Friday, August 5

Books, the dog

Last night, I wandered over to in Richardson, to catch up on the local Unix user group. When I first became aware of the group, they were meeting at the SGI office (which no longer exists) near LBJ-635 and Preston. Then, for several years, they met in the basement of a JC Penney building (which is being sold) near LBJ-635 and Coit. Now, they're meeting in a bookstore near 75-Central and Campbell.

As far as bookstores go, NerdBooks isn't a bad place. While I'm sure the bulk of their business is conducted via the web, Nerdbooks(.com) is a place where you can go inside and wander the aisles, sit down and read-before-buying, and then go to one of their kiosks and buy the book online (to get the web discount!). I even spotted a soda dispenser where one's thirst can be quenched while geeking out.

Also, I have high regard for any bookstore where a Dog is allowed to wander freely. The chocolate Lab(rador Retriever) who calls Nerdbooks home is named Books. Perhaps a better name would've been Biff, but that reference would be lost on 99.486% of the people. Books, the Dog is friendly, yet (like Beta the Wonder Dog) gravitates toward anyone who has food. At the Unix meetings, pizza is always available; some traditions continue for years. An annual $12 fee buys you as much guilt-free pizza as you can stuff in your face. Ah, life is good.

The last time I saw A Dog In A Bookstore (before last night) was when I'd go to Opamp Technical Books (Los Angeles) and would have to step over the sleeping dog ("Let Sleeping Does Lie") to find the manuscript of my choice. I never learned that dog's name; he was a German Shepherd Dog and was probably named Hans or Franz or something equally Deutsch.

The only other hi-tech bookstore I like in the Metroplex is the one inside MicroCenter (75-Central at Spring Valley) which is near Texas Instruments. The one at Fry's Electronics is laughable in comparison to both Nerdbooks and MicroCenter, unless you consider an entire aisle dedicated to "Dummies" books worthy of your time (granted, it's amusing to see titles as varied as Wine for Dummies; Sex for Dummies; Lawncare for Dummies (you get the idea ...)).

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