fighting the lack of good ideas

libraries should be print-on-demand centers – especially for old/unusual works

Want to reinvigorate old texts and library patronage? Turn libraries into print-on-demand book “publishers” for works in the public domain and/or which aren’t under copyright in the current country and/or some kind of library version of CCLI churches use for music!

This idea came to me after reading this blog post from the Internet Archive (famous for the Wayback Machine).

Libraries have always bought publisher’s products but have traditionally offered alternative access modes to these materials, and can again. As an example let’s take newspapers. Published with scoops and urgency, yesterday is “old news,” the paper it was printed on is then only useful the next day as “fish wrap”– the paper piles up and we felt guilty about the trash. That is the framing of the publisher: old is useless, new is valuable.

…the library is in danger in our digital world. In print, one could keep what one had read. In digital that is harder technically, and publishers are specifically making it harder.

So why not enable a [modest] money-making function for your local library? With resources from places like the Internet Archive, the Gutenberg Project, Kindle free books, blog posts, and on and on – there’s a veritable cornucopia of formerly-available (or only digitally-available) material that has value, but whose availability is sadly lacking: especially for those who don’t have reliable internet access, eReaders, etc. (Or folks like me who don’t especially like reading most books (especially fiction) on a device.)

I’d wager Creative Commons could gin-up some great licenses for this!

Who’s with me‽

finally starting to get some good docs amassed

I had a decent library of documentation, templates, hand-offs, slide decks, etc in my pre-Splunk consulting life (technically, I still have them).

It’s nice to be finally getting a decent collection to draw from for my customers in my post-automation consulting life.

deploying openstack by ken pepple

Where do I begin?

How about with this being perhaps the most overpriced tech book I have ever seen. At just under 70 pages, and a penny shy of $25, Deploying OpenStack by Ken Pepple exceeds the cost per page numbers I can remember from college. Wow.

Thankfully, I did NOT pay for this book – I was able to borrow it from my local library. I do feel sad, though, that anyone paid for this.

There are a couple nice diagrams wedged in the pages, but this is worse than a documentation dump from the various OpenStack sites. This is a sad example of an O’Reilly book – one I would never have dared think would have made it past their editor board, let alone be published for such an outrageous price.

There are also several amusing typos – including claiming that the test server he used for one deployment had a 1.4 Mhz CPU: Athlons were never measured below 600 Mhz that I can recall, and certainly the dual-core system he talked about should have been in Ghz.

At best, this is a published, overly-long blog post. At worst, it’s a pointless display of the hype surrounding “Cloud” – instead of giving lots of useful information, it’s stuck at the bare basics of the process, and frozen in time from more than a year ago! Given the rate of change in toolsets like this, there needs to not only be a lot more content in any printed work related to the technology, but also a planned cycle of releasing new editions – likely on the order of every year (or more) … especially in the early stages of a project/product.

Do yourself a HUGE favor: skip this book, and read the online documentation instead. You’ll be very glad you did.