books

#vBrownBag DevOps presentation - Oct 29 [Updated]

In the middle of preparations for next month's Souls & Goals soccer match, I've also been very busy with Ansible-related activities.

I'm still making progress in writing Ansible for DevOps (over 45,000 words, and over 900 people have already bought the book on LeanPub!), and I've been invited by the folks at Professional VMWare to present in their #vBrownBag DevOps Series! I'll be talking about Ansible for an hour or so, and I'll be sure to post the link to the presentation after it's over.

You can join the presentation live (starts at 7:30 p.m. CST tonight, October 29) by registering at http://professionalvmware.com/brownbags/.

Writing on LeanPub - $0.21 per word

I've been blogging for 10 years, and I've written over 800,000 words in posts. As time progresses, I try to clearly convey more information with fewer words. It's been hard to quantify the value derived from those words, however, since the only measurements I could make (e.g. a small amount of ad revenue) have been subjective at best.

For almost seven months, I've been writing Ansible for DevOps, publishing on LeanPub as I write. In that time, I've written ~41,600 words (with roughly 60% of the book complete), and have had ~800 readers purchase the book (either standalone, or in a bundle).

Self-Publishing a Book (on Ansible)

I've published the first portion of a book I've been writing, Ansible for DevOps. This is my first-ever book, and I've written a little about the process of writing on Server Check.in's blog: Self-publishing my first technical book on LeanPub.

Ansible for DevOps cover image

I'm excited about the early feedback I've already received—and I haven't even finished writing half the book! I'm hoping to finish the first complete draft of the book (and continue publishing it in stages on LeanPub) by summer 2014.

Self-publishing my first technical book on LeanPub

Update: Almost two years later, I've finally finished the book! You can purchase Ansible for DevOps on LeanPub, Amazon, or iTunes.

For the past year, I've seen many accounts of first-time authors finally taking the plunge and self-publishing a book on some technology or another, and finally decided to do the same.

Like many of these first-time authors, I felt I was prepared for the project, for the following reasons:

A few of the best books I've read in a long time [Rinzler's Making of Star Wars]

I recently noticed the video below on the official Star Wars YouTube channel, and I immediately popped over to Amazon.com to put The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi into my wish list (it's set for release on October 1, 2013!).

I've read both of J.W. Rinzler's other existing Making of Star Wars books (Episode IV, Episode V), and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them (read my review of The Making of The Empire Strikes Back here). I can't imagine Episode VI's book being any worse!

Review: The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Jeff's Rating: 5/5

tl;dr: Odds are 725:1 you'll love this book! If you enjoyed Star Wars (IV-VI), if you want to learn about moviemaking, if you appreciate art—you'll love this book by J.W. Rinzler.

I've watched the original Star Wars trilogy too many times to count. My Dad introduced me to the series in the late 80s, and since then I've watched the movies as they were adapted for VHS, TV, LaserDisc, DVD, and now Blu-Ray.

I have strong opinions about who shot first, which of the trilogy was the best movie (this has changed as I've grown), the proper viewing order of all six existing Star Wars motion pictures, and which cut(s) of the film(s) were best (I don't believe the 'original theatrical cut' was the best—and I wonder how many people who advocate such a release realize that there were more than one...).

Photography book – thoughts and questions

I recently told my Facebook friends that I was thinking of writing a book to help people get better photos with their fancy cameras, and received a lot of positive feedback.

Jansen Baby Birthday
Getting consistently sharp, vivid, interesting photos doesn't have to be hard.

Some of the things I want to write about include:

  • Getting photos that aren't too bright or too dark.
  • Getting photos where people aren't blurry.
  • Making people look great.
  • Taking pictures that are beautiful, more often.

I don't want to be technical in this book, other than introducing people, slowly, to important concepts in photography. I want to show people through example and experience exactly what's going on when they snap a picture that they later find to be ugly, horrible, or too blurry or bright/dark to use.

The Church and New Media - Book on Catholic New Media use

The Church and New Media

I've heard about this book here and there the past few months, but it's getting all official now, with a spiffy website, a trailer (hey, I thought only movies had those!), and A-list endorsements.

From the endorsements:

“This book demonstrates how New Media is already impacting the Church and outlines many practical steps for dioceses, parishes, and individual Catholics to embrace it more broadly…Everyone involved in Communications and Evangelization ministries for the Church should read it.”  (–Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap.)

On Writing Documentation

I've been slowly reading through "Coders at Work," an excellent book in which Peter Siebel interviews many different programmers on their work and craft, and I hit a great little snippet of advice from Peter Norvig:

"The overall design of what's going to do what, that's really important to lay out first. It's got to be something that everybody understands and it's also got to be the right choice."

Basically, before you start doing some huge project, have a bit of a meta discussion about what you're trying to do. Document the process / steps, make sure it makes sense, and code to that process. You don't need to necessarily comment on every little tidbit of code you write—code should be somewhat self-explanatory if written well—but you should at least document what your functions do, and what kind of idea you're trying to implement.

Plus, if you document beforehand, you'll be able to conform code to documentation, and at the end you'll have a framework of your docs already complete!

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - books