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I know what you mean. I had a complete set of the documentation for Visual C++ version 1 (incl. MFC)
It took about two feet of shelf space, weighed a ton, and I hadn't opened it in ten years.
Couldn't sell it, even on eBay (thanks to the shipping costs, books aren't easy to shift on eBay). Couldn't give it away. So the lot went to the tip.
Sad. But necessary. Bite the bullet! Fill the car while drunk and cover them with a blanket so you can't see them when sober. Then drive to the tip and do it...
If you get an email telling you that you can catch Swine Flu from tinned pork then just delete it. It's Spam.
Same here. It has become a small library for itself, with a two rows of books specialized on computer graphics. My best excuse for keeping them is that I also still have all the old computers.
With the computers I have the same problem. I never was much of a collector. Most old computers are the ones I used myself long ago. When I had to move, I had to get rid of my old Pentium II and Pentium III machines, both still working perfectly.
I clear mine out if I've not opened them in a couple of years. Me and the missus durr'n like clutter. I don't know how much money I've wasted on books I never opened keeping up with changes in development I'll never work on.
"I do not have to forgive my enemies, I have had them all shot." — Ramón Maria Narváez (1800-68).
"I don't need to shoot my enemies, I don't have any." - Me (2012).
I share your attitude to books and have lain awake feeling guilty after throwing one or two in the bin, including Programming Windows 3.1. Have you tried local schools, adult education groups, charities etc?
Not to sound like a hippie, but if you're going to throw them away, at least dump them in the paper bin at your local recycling center.
My solution to your problem is I don't buy computer books any longer unless absolutely necessary. The last time that was true was in 2008, when we were starting a new generation of our current product from scratch. I was using C# and WPF for the first time. I bought 2 books at the time based on recommendations from CP folks. I still use both of them occasionally. Recently when I did a project in Linux, and started another in ASP.NET, I was tempted but didn't end up needing books. There's just too much technical material available online for dead tree sources to be worthwhile.
Fiction, on the other hand, is another container of expired piscium. Even though I've ruthlessly culled my book collection over the years, I still have an attic full of boxes of books. My 'active' bookshelf is about half new stuff I've bought to read, and half old stuff I've pulled out of the boxes that I want to read again. I have a 'crap' shelf of stuff to sell at the used bookstore or donate that I know I won't ever read again. You'd think in a 2500 square foot old house full of shelves, there'd be space. Unfortunately my wife is an even worse book hoarder than I am.
I worked for a scientific company and as more and more journals became available online we came to the conclusion that the hard copies were essentially redundant and the many hundreds of feet of shelf space that they occupied could be used for something else. At phase 1 of the library clearout complete sets of bound journals dating from the 1930's or earlier, were chucked into a skips. Yes that's right, more than one skip was needed.
At phase two, some years after that, the library was reduced down to little more than the information scientist's office and all the rest was partitioned off to be converted into conference rooms and offices.
But no one's will ever want to read books on InterDev, VB 5, Oracle 8, and that ilk ever again
That isn't necessarily true.
I have had at least one maintenance request where the object code was something like 5 major versions behind. And at least in the case there was no way to use current documentation to figure language API usage.
Additionally some books can be used as differentials in discussions. For example when did a specific feature show up?
I have a room with an entire wall of floor to ceiling books. Most of them older than 3 years (by definition, obsolete in the computer science world)... but I still consult them for details and mine some of the obsolete platform code for algorithms that are still useful.
My feeling is that documentation (including but not limited to books) is like sex ... even if it is terrible it is still better than nothing at all.
Alas, there was no room in the box for the complete Quattro manuals, but I found space for ProComm+ along with the disks!
Sadly, yes, there does come a time when it becomes necessary to toss out the old, even if the old was better than the new. For solid functionality, reliability, readability, maintainability, and cost effectiveness, nothing offered in the .Net universe comes close to Turbo Pascal.
Keep the books with general knowledge in them, for example mathematics (how to do Hamiltonian Quadruple, Laplace transformations whatever...), computer science (architectonial secrets of operating systems now forgotten) and so on.
Thy rule should be: He who forgets the past is bound to repeat it...
Really? That surprises me, and I would hate to saddle those kids with books about products that no one will ever use again. But, while I never have any reason to drive down to Mexico, I know that there are relief organizations which regularly deliver clothing and medicines and such down there. If I can find one of them in this area, I'll certainly offer them these books, and others more current but not currently needed. Thanks for the idea!
I'm sure many, Many of us have ran into such problems, me certaintly included. Some years back I did a major move from one state to another and I didn't have room in the uhaul for all I had and decided it was finally time to get rid of about 20 books (from NT4 through 2K technologies, as well as the interdev books, to name a few). I tried to pass them off to a used book store but not even they wanted most of them! Oh, and all these books were in like new condidtions without marks (just as you, I can't do any harm to a book without destroying the earth somehow in the process). I ended up putting them all on a cart at the exit door of the book store with a sign saying "free" and walked away.
So .. that's what you must do. Just walk away! You can do it! Run if you have to!
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