Going to India

The tickets are now booked for our trip to India over the holidays. Our friend Sourav is getting married in Calcutta on January 2nd, so it made a very good reason to make the trek over there. We'll be spending a good chunk of time in Chennai when we first get there, as Susan has a bunch of friends / connections there, then up to Calcutta for a few days of the wedding, and then back home.

Here's to adventuring!

The way tech books should be ordered

For my grad school class this semester we are using the book Lucene in Action, as we are doing projects in and around search engines.  I did a quick search on getting this book, and found that if I ordered directly from Manning they would provide me a pdf version as well.  Sign me up!

This is the same sort of deal you get with the Pragmatic Programmer books, and I love it.  The PP folks went a step further, and let you buy into a BETA book where you get revs of the PDF during it's editing cycle, and then send you a paper copy once it ships.  They also provide updates to the PDF after ship (I've gotten at least one for my rails book), removing the need for "errata" inserts.

It's unfortunate that the larger publishers aren't doing this yet, as I'd love to have my O'Reilly books in both PDF and bound versions.  They are selling some electronic only copies, but the lack of the safety net of having paper sort of sucks, and I've not quite bought into the whole safari approach yet.

Props to Manning for doing this well (or at least the way I like it).  🙂

Jekyll

The first time I watched an episode of Coupling, I knew I was watching something different.  It was much like a Joss Whedon show, smarter than it needed to be for the genre, and funnier because of it.  There was a very natural flow of humor and drama that made it stand out.  That show was brought us by Steven Moffat, a writer for BBC.  

This is also the man who has given us the best episodes of the new Dr Who: The Empty Child/The Doctor DancesThe Girl in the Fireplace (all of which won Hugo awards), and Blink (which airs on SciFi this Friday).  Again, each of these were characterized by a playfulness with the format that kept you engaged in a way that rarely happens in the medium of television.  The Girl in the Fireplace showed everything that Dr Who could be, and convinced me that David Tennent was well chosen to be the Doctor.  I would have said that it was the best episode of Dr Who, period, but then I saw Blink, and it's a toss up.

Obviously when I heard that Moffat was doing another show, I wanted to see it, no matter what it was.  The show is called Jekyll, and has done runs on BBC and BBC America (hopefully they'll do some reruns again soon), and tells a modern day version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  It is everything I've come to expect from Moffat, more intelligent than the genre demands, garnished with comedy at just the right level, and telling a story in a less than traditional way that ensures you don't have everything figured out from early on.

Find it.  Watch it.  You won't be disappointed.

You know it's going to be a great day...

When this is the first thing you hear in your car on the way to work:

That's right, I'm now up to Drunk and Retired Episode 81: Persistence Layer Knife Fighting, We Want Java Properties, Comic Books, Strange Bezos Obsession, on my belated count down to gravitas.