Introduction – I have a book…sorta
One of the goals of this quarter, as well as the following quarters, is to publish the posts into a book format. My ebook is in draft on Leanpub. I have to admit the markup language and procedures for uploading the content took a bit to get used to. Once I got past that, the content from the posts were a snap to get on the book.
Purpose – Whats the big deal about a book?
The reasoning behind publishing the book was to give a larger life to the assignments. As the quarters progress this year, I’ll be entering in topics that follow a theme. The topics cover theory, hardware, software, procedures, and examples for a variety of technical subjects. Entering them into posts allows me to “keep notes” in a concise fashion. This affords me, and the internet, the comfort to find material already covered.
The book takes it one more step. Instead of the topics being tucked away on some blog, the reader has all the material right there.
Besides all that, it’s a first for me to have a book. There are a lot of folks with great ideas and scattered notes that die with them. Being an author, albeit a humble one, is an honor. It’s an opportunity that should not be squandered. Even if the book ends up in oblivion, at least a good effort was put forth.
Detail – From thought, to words, and into a book
The old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” applies here. To get to this point has taken me years. I’ve found out the hard way, more times than I care to admit, that over ambitious goals are obstacles. The all you can eat approach just doesn’t work. It’s hard to discipline choices and hope that all the pieces fall into place, but when they do, that is the reward.
LeanPub offers online instruction on how to use their services. I suggest that you look for yourself and decide.
Like I said earlier, it is a bit of a learning curve to get the hang of creating the book. But once you get past that, it just fits together with hardly any effort.
Relations – Connect the dots
Why, this is why. Turns out that getting a printed copy isn’t hard either. Here in Seattle, the UW Bookstore offers this service. If you want more details, take a look at their website.
Back to the topic of my book, it turns out another group that is studying this with the OpenLabTools Project at the University of Cambridge
With that aside, the whole ebook idea is gaining a bigger foothold in libraries. The library is one of the most fundamental research tools available. Having the resources available electronically is a logical next step.
Summary – The book might end, but the ideas don’t
When I went to college, I had the idea that it was about the degree, the major, or the GPA. I was a goof off in high school, skipping 90 some days my senior year. At the request of the schools vice principle, I finished the last month without skipping any more days. I knew the path decided for me in my public education was bleak. The school system I attended as a child failed not just me, but all those it proposed to enlighted. I was handed a diploma from the mill and I joined the Marine Corps.
Paris Island was the school of hard knocks and I was hell bent on not ending up a ditch digger for the remainder of my tour. When cosmic divinity bestowed onto me the task of supporting air traffic controllers with technical support, I was floored with relief. But the sigh was short lived, the public school system would soon haunt me. The initial training had content that was so intense, I felt like a fish out of water. My test scores began to plummet. I was brought before a board that would evaluate whether to allow me to continue or transfer me. I made my case and they bought it. I spent 16 hour days soaking what I could. I had dreams of formulas and solutions for months. I made it.
This changed me, I felt like I grew up. When my tour with the Marines was finished, I started looking for colleges. The tuition fees were outrageous, and my assumptions about veteran services were over blown. I managed to move to Seattle were I could afford to work minimum wage and attend college with assistance from my veteran benefits. It wasn’t the college I had in mind, I had a goal to go to a University.
It took me almost 2 years of this for me to get it, I wasn’t going were I thought I was. It’s a bitter pill to swallow and see how things play out no matter how hard you put in the effort. I took what I learned and made the most of it. College to me wasn’t about the degree, major, GPA, or the alma mater. It taught me how to learn. This was my reward and I benefit from it more today than ever. I can’t say I would be able to hold as much value for a plaque on my wall.
This post, the book, the words you read right now are a result of the few instructors, professors, and teachers that didn’t fail me. They didn’t fail. I have the means to research any topic of my choice and make it mine. This is my reward.