Daniel Allen (da_lj) wrote,

On making your world

There are moments I get, that the world is full of promise. Anything is possible.

In this one, I will attempt to re-join my LJ.

I've been following my friends-list for the last while, but one thing and another, I'd not had time to really figure out what I wanted to say in this space.

Over the last month, my overall mood has been grateful.

That's the main theme. There are sub-themes, including full of joy, awed, stressed, frustrated, and ow. And I could write a post about all of these, but I will instead try for a one-liner: joy at time with dan and with other friends; awe at wonderful theatre; stress from repercussions of having too much on my plate; frustration with "this should be easier"; and "ow" at my body. Each, a side-note to the main-theme of gratefulness- Life? It is good.

And I have been enjoying the nudging I've been getting (from friends, from God, from readings) that being grateful is a perfectly fine response.

It doesn't make for gripping reading, though; so let me tell you a story.

[oh geez, why did I write that? Now I've totally written myself into a corner, I haven't even come up with what story I'll tell.]

[Back from Quaker Meeting, a ride home with beartalon, and a bit of lunch...]

This story is about the future.

Last week at work I was emailing with the campus bookstore about their print-on-demand service. They have a book-printing machine, and I was curious if it was reasonable to print this for me. They quoted $50 setup, $19.95 to make the book. But, since I said that co-workers would probably want additional copies, he added they could waive the setup fee if they deemed the book worth keeping in their library. Sounded great; he'd talk to his boss; I'd get back to him when I needed the book...

On Thursday, when I was in the midst of finishing programming edits on this month's project, I got an email from the bookstore, "We've printed a sample. Come and take a look."

Oh. Oh no. As I told dawn_guy: that was so totally unfair, I didn't have time to do that, I had a million things to do.

So I was an adult, and kept fixing bugs, even though in the back of my head, there is a book that wasn't ordered on my behalf, it was printed and perfect-bound on my behalf, and it was just sitting there waiting for me to go collect it. So, ya, I'm a bit of a book nerd, and I wanted to go kick the book's tires.

Just before 5pm, I dropped by dawn_guy's office and said, "I need a walk. Wanna go down to the bookstore?" And we did. And the book machine was sitting there, and Sean showed me the sample he made, which was pretty much exactly like the PDF, a slightly oversize paperback book, with a black-and-white cover-page because we didn't give them a colour page to work from. And Dawn and I realized the bottom edge was off by a couple of millimeters, and he checked with a level and yup, the cutter had gotten a bit out of alignment. And I was craning my neck to get a better look at the machine behind the counter, so Sean asked me if I wanted to go back and look at it.

And he ran off a copy of Heart of Darkness while I was there, just to show how it works. And it looks more or less like the video- from when you press "print", it plunked out a book in less than five minutes. More or less indistinguishable from any paperback, except the colour cover felt warm, and not quite dry yet.

Which feels yet another step closer to Matter Compilers in various bits of science fiction.

As I remarked to Dawn, I have seen the future, and it is slightly tacky.

The book will serve well. It is a well-written manual (also published by O'Reilly Press) for the revision-control system called "Subversion". Which is why I made a bookmark last week to "Subversion Best Practices", a title that slightly disappointed peaceofpie when he saw what it really was. :)
Tags: friends, geek, video, work
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