, and I actually reverted to Windows 8. So let's see what gives on a phone. Is WP10 any good? After me.

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Linux 2017 - The Road to Hell

updated July 13, 2016, category: Software & security

Linux in 2017
Also known as a really good song by Chris Rea. Also known as, ladies and gentlemen, I am terrified. What will become of Linux in 2017? Will it even boot? Now, now, please, relax. I am not trying to be an attention person of fiscally questionably nature. I am just trying to share my fears with you.

And I'm also a man of science. Of numbers. The way I move through space with minimum waste and maximum joy is all about mathematical probabilities. I look at things happening around me and try to extrapolate what they will be like in the future. I seek patterns in the numbers, and what I see ain't pretty. Linux is slowly killing itself.

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Windows makes USB disconnect-connect sounds - Fix

updated July 11, 2016, category: Software & security

USB disconnects
The problem you are facing is probably trivial but annoying. Randomly, Windows is making the da-dam dam-dam sounds that are normally associated with USB devices being unplugged and then plugged back in. However, you are not connecting or disconnecting anything, and there is no apparent loss of functionality. This is driving you crazy.

Let me show you how you should go about troubleshooting an issue like this. The solution will often be quite easy once you know where to look. But if you're wondering if your Windows has gone mental, the answer is, follow me.

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Lenovo G50 & CentOS 7.2 Gnome - Perfection asymptote

updated July 9, 2016, category: Software & security

Lenovo G50 & CentOS 7.2 Gnome
Listen very carefully, I will say this only once. Recently, I had an epiphany, a breakthrough, a revolution. I managed to boot CentOS 7 on my evil Lenovo G50 laptop, and boy was it glorious. Using my own hacks to get the perfect desktop experience, I had the CentOS purring and meowing in the best fashion of modern, sleek desktops.

But the experience wasn't perfect. Some things were missing, most notably smartphone support, there were some niggles and glitches with multimedia and volume management and such. And then I asked myself, rather than solving this entirely in KDE, maybe all I need is the Gnome environment? Since my recent Fedora test, this desktop is back in the game and a viable option for use. Let us explore the possibilities.

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SketchUp running on Ubuntu 16.04 - Tutorial

updated July 8, 2016, category: Software & security

SketchUp & Linux
As you know, (Google) SketchUp is my 3D design tool of choice. I haven't published any new recent art galleries, all planned, worry not, but the claim stands. Whenever I am in the mood to draw some new models and then render them into beautiful creation using a dope program called Kerkythea, SketchUp is there at the beginning of the journey.

But so is Windows. Because ultimately, this program is not meant for Linux. And yet, I tried. Back in 2010, I showed you how to get SketchUp running using WINE. It worked fairly well, but then, things have changed, and it's been a rough journey since. Now, I will show you again how to get SketchUp working in the latest Ubuntu release, and we will call on the power of PlayOnLinux to help us. Follow me.

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Mint 18 - Forgetting Sarah Linux

updated July 6, 2016, category: Software & security

Linux Mint 18 Sarah Cinnamon
All right. Let's see if we can brighten my mood a little. Time to test Linux Mint 18 Sarah, the latest LTS in the Mint family, based on Xerus. This spring season has been dreadful, so I'm really hoping there will be some joy in this review. But given the results so far, that does not seem likely.

Mint has always been one of my favorite distributions, and overall, it has held steady, keeping in the high nines, often perfect, often the end-of-the-year winner, if not quite always the toppest of notches. Sarah might just be the thing we need, because things have been rolling downhill like avalanche on Teflon. Join me. Join me.

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Fiat 500S review - Emotions laid bare

updated July 4, 2016, category: Car reviews

Fiat 500S
Fiat 500 is a quintessential cultural icon. Alongside Mini, Beetle and a few other legendary cars, it's one of those vehicles that has created a new trend in the automotive world, and then lived on to become etched in the public's memory, long after the last model has rolled off the production line. I chirped most happily about this way back in 2006, in one of the very first articles on Dedoimedo, and announced the upcoming release of the new Fiat 500 in the back-then future year of 2007. Fast forward a bunch of years, and I'm driving one.

Reviving classics is very tricky. It's a hit or miss game, and even though you can play the nostalgia game with quite a bit of leeway, i.e. Star Wars and friends, at some point, people may realized you've just sold then a product based on a fifty-year-old idea, and it might not work. In fact, if you look at the aforementioned Mini or Beetle, they sure don't look like they have that olden charm. Can Fiat 500 pull it off, though?

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Lenovo G50 & CentOS 7.2 KDE - Really nice and cool

updated July 3, 2016, category: Software & security

Lenovo G50 & CentOS 7.2 KDE
Today, I shall attempt to be bold and beautiful. Or rather, boot, install and then pimp CentOS 7.2 into a near-as-perfect desktop as conceivable on my modernest hardware, the often misbehaving and Linux-not-too-friendly Lenovo G50 host. There's a lot of background info on this one, so bear with me. Bear so much that you might as well grizzly.

Anyhow, my Lenovo box is a 2015 machine with UEFI, Secure Boot, currently set up with sixteen partitions, spanning Windows 10, a whole lot of Linux distributions, and such. It also comes with a Realtek Wi-Fi card, which has been the bane of pretty much every young man, I mean distro, that I've tested. Because the drivers suck, and no one bothers fixing them. Then, to make it even more intriguing, CentOS used to not boot on this box, until now. Follow me.

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GWX Stopper - A tool to stop Windows 10 upgrades

updated July 2, 2016, category: Software & security

GWX Stopper
With roughly four weeks left to go before Microsoft (hopefully) stops the free Windows 10 upgrade offer, it is time to explore one last tool in our arsenal that neuters the GWX stuff on our boxen. Nothing new, you've seen it all before, as I've outlined in my thorough and highly popular guide on how to disable GWX and then again in my comprehensive tutorial on how to block upgrades. Still, for the sake of completeness, explore some more we must. Yoda style.

GWX Stopper is a freeware offered by Greatis, touted with some extra software dev backstabbing on why and how this program is better than its alternatives out there. I find this approach quite unnecessary in this whole scheme, and so I will mostly focus on the pros and cons of this utility in getting rid of Windows upgrade prompts, rather than on any sort of qualitative comparison to the likes of its rivals, GWX Control Panel or Never10. The simple fact is, as an end user, whatever you choose is good, as long as it delivers the right result. Now, follow me.

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Never10 - Not likey Windows 10? No ragrets.

updated June 29, 2016, category: Software & security

Never10
I am possibly reinventing the wheel ever so slightly, but I felt my repertoire of articles on how to stop or block or remove Windows 10 upgrades on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 was not complete without mentioning Never10. I've given you a whole list of tips and tricks, but Never10 was on the todo list till today.

This little tool allows you to disable (or enable) Windows 10 upgrades. For that matter, it lets you toggle the option for ANY OS upgrade, which at the moment happens to be Windows 10. The functionality comes through a series of registry keys or group policies, and it's aimed at the enterprise market, which makes it a little obscure and slightly tricky for non-techie users. Which is why you have tools like GWX Control Panel and Never10. Let's explore some more.

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GeckoLinux 421 Plasma review - It ain't no dragon

updated June 27, 2016, category: Software & security

GeckoLinux 421 Plasma
I heard a lot of good praise about this little distro. My inbox is flooded with requests to take it for a spin, so I decided, hey, so many people are asking. Let us. The thing is, openSUSE derivatives are far and few in between, but the potential and the appeal are definitely there. Something like CentOS on steroids, the way Stella did once, the same noble way Fuduntu tried to emancipate Fedora. Take a somewhat somber distro and pimpify it into submission.

GeckoLinux is based on openSUSE Leap, and I chose the Plasma Static edition. There's also a Rolling version, based on Tumbleweed, but that one never worked for me. The test box for this review is Lenovo G50. But wait! Dedoimedo, did you not recently write in your second rejection report that GeckoLinux had failed to boot? Indeed I did. But the combo of yet another firmware update on the laptop and a fresh new download fixed it, allowing for a DVD boot. Somewhat like the painful but successful Fedora exercise back in the day. Tough start, but let's see what gives.

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10 years of Dedoimedo ... and free books

updated June 25, 2016, category: Party time

10 years of Dedoimedo
Shiver me timbers. Today, Dedoimedo celebrates 10 fine years of operation. Neat. Smooth. In fact, so smooth, he's a smooth operator. In the past decade, this site has loaded some 70 million pages to its unsuspecting readers, offering knowledge and humor, mostly the former. Time to celebrate. So what's in there for you?

Free books, my lovelies. 10 years, 10 days of free books. The Lost Words novels will be available for grabs on Amazon in the following fashion in the coming two weeks or so: The Betrayed, 1 day, The Broken, 2 days, The Forgotten, 3 days, The Humbled, 4 days. Get it? So symbolic. Sweet. Oh, don't forget the Ubuntu tablet competition. Have fun, and may we enjoy many more decades together.

2016 tablet contest Amazon page (external link)

Fight 'em, tooth and nail - Corporate greed be gone

updated June 25, 2016, category: Software & security

Fight corporate greed
While going through the motions of exploring Windows 10 user management for the purpose of the namesake article, I spent a while fiddling with software that Windows had pushed onto the newly created account. Promotional, dubious-quality, semi-adware stuff that has no value other than making someone else profit from you.

And so I thought, how should users fight this epidemics? In early 2000s, any program that phoned home was spyware, any program that sent user data out was a baddie, anything that was installed without user content was a big no-no. And today?

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Windows 10 user management - Account Savant

updated June 24, 2016, category: Software & security

Windows 10 user management
A bunch of weeks ago, someone emailed me, informing of a potentially big problem with user management on Windows 10. Namely, after upgrading from Windows 8.1, the person had trouble creating additional users. Apparently, there is an issue with the user profile format and whatnot. That definitely sounds tricky.

I decided I had to test for myself, to see whether there are real problems in the process. Also, this gives us a nice opportunity to check how Microsoft handles user management in their latest operating system. So let's see what gives.

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Mp3tag - Can it redeem my songs?

updated June 23, 2016, category: Software & security

Mp3tag
Several months ago, I embarked on my music tagging quest, trying to find the one software that will auto-magically sort out some twenty years of metadata neglect in my musical collection, spanning from early CD prints all the way to the latest digital cloud stores.

Modern music is easy, but olden stuff is not. And it's not like my requirements are outrageous. Title, artist, it's all there. I just want some extras, some cover art, and all that to happen without me going through each and every file like a 15th Century laborer. My first attempt doing this in Linux wasn't too successful. I'm calling on the power of mp3tag, in Windows, to try to figure it out now.

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Rejection report 2: Korora KDE and GeckoLinux

updated June 20, 2016, category: Software & security

Rejection report 2
Picture a list if you will. It's a hate list. On it, you have driving on the left side of the road, Crocs, reality TV, and yes, you guessed it right, distros that fail to boot on my hardware and give me the pleasure of reviewing them. My timetable is planned with precision. And when I set a morning or three up for some rigorous distro testing, there's a load of energy packed in the effort. When a distro fails to boot, it takes a proverbial crap on my emotions.

I wanted to tell you a couple of nice stories, share my experience, help you decide what you ought to run or not. Not meant to be. We have two more failures freshly added to the long and growing list of malfunctioning software products. To wit, rejection report 2.

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ReactOS 0.4.1 review - Cold fusion

updated June 18, 2016, category: Software & security

ReactOS 0.4.1
Duke Nukem, Half-Life 3, ReactOS. What do they all have in common? An extremely long development time. In this article, we will focus on the last, a project that started in 1996 as an attempt to provide a free, Windows-compatible operating system to the masses.

Fast forward 20 years, ReactOS is a living, breathing entity, having recently reached a semi-mature 0.4.1 release. Lots of stuff has been happening under the hood, enough to warrant some real-life testing. Anyhow, here be Dedoimedo's first stab at this interesting little system.

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Opera Developer power saving - Magic or science?

updated June 17, 2016, category: Software & security

Opera Developer & power savings
I am not a great fan of Opera. I'm more of a ventilator. Oh, well. Anyhow, recently, this browser has come into my radar twice, first when I tested an olden version and then a more recent release. Me no impressum enough to really care or make any big changes in my production setup.

But then, I read about Opera Developer adding a new power saving mode, which promises huge improvements in battery life on laptops. As much as heady 50% compared to Google Chrome. That's a bold claim, especially for two browsers that share the same engine. Which made me power on my Lenovo G50 machine, boot into a Fedora instance with the Gnome desktop, and commence to start the experiment.

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Windows IFEO, GWX, Nirvana, and more

updated June 16, 2016, category: Software & security

Windows IFEO & Debugger
This article has a rather convoluted storyline, so bear with me. An anonymous source closely intimate with Microsoft products emailed me with a very interesting piece of information, tapping into the special ninja powers of Image File Execution Options (IFEO) and Windows debugger. To what end, you may ask? The GWX nonsense.

So, in a manner very similar to my article on WMIC, yet another highly overlooked and ultra-powered capability present in Windows since the olden days, let me show you how you can use IFEO to kick ass while using your operating system, even if programs are trying to misbehave.

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You don't need a Linkedin account

updated June 13, 2016, category: Life topics

Linkedin, no need
In recent years, Linkedin has perceivably become a rather important part of the modern business world. People use this social network to search for jobs, advertise jobs, and get their own work-related resume out there into the spotlight. Which is why I always get a funny look when people ask me to add them on Linkedin, and I tell them, I don't have one.

The same why I told you why you should not be using Facebook back in 2010, and the arguments still hold valid, I would like to tell you why you might want to entertain the idea of not having a business profile on a social media site, and why this could actually be good for your career. To wit, let us philosophize.

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Dedoimedo 2016 contest - Win an Ubuntu tablet

updated June 11, 2016, category: Software & security

Dedoimedo 2016 contest
Dear readers, we have a new contest ahead of us. The format is very similar to the two previous contests that we had, the one in 2013, which resulted in a lucky winner getting a Nexus phone, as the Ubuntu Phone was not ready yet then, and the one in 2014-2015, where I finally handed out an Ubuntu Phone to an entrepreneuring contestant. This year? The Ubuntu M10 tablet.

First, this little contest has nothing to do with Canonical. This is my personal endeavor, and it's all about you and me having a good time. You read my books, that's right, you write honest reviews, even if they be had, and by that you enter the competition. At the end of it, there will be a random draw, and someone will win a BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet, which I have tested recently, and it seems to be an okay nerdy gadget. Ready for details?

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Ubuntu M10 tablet & Convergence - Getting groovy

updated June 11, 2016, category: Software & security

Aquaris M10 & Convergence
Some relationships kick off with sparks and fireworks and ambulances and whatnot. Others have a humbler, slower, more restrained start, filled with dread and hope and anxiety. The latter scenario applies for my early hands-on experience with the BQ Aquaris M10 tablet, loaded with Ubuntu.

The initial test shows and proves the expected - this tablet is still a toy for nerds and geeks and fans, for people who want to dabble in the bold and the beautiful, but not the mainstream consumer. Then, I tried hooking it up to my LG Smart TV, to see what this Convergence mode is all about. Not bad, but then I didn't have a USB-to-micro-USB dongle to fully test my external keyboard. Now that I do, it is time for a proper rite of passage.

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How to block Windows 10 upgrades - Many solutions!

updated June 10, 2016, category: Software & security

Block Windows 10 upgrades
This tutorial is a compilation of several guides and articles I have written in the last year, all designed to help you stop and prevent Windows 10 upgrades on your systems. I want to clearly emphasize and highlight the tools, the tips and the tricks you can use to block, deny, deflect, defer, and outright reject any offer to upgrade to Windows 10.

As it turns out, Microsoft began offering their latest operating system to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 for free under the GWX campaign. But this seemingly benign proposal soon became an obnoxious, aggressive push, forcing users into a corner, and giving them little to no choice to reject these offers. It all started with the deceptively labeled recommended update KB3035583, and the ways and methods are changing all the time, every one created to make users upgrade, whether they want it or not. Let's not.

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Ubuntu Phone used by 60+ year olds

updated June 4, 2016, category: Software & security

Ubuntu Phone & elderly
I thought of using a clickbait article title, something like, Ubuntu used by a 130-year-old, which would then become two 65-year-olds, but then I thought of the many stupid articles I've seen in the past few years doing this kind of trick, and I decided, I'm better than that. Honestly, this is a true story of how two people in their seventh decade of life managed to cope with the BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone for about a week, in strange and foreign lands.

The demographics? Well, the lady has used Ubuntu before, without too many problems, and her phone of choice is iPhone. The gentleman is known to shoot people online in various FPS, uses a Nexus device and is fond of the 'OK, Google' phrase, and also fiddles with assorted Apple gadgetry and such. Not exactly a typical pair of people dumbstruck by technology, but neither your nerdy youngster speeding through life drinking mocha and tweeting about kernel patches.

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Korora 23 Gnome - Fedora on steroids

updated June 3, 2016, category: Software & security

Korora 23 Coral
One of my dreams is to have a Fedora-like operating system with three to five years of support, plus all the goodies out of the box. Yes, CentOS comes close, but then there is a tiny penalty when it comes to running all the latest and greatest software on an enterprise distro. Most of the stuff will work just fine, but then, some won't.

Fedora, on the other hand, is all about bleeding and modern, but its life is so short, so fleeting, you hardly get to pimp the distro version before a new one is out. And that is something that bugs me. What if you could skip all the pimping and enjoy yourself right away? Once upon a time in the west, Fuduntu almost did it. Now, let's see if Korora can deliver the promise. In other words, here's a distro that could potentially wean you away from the likes of Ubuntu and Mint. Maybe. Steroids, that's what plants crave. But are they good for you? Let's test.

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Meet Franz - Alles Klar Herr Kommissar?

updated May 25, 2016, category: Software & security

Meet Franz
One of the great advantages of not having friends is not having multiple means of communication for keeping in infrequent contact with them. To wit, the lack of a need to maintain multiple IM and VoIP tools and social networks. However, if you do fail at being a total misanthrope, you will possibly discover that you require half a dozen programs to keep up with your global dispersion of friends, family and colleagues.

Not too bad, but there's a bit of administrative hassle in having all these software to chat and message and exchange photos and whatnot. So why not bundle them all under a single umbrella? Pidgin tried that back in its day, but now there's a new player in the town. It's called Franz, it's named after an Austrian emperor, it's cross-platform, and it's supposed to fix all our problems. Like in The Big Lebowski, Karl the repairman will fix deine cable. So we shall do it. Mit Franz. Get it? Mit Franz!

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Kubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus - Not meant to be

updated May 23, 2016, category: Software & security

Kubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus
It is time to give Kubuntu its due attention. LTS, ah, the magic word. Or at least you would think so. Five years of stability and support, not. I innocently hoped and thought this latest gen of Ubuntu would be the bee's knees, and that Xerus would surpass Trusty in terms of quality and hardware compatibility. Oh how naive I was.

Regressions, regressions everywhere. Neither Ubuntu nor Xubuntu delivered as they should, giving me a more than mediocre experience. Very troubling, and with far reaching consequences. This means I'm not really expecting much from Kubuntu today. But test I must. So let's.

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It's alive, it's alive!

updated May 21, 2016, category: Books

Prince Dietrich
The Amazing Adventures of Dashing Prince Dietrich has been published! The silliest book of the year is here, and you are more than welcome to grab yourself a copy. Paperback for now, with Kindle coming in a week or two. The name of the series? Woes & Hose. How about that.

And so here be the latest novel in my colorful stash of fantasy and science fiction. This hilarious, fast-paced, gunpowder-rich grim yet fun novel takes you into a crazy world of disappointed sons of royalty, romance, sharp humor, and even sharper swords. Guns, too. Stop hatin', start participatin'. And grab yourself a copy, will ya. Contests and prizes to follow.

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