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289655Re: Lamentation and query

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  • Wietse Venema
    Nov 25, 2012
      Stan Hoeppner:
      > On 11/24/2012 12:44 PM, Dennis Carr wrote:
      >
      > > I miss my dead tree versions being current. =/
      >
      > An old friend of mine used to have 3 large book cases of computer books.
      > One was filled with the full book set of a couple Caldera releases, a
      > few Red Hat releases, and every SuSE release he had purchased from 7.2
      > IIRC onward. He's never opened most of them. He uses the digital
      > documentation as it's faster, easier. He just likes looking around his
      > office at all the books.
      >
      > Dennis, how many computer books, or books in general, do you own? Do
      > you have any on display? Or are they all simply hoarded away in boxes
      > in the attic or basement?
      >
      > The prescribed solution for this problem isn't more newer books, but
      > therapy for the personality disorder known as "hoarding". I think
      > there's a "reality" TV show about this.

      I like books. When I look around I don't see hefty tomes that promise
      me to reveal their secrets, with screenshots that were obsolete
      before the ink was dry. Among my favorites are the insights by
      Fred Brooks, Peter Bentley, Brian Kernigan, Plauger, and of course
      the late Richard Stevens. My books cover generations of operating
      systems, networking, and programming languages. Even though computers
      look different each year, what happens below the surface changes
      rarely.

      On the surface, if I need to look up an API definition or usage
      example, then I'll use the web; but if I care about the program,
      then I'll still have to check with official documentation to ensure
      that my code has any guarantees of working a year from now. The
      books provide the insights into why things work the way they do,
      what happens below the surface.

      As for Postfix, it doesn't evolve as fast, and capturing it in a
      book is not as challenging, as 10 years ago. I suspect that the
      world is not large enough that it can sustain multiple books on
      Postfix (though I think that translations of good books can help).
      I am also aware that many books are a work of love, not a money
      maker for the author or publisher. I hope Patrick can find the
      time to bring the work to completion, because I don't have it.

      Wietse
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