Alan Canton has been a writer and a publisher in addition to his lifetime work as high-tech consultant. He is the author of several books (long out of print) as well as the author of the long-running Saturday Rant blog (also now dormant.) Below are some of his better-known pieces.

General Interest

EDS: My Experience In The House That Perot Built

It was in the early 70s when I got hired by EDS into the SED program. I was already a programmer but not at the level where I’d be a professional hire SE. I was somewhat of a ‘different hire’ for the company because I not only had not been in the military...

A 50th High School Reunion: No One Took My Picture

Every generation must go through an awakening and I suppose ours is no different. You wake up and realize that we have more good days behind us than ahead of us and it becomes most apparent when you attend your 50th high school reunion. The good and the bad memories flow back to you and if you are lucky you can't tell the difference...

The "Twelfth of Never" Senior Prom - 1965

I heard an old song sung by a group called the The Shangri-las. They performed at my senior prom, June 12 ("Of Never"), 1965. Janice Udell was my date. I wore a tux with a white dinner jacket. We all did. The girls all wore long, formal gowns with matching bags and shoes. We were all "grown up" ready to go on with our lives...

Story About A Girl I knew

When I was a freshman in college in 1965 (U. of Virginia) I had a girlfriend named Becky. It was a simpler life back then. Virginia was about 3 years behind the rest of the country so while other college kids were doing weed, we were doing what today would be called "good clean fun"...

How I Named My Company

I spent some time teaching school in West Virginia. It was a rare treat for a middle-class, NY suburban kid to see some real-time fighting and real-time whoring... there were life lessons learned here.....

A Major School Reunion Is Special

In 2015 we were scheduled to have our 50th high school reunion, but the response was lacking among many of my 530 classmates. So the reunion committee, knowing that I have an ability to write "convincingly" asked if I would write a piece to "motivate" the class. It has been shared around the world by other classes...

It's The Service, Stupid

I get two copies of a well-known business magazine and I only need ONE! This has been happening for a few months and I've called and written them to PLEASE fix it. Does it ever get fixed? What do you think? What a pain in the...

Day of Atonement

May I ask a small favor? Please sit for ten minutes... that's all... just ten minutes on the day of Yom Kippur... and listen to this music....

SHANE toe-bah, Y'all

One of my best memories of Rosh Hashanah was when I was in my first few weeks at the University of Virginia and just getting used to people with a southern accent. ....

A Saturday Request - A letter I wrote that raised over $200,000!

This essay was written to the book publishing community, in a weekly piece I wrote for many years called A Saturday Rant. It ended up going around the world such that it raised over $200,000....

Ugh Ungaowa!

This was my first experience in being an author. When I was in my second year at the University of Virginia (1966) one of the "traditions" of this "academical village" was the acceptance of hard spirits.....

Diana Grade School - 1969!

Right after college in 1969 I got a job teaching the entire 8th grade in a place that is hard to find on the net... Diana, West Virginia in Webster County. The county was the poster child of Appalachian poverty. Here are a few pix and some brief commentary.

My Success in Business: Ten Things To Do!

I've been self-employed for the past 42 years. I've made a lot of money and have lost a lot of money. Working exceedingly long and hard, and taking some "bet the farm" risks, and having a little bit of creativity has left me as a target whom Elizabeth Warren is out there looking for to pay her proposed wealth-tax! Here are ten 'things that have worked for me.


Ham Radio

I Am Now KM6AAI And It Only Took 55 Years!

When I was a boy what I loved more than anything was listening to the ham radio stations talk to each other... often across the nation and to Europe as well. I was fascinated by radio and wanted to get MY ham license (there is no age limit.)...

How I Chose My New Amateur (Ham) Radio Vanity Callsign

I was assigned KM6AAI ...[ kilo mike six alpha alpha india.] I liked it but I wanted a shorter call by dropping the 'M' and perhaps getting a 'better' suffix. (I'm always amazed that the FCC gave out [kilo six alpha sierra sierra] and [whiskey four tango india tango])...

Hints and Tips For Passing the Amateur Extra 'Ham' Exam

Having just passed the Extra Class exam I have some tips for anyone out there who is thinking about upgrading their license or who is in the process of studying or getting ready to sit for the test....

Pacificon - 2016

Pacificon is a yearly San Francisco bay area ham radio convention. They have classes, parties, and many vendors in a hotel in San Ramon. This was my first one as a brand new ham.

Pacificon - 2018

Pacificon is a yearly San Francisco bay area ham radio convention. This was my second visit and this time I concentrated on several vendors that had very busy booths.

Ham Website / Email Tutorial (pdf)

I get asked by hams (and others) to set them up with their own domain with (maybe) a website but, more importantly, their own (domain) email... .


Fiction and Writing

Jack and Irene #1

Publishing, writing, and software development can be a lonely business. I always look forward to a meeting with Jackson and Irene Darling. Sometimes we have lunch, other times we just meet for drinks, this time at Pedro Chi-Chi’s Mexican Church and Bar.....

Jack and Irene #2

In the past I’ve mentioned my friends, Jackson and Irene Darling. I met them for lunch this week at Morton’s Steak House. For those of you who have never been to this chain, it is an exercise in gluttony....

Jack and Irene #3

It had been quite a while since I had seen my friends Jack and Irene Darling. Irene, owner of Faranganar Press had been in the gun sights of Microsoft press as a buyout prospect ....

Jack and Irene #4

It had been a long time since I had seen my friends Jack and Irene. And for good reason. They had both split up, and seeing other people. She had sold publishing company to Steve Case a AOL and after a long hiatus she had entered the world of publicity agentry. ....

A Short Visit With Jack

I was off to the East coast and got a cheap non-stop flight from Los Angeles to New York. I thought it would be fun to fly down to LA a day early and meet with Jack Darling. Or should I say Phil Ledendron....

Great Time To Be A Writer

When I ran my publishing (Adams-Blake Publishing) I wrote a number of articles to the literary trade. Most would be boring to non-publishing people, but this one done in 2006 was pretty good and still holds true today....


BookExpo America

[For many years I wrote reviews of the annual BEA book show. I got 15 minutes of fame each year from this. These are the more recent ones. BEA was canceled in 2019]

BookExpo 2018

This is my review of the 2018 BookExpo.

BookExpo 2017

This is my review of the 2017 BookExpo.

BookExpo 2016

This is my review of the 2016 BookExpo.

BookExpo 2015

This is my review of the 2015 BookExpo.

BookExpo 2014

This is my review of the 2014 BookExpo.

BookExpo 2013

This is my review of the 2013 BookExpo.