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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Mon, 11 Jul 2016

Get a free programming/tech book every weekday from Packt Publishing

How could I have missed this until now? Technology book publisher Packt Publishing offers a different free e-book every weekday.

I found out through Reddit, where Packt has its own subreddit in which it announces a new title every Monday through Friday.

The catch? You have to register with Packt to claim the e-books. It's just like registering for O'Reilly, except Packt gives out a ton of free books.

And each book is only available for a day. So you have to check the subreddit or Packt's Free Learning page every day.

And they're not the "sponsored" books that other publishers often hand out.

Instead, these Packt books are "real" tech books. They recently offered "Learning JavaScript Data Structures and Algorithms - Second Edition," by Loiane Groner, which I was happy to pay for a few days prior. (At least it was on sale).

But I've gotten a few books that really interest me over the past week. And you can manage them through your online account, downloading the formats you need.

Just like with O'Reilly (and with the Pragmatic bookshelf, Manning Publications and Leanpub), ordering through their websites instead of Amazon gets you a lot more flexibility (PDFs, epub, mobi) and often a better price. For me, it's worth it to get both the PDF and the Kindle version of the books, even if the indie publisher is charging a few bucks more than Amazon.

Some publishers, including PragProg and Manning, only sell their print books through Amazon. To get the ebooks, you have to go through them (and I am happy to do so).