Download this book! Right now! Before it stops being free!


I am not in the habit of repeating things I see on boing boing. It's not because I have anything against boing boing. I don't. I enjoy pop culture tidbits, Cory Doctorow losing his shit about copyright, and Xeni Jardin writing about sex as the next person. However, typically I figure I don't need to repeat it. Most of you will have seen it anyway.

Well, I'm not taking it this time. For a limited time, John Hodgman's brilliant book, The Areas of My Expertise, is available on iTunes as an audiobook for free.

For free.

Guys, I paid for this audiobook on, and it was worth every penny. It's one of the audiobooks I've listened to as I drive from New England to Ottawa and back, as I do every couple of weeks now that Weds lives up there. To see that it's free now is to say to me "Eric, you must tell the people of this glorious thing."

For those who don't know John Hodgman, shut up. Yes you do. He's the PC on the "Hi, I'm a Mac" ads. He's on the Daily Show. He's brilliant and funny and the audiobook is wonderful. But it doesn't have to be wonderful right now because it's God damn fucking free so download it already.


In other news, read today's Something Positive, because holy Fuck.


Does it really count as free when you need a credit card to download it?

I second your comment regarding Something Positive. Randy sure does know how to end his years.

When you're not charged, then yes. Though a paypal account or iTunes card will do. There is no setup fee, however. So yeah, it counts as free.

I don't like audiobooks. The only time I'd get to listen to them is sitting at my computer. Pity, I've heard the guy is great plus he's buddied up with John Coulton who is also awesome...

Bah. Requires iTunes, which probably means it'll be some kind of DRM-infested file that won't play on my iRiver even if I did go through the trouble of installing iTunes to download it, which I won't.

Not worth it, even for free.

"Not worth it, even for free."

Methinks an Aesop's fable just got updated, with the grapes having been been editorialized into Apples.

As to Hodgman's brilliance- it's a subtle one whose glare doesn't blind you when you first see it, but absolutely ruins your nightsight afterwards- and isn't that a horrid metaphor.

Holy Fuck, indeed. That shit came out of nowhere.

Am I the only person horribly unimpressed by this turn of events? It's been done to death.

Oh look, I can sign in. That's novel.

This audio book looks like it's only available from the US store. If you're part of the 97% of the world who isn't American, you're SOL.

Even if you are adverse to the DRM in iTunes (a position that I agree with in general) it's pretty damned easy to download things with iTunes and then rip them to another format.

Even at the extreme you can just burn a cd and then rip it to MP3 with audacity which you can get from sourceforge. There. Now go download the awesomeness. You have no excuse!

Two questions that stand out after looking at this audiobook:

1. Is there an unabridged version of this (I'm guessing no) audiobook (because otherwise, I'm just going to get the book)?

2. He's also part of a Kasper House Comedy Podcast that's also free to subscribe. Is that any good?

Now, why do I prefer unabridged to abridged audiobooks? Two reasons. One, I tend to buy the book along with the audiobook. Two, I tend to travel along and at the recommended speed-limit which seems to irk about 95% of the other drivers out there. Either that, or I need to have my speedometer checked. Also I don't have an ipod or any way to listen to an ipod in my car (I'd have to stick with CDs. Maybe I should have asked my parents for an IPOD player that I could play in my car for Christmas this year. D'oh!)

Having listened to half an hour or so of it, it's actually not so much a straight abridgment of the book as it is an adaptation to audio format. It's more like a podcast than a "pure" audio book as he has Jonathan Coulton there with him and they sort of converse and riff off of each other as they go through the book's content. They leave some things out, I would assume at least partly because a book made up of mostly tables doesn't translate particularly well to an audiobook format, but they also add things that aren't in (well, I'm going to assume they aren't, anyway, not ever having read) the printed book. It's more of companion work than a strict transliteration.

I was mostly surprised by the turn at S*P because if you consider how many times Davan has vehemently expressed his desire to never procreate, I was certain he would have worn a freaking condom. I guess sometimes you can just be too spontaneous.

Also, I'm torn on the audio book. On one hand, Hodgman is absolutely hilarious on the Daily Show. On the other hand, those "Mac & PC" ads drive me up the freaking wall. I just love when a computer company tells me I'm a completely backwards moron for my platform of choice.

The thing I find hilarious about the Apple ads is that Hodgman so out-performs the Mac guy that you end up rooting for PC instead of Mac.

There are several ways on the intarweb to 'untune' iTunes songs and make them DRM free. Exactly where to get one I don't know atm (I don't use iTunes) but they are out there.

The gift horse's mouth /would/ look a little nicer if the book were being released as mp3s on the web.

But my wife already has an iTunes account, and she just downloaded it, so I'll just ask her to burn it to a cd, I'll rip it (using iTunes, ironically) and then put it on my Cowon iAudio, which is an mp3 player without a Tiny Cop living in it to make sure I can't use it to copy mp3s to my work computer.

So, um. Yay! Free Audio Book! Audio Books + Cartooning = Happiness!

Can we *please* stop b!tching about a YES IT IS ACTUALLY FREE audiobook?

Seriously. Grow up.

Also, thanks Eric because this is totally worth listening to. Heck it's fun to just have on in the background even if you're not paying attention to it.


One of these years, Randy's going to get struck by a truck or have a massive embolism after a year-end strip, and we are all going to have to live with an resolved cliffhanger from hell.

In fact, I'm sure he has it planned that way.

I'd get it except that I'm Canadian... and apparently am not qualified. Or something. Oh, and I'd have to do all that sign-up stuff.

Where is my DRM-free MP3?

Not available to people with Canadian billing addresses, it seems...

Looking at the LJ, it looks like there's a fair amount of discussion on the first page about how childfree people don't buy that Davan would boink without a condom.

Frankly, I don't either. And I think he'd notice if the condom broke.

I figure odds are that this will be a false alarm in the end. I can't see Randy wanting to write Davan as a parent for the rest of the strip. Mike's already there for that, and not a MC so it wouldn't have to be covered as much as it would with Davan.

Can someone provide a link to download it for people outside the US? It's a free download, just put it in MP3 and rehost it.

(or, email/YouSendIt a copy to me and *I'll* rehost it.)

I'm about an hour into the audiobook, and I have laughed and laughed. I particularly enjoy Special Guest Paul Rudd reading the Jokes that Have Never Gotten a Laugh.

Being a huge Daily Show fan, I'm going to have to download Hodgeman's book- But in the meantime, I'm still busy laughing my ass off at Something Positive. Holy fuck indeed. At least Davan didn't have to deal with the kid when he was in the 2 or below age group Davan reserves his most fierce loathing for. And the way Davan asked the somewhat snarky question regarding the absent father before having it thrown in his face? I'm not going to stop laughing at that all night. Order of the Stick is currently firing on all possible cylinders, as well. But I just wanted to say that because it gets far too little love.

I'm not getting anything off iTunes. Even for free.

S*P freaked me out today!

^_^ I'll admit to some amusement over some of the debates in the LJ, the one on whether or not condoms can fail with proper usage or if that's just misleading statistics by the evil abstinence overlords, or the one on whether or not it was unethical for the girl to have not told Davan either upon finding out, or at all over all these years.

It is, indeed, quite amusing.

Anyone with a bittorrent client (I recommend Azureus or uTorrent) can download it, from anywhere in the world, in mp3 format. Just search for "areas of my expertise" on

Does anybody, absolutely anybody, know how to get iTunes to work with WindowsME? My marriage may depend on it.

As an old sergeant of mine once said, "There's some people'd bitch because you gave 'em a gold brick. 'This is too heavy. Can't you just give me a check?'"

Darrin_Bright, I've got good news and bad news.

The good news is that I found a way to install iTunes on Windows ME. The bad news is that it requires the sacrifice of a live turducken and a passenger pigeon.

(I'm annoyed because without an iPod, I'm stuck for how to get the audiobooks to travel with me. CD-audio's no good, and my MP3 player doesn't play nice with iTunes' DRM.)

I count myself in both the group who are Canadian and the group who don't have credit cards (or don't feel like signing up for the iTunes store). So it would've just been a big waste of time for me.

Still. Sounds like a nice thing to do. Y'know, for Americans who have credit cards. Apparently it's not for me.

:( I even tried to download it, but then i had to deal with iTunes music store and putting my credit card in, and the system wasn't working that day anyways!

now it's not free :(

The gold brick in question is on a store I refuse to endorse for the same reason I won't buy an iPod.

Get a bittorrent client, find it on I'm seeding it as we speak. You'll get mp3s, which you can actually use on a non-apple DAP.

If you like it, buy the CDs anyway. Eric was right, it is worth the money. And it's nice to support people who provide you with entertainment.

You know, you don't have to be American to sign up for itunes as an American.

No, but you do need an American credit card linked to an American mailing address, or ITunes just kicks you into whatever country/store your credit card's mailing address is from.

So... umm... nothing about how Narbonic just ended? Nothing at all?

... Sorry to bug you. But I know that you like the comic and all, so I'm surprised...

Eric, I can hit the reload button 300 times in a minute... just how long am I supposed to be watching? ;)

32 -- try hitting it again, and see the magic.

Two posts! No waiting!

Well, okay. Significant waiting, but it is up!

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