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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. :)


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 9th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
I think the biggest upside to book machines of this sort will be that obscure titles will become much more readily available. It goes a long way toward levelling the playing field on that front.
Aug. 10th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, that's certain.

I wonder if there's a cool hobby to be had, trolling Google Books to find obscure public domain books to be reprinted.
Aug. 9th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
If was wonderful watching you raptly watch the orchestrated robots at work.
Aug. 9th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
Hi! I'm Oliver. I don't know you, but I like you now. You have significantly improved the quality of my day by sharing this absurdly delightful poem with me. I really needed that today. Thank you.

I considered what I could possibly offer you as a token of my gratitude, given that I do not know you and that you clearly are located as far away from me as Daniel is. After a thorough screening of your LJ profile, I have discerned that this YouTube is the best gift I can offer you today.

Given that you seem to be employed at the same workplace as Daniel, you may prefer not to view this at said workplace. ;-)


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Aug. 10th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
I am the boss of da_lj. Before that happened, we were already friends.

It has been several years since I put colouring agents on my hair. I recall in high school being told the "burgundy" I was trying out was really "purple".
Aug. 9th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
I really want one of those machines. I have no idea where I would put it or even if it would get much use, but I waaaaaaant it. *lusts*

(Oh, and Diamond Age is a fantastic novel. Just sayin'.)
Aug. 10th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC)
Hee hee. I do too.

And yes, it is. I re-read it last year, and it has stood up well. If only only his newer stuff was as engaging for me...!
Aug. 11th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
You know he's coming to town in October, right?

Aug. 9th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
I like your story. The only thing missing is the olfactory description. I want to know what the book printing smells like, please!

Don't look at me like that, you already know I'm off my rocker today! XD
Aug. 10th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
What if I tell you it smelled like the future?
Aug. 10th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC)
Then I will follow my nose there. It does always try to stay ahead of the game, even though it's said to have the strongest memory of the sensory organs.

Also I will hug you and tell you that I love you dearly and you are very silly, and you make me smile.
Aug. 10th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
That is also, although I was saddened to find out that it took me a minute or two to figure out what peaceofpie could have mistaken that link for. I have officially vacated any title relating to "revolutionary." It was inevitable, I suppose.

However, I did read through the suggestions, most of which seemed a lot like common sense to me, although there's nothing wrong with being reminded to use common sense.
Aug. 10th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
I spent some time on www.improveverywhere.com and my disappointment was assuaged very quickly :)
Aug. 10th, 2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, sort of goes with the territory.

I'm trying to get more up to speed on branching and merging- I'm working on my first project which really needs multiple branches active at the same time.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )