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How many tech books you have?

 
Tushar Bhaware
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In one of the MD topic,Chris Webster wrote that he has 115 tech books on his shelf. That's a huge number. I have meager 7 books. I am just curious how many tech books you guys have? No need of names,Just Number. Rough number will do fine also.
 
Bear Bibeault
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As I posted in the other topic:
Bear wrote:Good grief, I'm afraid to count them. Certainly, the count would be in the hundreds. And if you count those that I've purged over the years, likely over a thousand.

This is the reason I've switched to eBooks lately. I'm drowning in books (I also have tons of novels, cookbooks, How To books, non-tech science non-fiction, and on and on).
 
Tushar Bhaware
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Awesome Sir !!! No words for that accomplishment.
 
Bear Bibeault
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The "purged pile" is large because I have 34 years in the industry.
 
Tushar Bhaware
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Bear Bibeault wrote:The "purged pile" is large because I have 34 years in the industry.

I still find it as an amazing achievement. I think, most people will give up reading new books when they have few years of experience and from the number of books you have read, looks like you have never lost the hunger of learning new things. And that's the main Accomplishment.
 
Pat Farrell
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Just took a quick snapshot of the book wall in my office.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_old_curmudgeon/8218564758/in/photostream
 
Bear Bibeault
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Not alphabetized?

That's likely what mine would look like if they were all in one place. They're everywhere!
 
Pat Farrell
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Tushar Bhaware wrote:I still find it as an amazing achievement. I think, most people will give up reading new books when they have few years of experience and from the number of books you have read, looks like you have never lost the hunger of learning new things. And that's the main Accomplishment.


I'm a bit older than @bear, I've been at it about 39 years.

To your point of having experience, you have to realize that this industry is alive. When I started, Fortran and Cobol were popular, and 16K of memory cost $50,000 and took up a complete 19" rack.

There will always be new technologies to learn. I sure would not have wanted to spend nearly 40 years doing vintage 1972 Fortran.

I expect that I'll move on to some better language than Java before I retire.
 
Pat Farrell
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Bear Bibeault wrote:Not alphabetized?


Its essentially a self optimizing cache. Hot topics, current books are easy arm length. Notice that the Aho, Sethi, Ullman Dragon book is way up on the top shelf.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Tushar Bhaware wrote:
I still find it as an amazing achievement.

Thanks.

I think, most people will give up reading new books when they have few years of experience and from the number of books you have read, looks like you have never lost the hunger of learning new things.

There's a term for an older software developer who doesn't keep up-to-date with new things: unemployed.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Pat Farrell wrote:
Bear Bibeault wrote:Not alphabetized?


Its essentially a self optimizing cache. Hot topics, current books are easy arm length. Notice that the Aho, Sethi, Ullman Dragon book is way up on the top shelf.


For me, it's self-optimized by which pile is closer to my desk.
 
Pat Farrell
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Bear Bibeault wrote:For me, it's self-optimized by which pile is closer to my desk.


For me, if I don't put them up on a shelf, in an instant, you can't see the top of my desk. When they cover the keyboard and mouse, I have to put them back up.


BTW, love @bear's comment the IT pros who don't keep up with technology are unemployed. So true.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Pat Farrell wrote:For me, if I don't put them up on a shelf, in an instant, you can't see the top of my desk.

Desks have tops?
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Probably about 100. I read 10-20 tech books a year. But some are borrowed from the library or co-workers. And some were given away or thrown out for being obsolete. I have 59 tech books at home. Plus about the same - maybe a little less - in the office. Some of the them aren't so relevant to my job though.
 
John Jai
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I have around 12, all bought after joining Javaranch!
 
John Jai
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Pat Farrell wrote:Just took a quick snapshot of the book wall in my office.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_old_curmudgeon/8218564758/in/photostream

Amazing number of books you have.
 
chris webster
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Tushar Bhaware wrote:I still find it as an amazing achievement. I think, most people will give up reading new books when they have few years of experience and from the number of books you have read, looks like you have never lost the hunger of learning new things. And that's the main Accomplishment.

As Bear and Pat have pointed out, the longer you stay in this industry, the more stuff you have to keep learning so the more books you end up with. Of course, the older you get, the less stuff you can keep in your head, so the more books you need anyway!

As for purging tech books, that's quite hard these days. Technology changes so fast that most software books are out of date within a couple of years, which means nobody else wants them either. I've sold some on Amazon, given some away, but in recent years the only way to get rid of many of them has been to rip them up for paper recycling (at least this is good exercise as the books are fairly chunky) or even burn the darned things. I think I'll have to follow Bear's lead and switch to ebooks in the near future...
 
Tushar Bhaware
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Pat Farrell wrote:Just took a quick snapshot of the book wall in my office.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_old_curmudgeon/8218564758/in/photostream

that's a lot of book,Sir.
great Collection.

Pat Farrell wrote:There will always be new technologies to learn. I sure would not have wanted to spend nearly 40 years doing vintage 1972 Fortran.

When i started this topic,didn't thought that way. Yeah,One doesn't want to spend his life working on one language when there will be new modern language to do stuff easily.

Bear Bibeault wrote:There's a term for an older software developer who doesn't keep up-to-date with new things: unemployed.

new perspective.Thanks.

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:I read 10-20 tech books a year.

I think i will borrow this habit from you.

finally, i would like to thank
chris webster
for bringing this question to my mind and
all other's who have commented here
for giving me this new perspective.
 
fred rosenberger
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I have about 20 here in the office, and about 20 more at home. I don't move around much (13 years in the industry, two jobs), and they were/are both slow to change. The tech I use now doesn't really have a lot of books - Amazon shows...none (cloverleaf, anyone?).

I've also found that much of the other stuff I need, google is a terrific reference. Several times a day I look up perl, tcl, or shell script questions and find the answer online. No need for a book (at least at the level I work at).

 
Paul Anilprem
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In one of Sherlock Holmes's books (don't remember which one), Sherlock explains to Dr Watson why he doesn't read a lot of books. His logic is that brain is like a room and information is like furniture. So the more you read the more cluttered our brain gets and it become difficult to find stuff you really need. Hence, he reads only the stuff he needs and only when he needs it.

Has this ever happened with anyone here?
 
Tushar Bhaware
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fred rosenberger wrote:I have about 20 here in the office, and about 20 more at home.

Thank you for trying to calm my nerves. But now i am settled with idea of reading couple of hundred tech books.

fred rosenberger wrote:
I've also found that much of the other stuff I need, google is a terrific reference.

There is famous quote from one of bollywood movie "Jiska koi nahi hota,uska bhagwan hota hai". Rough translation would be "those who don't have anyone, have god with them".
For programmers, we use "those who don't know nothing, Google is with them". Google is best friend to beginners like me.
 
fred rosenberger
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Tushar Bhaware wrote:Google is best friend to beginners like me.

I would caution you though...there is a lot of garbage out there, too. You need to develop the skill to know what is good information and what is bad, and that mostly comes with experience. There have been many times where I would look at the first (several) hits on google and say to myself "There has GOT to be a better way".
 
Tushar Bhaware
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fred rosenberger wrote:I would caution you though...there is a lot of garbage out there, too. "There has GOT to be a better way".
Yes i have found out that in one of forum where i mentioned roseindia is a good website and found out that it contains crappy material. Now i also look for quality content,ask my seniors where they look for stuff,hang out more on JavaRanch.
 
chris webster
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Tushar Bhaware wrote:Now i also look for quality content,ask my seniors where they look for stuff,hang out more on JavaRanch.

Always a good idea!
 
Jelle Klap
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Not that many, and reference books aside, I've not even read all of them. It's hard to pick up a book when you have a PS3 sitting right there, distracting you. Calling you. Pick me, pick me!

 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Paul Anilprem wrote:In one of Sherlock Holmes's books (don't remember which one), Sherlock explains to Dr Watson why he doesn't read a lot of books. His logic is that brain is like a room and information is like furniture. So the more you read the more cluttered our brain gets and it become difficult to find stuff you really need. Hence, he reads only the stuff he needs and only when he needs it.

Has this ever happened with anyone here?

No. I find my mind is more of a series of pointers. I remember where I read something so I can find it again Then I just need to retain concepts and not details.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Jelle Klap wrote:It's hard to pick up a book when you have a PS3 sitting right there, distracting you. Calling you. Pick me, pick me!


I'll say! I got Dishonored for my birthday (mid-October) and started playing it a couple of weeks ago, and it's really really hard to put down!

(See. I don't spend all my time geeking out.)
 
Jelle Klap
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Bear Bibeault wrote:
Jelle Klap wrote:It's hard to pick up a book when you have a PS3 sitting right there, distracting you. Calling you. Pick me, pick me!


I'll say! I got Dishonored for my birthday (mid-October) and started playing it a couple of weeks ago, and it's really really hard to put down!

(See. I don't spend all my time geeking out.)


Yeah, I've finished Dishonored, it' great!
It reminded me of both Thief and Deus Ex, two of my all time favorite series.
 
fred rosenberger
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Bear Bibeault wrote:I'll say! I got Dishonored for my birthday (mid-October) and started playing it a couple of weeks ago, and it's really really hard to put down!

(See. I don't spend all my time geeking out.)

Wait...What? Playing video games is NOT geeking out? Since when?
 
fred rosenberger
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Jelle Klap wrote:It reminded me of both Thief and Deus Ex, two of my all time favorite series.

Damn...I could not agree more about Thief and Deus Ex being some of the best gaming series of all time.

Now I'm afraid I'll have to check out this game, and give up what little free time I have...
 
Jelle Klap
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Yeah, but it doesn't impart the same sense of scale or depth, though. Compared to Thief: TDP, Thief 2: The Metal Age and the first Deus Ex the levels are far smaller and the game world and story are less engaging. Especially compared to DE. I still liked it though, lots of fun sneaking around steampunk, plague-ridden city and executing silent non-leathal take downs.

/derail
 
dennis deems
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Oh, gonna have to give this a try as well! Love me some stealth. Never managed to wrangle a copy of Deus Ex but I like the Thief games and I adore the Splinter Cell series.

Oh and while I have hundreds of books, only about a couple dozen are about computing. It ought to be fewer than that by rights, but I have a hard time parting with books, even books I never finished. There are only about ten tech books I would never want to be without.
 
Samuel Bird
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Umm... I have four. I tend to use ebooks and pdfs (;) because I cannot afford to buy a ton of books. I do have 17 books on mathematics, proper textbooks, though which isn't bad considering I am 15.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Samuel Bird wrote:Umm... I have four. I tend to use ebooks and pdfs (;) because I cannot afford to buy a ton of books. I do have 17 books on mathematics, proper textbooks, though which isn't bad considering I am 15.

e-books are still books. And I think you'll accumulate more over time!
 
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May be 70. I sold many as I am shifting my home. Most books have got outdated and sadly have not been read at all.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Oh, yes. That happens a lot. I'll buy a book on a topic I'm interested in, or know that I need to learn, but by the time I get to it, it's already obsolete.
 
Dieter Quickfend
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my book case (complete with ladder ;)) is filled with tech books, fantasy books and classic literature. I'd say it's about one third each. I mostly read eBooks though, on my Nexus 7. I haven't been in the industry that long either. I've filled all space on google docs and then my company's upload space, dropbox and Ubuntu One with eBooks, now I have this server I use for the remainder but I plan to get a NAS sometime. Most of the books I got for really cheap or free, there's a large book fair in the Netherlands which used to have quite a few good cheap tech books, though the past few years it's been a poor harvest. A lot of books I got sent for free because I asked for them from the writer when they were offering, or at Devoxx. At present, I don't really have the money to buy more, except if I find them for cheap. Would be nice to have a good subscription eBook website with a lot of specialized tech books. I would sign up for something like that.

I used to teach Java and had the right to order any book I wanted at my employer's expense. And keep it. That was great, that's how I got most of them. my current employer has most of those books and you can borrow them, so they don't end up in my house.

I've also got quite a few hard copies of specs printed out and lying around in my house. I know, wasted trees, but they were a giant help before I had my Nexus 7 (I spend 3 hours per day on the train)
 
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Dieter Quickfend wrote:Would be nice to have a good subscription eBook website with a lot of specialized tech books. I would sign up for something like that.

Would Safari be useful?
 
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chris webster wrote:
Dieter Quickfend wrote:Would be nice to have a good subscription eBook website with a lot of specialized tech books. I would sign up for something like that.

Would Safari be useful?

That looks very interesting! I'll check that out, thanks a lot!
 
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Depends on how you define a "tech book" - just computers or any non-fiction? If you count topics like photography, psychology, cognitive sciences and so on, we probably *currently* have well over a thousand books. If you mean only computer books, we probably have 400. (I know this because we're currently doing our "once every several years purging" and so far we've collected over 200 books that we're going to give away.
 
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