Reading and Writing

I have three books in print, with a few other ideas in the wings.

The downside to writing technical books is that only technical people buy them. When there are few scenes involving scantily clad bodies, car chases, or things that explode with precise protagonistic timing, your audience dwindles. But I’m the proud co-author of three books:

Professional WordPress, published under the Wrox imprint of John Wiley & Sons, went to print in March 2010 and is now in its third edition. It’s all about the software platform that powers this blog (among 200 million others). Co-authored with Brad Williams and David Damstra, it was a lot of fun to write because I’ve been using WordPress for about five years and have seen it go from cult-like project to full-scale content management system.

Managing NFS & NIS, published by O’Reilly & Associates was my first technical book. Now in its second edition, mostly rewritten by Ricardo Labiaga and Michael Eisler, it’s been in print since 1991. It’s an oldie.

Blueprints for High Availability, published by John Wiley & Sons, is also in its second printing, also with major work from co-author Evan Marcus. We look at how (and why) we can make computing systems more reliable than they usually are. We have a Facebook fan page for the book if you care.

I’m currently working on a fourth book, which is a love story about hockey: teams, fans, fathers, sons, traditions and miracles. What’s not to love? Scott Gomez has a cameo in it, as does the official timekeeper for the New Jersey Devils, and there are chapters with exclusive Jeff Halpern and Patrik Elias content (would you expect anything less?). The book is called 8 Days, 8 Nights, a play on the duration of most Jewish festival holidays as well as the fact that my son and I wear number 8 while playing hockey.

Other ideas: An adaptation of Springsteen’s “Jungleland” as a techno-thriller (yup) and a book about being a useful uncle (which was prompted by a former co-worker asking me to teach him to play craps, as he lamented that none of his uncles had done so).

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