Good book choice?

Rob Andrews rob at
Tue Sep 17 10:34:18 EDT 2002

> <vent>
> This isn't directed at the book mentioned (which is why I didn't quote 
> its name in this rant), rather at all books which come with CDs.  I hate 
> it when books come with CDs.  I'm perfectly capable of downloading the 
> source code used in the book, and in fact I prefer to hand-type it while 
> reading from the book anyway, to make sure I see every part of the 
> code.  When a book comes with a CD, it is cumbersome to read portably, 
> which is the whole advantage of books, unless you take the CD out.  And 
> if I take the CD out, then there is no doubt that it will get lost, or I 
> will be unable to return the book if dissatisfied, etc.  Plus, you can't 
> tell me that the inclusion of a CD and the envelope/publishing used to 
> include the CD doesn't add a few units of currency to the book's cost.
> Poke this opinion full of holes, but when I buy a book, I want a book, 
> not a software package.  The book should be good enough to stand on its 
> own without the "bonus" material on CD.  I think twice about buying a 
> book that comes with a CD, to tell you the truth.
> </vent>

All perfectly valid sentiments, of course. But for the village in Nepal 
lacking bandwidth because they are still six months away from having a 
phone line (not as far-fetched an example as it may seem), an entirely 
different set of considerations may be found.

I find myself on the middle path on this issue, since I rarely have 
personal use for the CDs, but find that they do make it easier to 
distribute Python in my fits of zealous advocacy. I have bandwidth, but 
no burner, and some are more interested in hearing me out if they don't 
have to face a long (in some cases, expensive) download before they even 
get to see if they would be interested.

Rob Andrews

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