How Writing a Book and Alcatraz Ruined My Health!

Last year, I wrote a book and an online course about mobile web apps. As you know, writing is generally a pretty sedentary activity that happens to go well with booze. Writing is also really hard work (mentally), and so it’s important for a writer to reward himself frequently with ice cream and various other snacks.

In spite of all these factors pulling me towards completely ignoring my health, I did make some attempts to be fit and forty early in the year (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that last year was also the year I turned 40). I registered for a 5k race and for a swim from Alcatraz, both of which helped me to focus on my training so that I wouldn’t die or get eaten by sharks. The problem, however, was that once the races were over, I felt like I didn’t need to exercise ever again. And, so I didn’t.

I think you can see where this is headed–writing and the successful completion of amazing feats of physical endurance have wrecked me! I’ve gained about 30lbs in the last year, and I have way more clothes that don’t fit now than I have that fit.

And so, like so many people with lame excuses for why they’re fat slobs, I’ve decided to start turning it around. I don’t have the guts to post a “before” picture of myself, but I’ll let you use your imagination. I look something like this:

Boss Hogg

And so, here I go! Stay tuned for updates!


  1. Tony Scarpelli says:

    I’ve gone through your book “Webkit for Dummies” through to chapter 4, and here’s a dummy question:
    How do I install a Webkit project on an Android table, where does it go, and how do I access it on the device?

    Did I not go far enough in the book?
    I couldn’t find a section on deploying it to a local device.

    Great book, though. Thanks.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Tony!

    Thanks for writing! I’m glad you’re enjoying the book. In order to use a mobile web app on a device, you need to upload it to a web server and access it using the android browser. Once you’ve done that, you can bookmark it and display an icon on for it on the desktop (which is covered in a future chapter).

    The other option is to convert the app into a native app by using a bridging framework (like PhoneGap, which is introduced in a different future chapter). Once you’ve done that, you’ll get a .apk file that you can copy to your device and install (I usually just email them to myself and open the attachment to install it). OR, you can sign up at Google Play, pay the $25 fee, and create an account where you can upload your app file and distribute it that way.

    Let me know if this answers your question, or if your question was more general — such as how to deploy the app to a web server. Thanks!

  3. Tony Scarpelli says:

    I have been playing with App Inventor, and something out there somehow turns the App Inventor code into a .apk file that I can load into my tablet and install it there.

    Right now I only want to run the apps on my own device, I don’t want to distribute it just yet. Maybe when they are ready for prime time.

    So PhoneGap will do that and I should read that chapter first.

    What about Eclipse, will that turn the code into an .apk file?


  4. admin says:

    Phonegap will do it. In my book, I talk about PhoneGap Build, which will just take your uploaded html/js/css files and output a .apk. Check it out! It’s very easy to use.

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