From programming to Photoshop and Pro-Tools, give yourself unlimited access to thousands of computer books

Information has always been my drug of choice. As a child in the 70’s, I remember the macrame plant holders, the modernist white plastic spherical furniture, the shag carpets, the oversized cars, and the How and Why Wonder Books that opened up the magic of science to my six -year-old mind. I was instantly hooked.

I consumed every book I could get my hands on, often the hand-me-downs of my oldest sister, Terry. I read every Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew book that was printed, Alfred Hitchcocks’s Three Investigators series, and I sipped tea while retreating beneath the covers from the harsh Philadelphia winters with Agatha Christie. Each trip to the Melinda Cox Free Library in Doylestown — where both James Michener and I got our first library cards, some 60 years apart — was like Christmas.

Christmas came again for me a few weeks ago, when I discovered O’Reilly’s Safari service, where, for a low monthly fee, you can have access to over 4,000 computer and technology books. Even for a well-paid programmer, buying an endless stream of $50 computer books can become a financial burden. There is so much to know if you want to master everything from the arcana of cross-browser CSS down to the beauty of relational design, with everything from usability to scalability along the way. Safari gives you it all, and now also includes videos. It is an information junkie’s wet dream and has already significantly helped me to up my game in a number of areas, with excellent titles like Robin Williams Design Workshop and Scott Raymond’s Ajax on Rails.

Like all the best fixes, it is free to try. So, check it out. It is enough to even get this negligent blogger to put up a post.

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