Martini Hour 083, In Which We Contemplate Our Murky if Interesting Future

As Deke and I (mostly Deke) face our exhaustion at finishing up another round of One-on-One books, it seems like it might be a good time to contemplate the future of print. And who better to have around for this discussion than our friend and Chief Curator of Safari Books Online, Mark Brokering. Mark’s job is to obtain content, like…oh, One-on-One books, for the online subscription delivery system that allows you to read any book or part thereof in the entire library, from your computer (or perhaps soon alternate electronic device.) What does this kind of service indicate for the future of books? And is there a difference between fiction and the kick-ass kind of tutorial based teaching Deke does. And before we get too ponderous, will someone mix up some cocktails?

The book image used in this week’s graphic above is © imagebos from the Fotolia image library.

Don’t be scared, the future is challenging, interesting, and might include reading in hover crafts. In the meantime, here’s the rundown on this week’s conversation:

Books (and other meda) aren’t really solving the real-time reference problem, because not only do we want it now, but in many cases we actually need it now because other people want our work now.

  • The average length of time on Safari for someone to sit and read is 12-18 minutes. Does that mean they clearly don’t digest this material in full-length book chunks?
  • What about the lost of highly crafted indexes? Is search really as good?
  • If the flash-based rendering of the page is more or less animated PDF, then do we have to lay out the book anyway? Why is it still in the shape of a book?
  • What will publishers do with work that is organic to rich media, i.e. it’s never lived as a book or even thought about being one?
  • Do you guys like reading other people’s comments? I find them distracting and less-than-useful. Can you think of scenarios where they really help work get done?
  • What’s going to happen to the great writers, who are doing just as much work and brining just as much talent to their craft regardless of the media in which it arrives?
  • How do editors change their brains? How do you identify talent for new mediums?

I can’t quite explain how this episode makes me significantly dizzy and inspired at the same time. And it’s not from the gin. But take a listen, and let us know what you think about the future. Here’s the regular-quality audio file. You can stream, or for best results, right-click and choose Download or Save. Here’s the high-res version; you’ll want to download rather than stream. And don’t forget our usual plea to subscribe via iTunes.

Thanks for the inspiring and invigorating conversation Mark. Cheers.

Next entry:Life Is a Silver Ball

Previous entry:Illustrator CS5 and Video Blog News


  • CS5 issues on OSX.6 Snow Leopard

      it seems Photoshop has issues running parts of Photoshop isn 64bit mode, so a s i was watching the one on one, on, i come to find that Variation as well as a bunch of other tools will not work in 64 bit mode. Now isn’t this kind of a big issue when half the point of the upgrade was to be able to run is this mode!!  Other than
      Any idea of a workaround or any solutions for these issues? Well other than cutting the speed in half and running 32 bit mode, this won’t make My Mac Pro very happy!!
    Yes Photoshop CS5 Extended is a bunch faster than CS4.

    ps thanks for the awesome tutorials!!

  • CS5 One-on-One

    Does anyone know how to access the Lesson files for the exercises. I’ve tried both the internet address in the book and also the long-winded one suggested in an earlier Blog. Still no luck.

  • Re: Color Range , One-on-One Photoshop CS5

    Dear Deke,

    I enjoy the book a lot.  Please clarify #11 on page 346 Chapter (10). Where do you add a layer mask?  When I add a layer mask I get two masks one next to the other? ( On the Cherry Red layer). Or is this an error,  do you have to add a layer mask on the big lips layer?



  • anyone know

    Does anyone know how to access the Lesson files for the exercises.

  • Directions in post below.

    I posted directions below (couple of posts) that work for me and should work for you too.

    You may have to make an account with O’Reilly to get the “Show All Info” link to work. No commitment required to get the account.

    It’s a little tricky, but O’Reilly is a fast connection and downloading is quick.

  • Re: Access Lesson Files

    This is how you do it (with links to screen shots)

    Go to:

    Click on the “Show All Info” link: (screenshot)

    Now you will see the lesson practice file links under each chapter description. Click each link to each chapter and they download: (screenshot)

    note: copy and paste links to see the screen shots at Screencast.

  • IDEO - The Future of the Book

    Hey Deke, just saw this video about the future of books and thought this has everything to do with this post, hope you like it:

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