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Dammit - I have boxes of them, many in new condition, and I have to be very drunk and thoroughly on a mission to toss one out. I was raised to treat books as sacred objects (items written by L. Ron Hubbard excepted) and to mark one, tear a page corner, unnecessarily bend one - these are unforgivable sins of the cardinal sort. But no one's will ever want to read books on InterDev, VB 5, Oracle 8, and that ilk ever again. I've considered donating them to the library, but last time I asked, they didn't want more books. The one they have keeps them busy enough, I guess. They're too heavy to ship, even if someone wants them, and all are hopelessly outdated. But they're in beautiful shape... Grrr....
It's time for a long night with a bottle in front of me, ended with several trips to the dumpster with a look of grim determination on my mug. I'm going to hate myself in the morning, just like the night I married my ex wife...
I am the same way with books I don't bend corners, write in them and all mine are in pristine condition. I also hate to throw them out but I tried selling them at a $5 a piece, trade them at a two-for-one book store they didn't want them, give them away but no on wanted them so I tearfully took them to the road hoping someone would stop and pick them up - no dice. So the garbage man came and cussed me for having to pick a ton of books up off the ground and toss them.
What a waste! And mine where a lot newer than the ones you're talking about. XML, ADO, etc.
I feel your pain, Roger. I hate to toss any books, no matter what the subject. If I don't intend to read them, I don't buy them in the first place.
On the other hand, if I leave a stack of books lying around and tell my wife I don't have any need for them, they will magically disappear in short order. I suspect what she does with them, but for me it's painless and I can rationalize that it wasn't my fault.
CQ de W5ALT
Walt Fair, Jr., P. E. Comport Computing Specializing in Technical Engineering Software
I suspect those books are only becoming valuable now because at the time of publishing they were fairly rare and are now obviously becoming even rarer. My old programming books (yes, also in pristine condition) are/were fairly common and there is such a broad range of them and with multiple reprints and editions will probably not become sufficiently rare until at least the 4th millennium - at which point the paper will have degraded to dust and the cost of storage will far exceed their value - never mind the cost of shipping them to my cybernetic mind/body/home in orbit around Mars/Saturn/[insert planet/moon of choice here].
- Life in the fast lane is only fun if you live in a country with no speed limits. - Of all the things I have lost, it is my mind that I miss the most. - I vaguely remember having a good memory...
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.