The DSC Book Status Update

Thanks to everyone who has checked out The DSC Book I’m writing. This is a unique project in my experience, in that I’m writing it a chapter at a time, and releasing those chapters as I finish them. So it’s a kind of “Agile” book in that regard. Early adopters can purchase it for $39.99, with the option to pay more if you think it’s worth more. Each purchase lets me set aside about 4 hours on the weekends or evenings, so I can work on the book. I’m also taking whatever spare time I can to work on it.

Right now, the book is nearing the 50% point of its original, planned outline. So, in August 2016, I’ll be raising the minimum purchase price and ending the early-bird pricing.

Here’s what’s to come:

  • Going Further with Configurations (which will include ConfigurationData)
  • Composite Configurations
  • Partial Configurations
  • Security and DSC
  • Custom Resources (function-based)
  • Class-Based Custom Resources
  • Self-Modifying Configurations

Then I’ll be adding extended examples. My intent was to keep the examples so far pretty minimal, so they could focus on explaining what was happening. I’ll expand that out in some kind of “putting it all together” chapter, yet to be spec’d out. Currently, the book is at about 15,500 words, and I’m expecting that to double by the time I get through the original outline plan.

But the neat thing about Agile publishing is that the book may never be “done.” I can always continue adding to it as I realize the need to address new questions, as the technology evolves, and so on. And my commitment is that, while the technology remains substantially the same, I’ll provide those updates to purchases at no extra charge. If Microsoft ever massively revises DSC and forces a rewrite of the book, that’ll be a new book, but until then – one price gets you a “living book.”

So huge thanks to everyone who’s supported the project so far, and thanks to everyone who’s still considering whether or not to jump aboard. I’m very committed to finishing this, and appreciate everyone’s patience and suggestions!

My DSC Book is Coming Along!

If you haven’t found it, my The DSC Book project is coming along nicely. This is an “agile” book, meaning I’m publishing it as I write it. Whenever I make a major update, you get an email notification and can go download the new version at no extra charge. It’s available in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB, as well as in the LeanPub app. Everything’s DRM-free, to make it as easy as possible for you to read it wherever you want.

You should know that each purchase actually helps push the book forward toward completion, since for each purchase I set aside 4 hours to work on nothing but the book. And while I do have an outline (it’s in the Table of Contents, which you can see in the freely available sample download), I plan to continue updating and evolving this book over time. So for a one-time purchase, you basically get a “forever” book!

It’ll pay to support this project early on. As I noted, purchases help me dedicate time to the project (my family is more generous with my weekends when the bills are being paid). In addition, the price of the book will rise over time as it nears completion. So you’re getting an Early Bird bonus by being on the “ground floor.”

The project is an outgrowth of the original “DSC Book” I published for free at PowerShell.org. This is a complete rewrite, and I decided to go commercial so that I’d have the financial support needed to grow and maintain this thing over the long-haul.

If you haven’t done so, stop by and check it out, and let me know what you think.

More Internet Woes, but Less

If you’ve followed my sketchy history of home Internet, then this will amuse you.

I’m helping a friend remodel his mother’s cabin, which sits at about 8,500 feet near Dixie National Forest in Utah. It has DSL. Not a fan of DSL, as you know, but it’s 8,500 feet and it’s Internet. So whatev. And until recently, it got a solid 5 down and 1 up. Not bad for a cabin, right? And not metered, like satellite.

It died. It died a lot. 

So I called the telco. Basically prepared for war, tossing out all the acronyms – NID, DSLAM, SNR, you name it. And I do know what all those mean. So they sent a tech.

Tech shows up. Younger kid. Super-skinny, God bless him, maybe 75 pounds sopping wet. 20″ waist maybe. Now, we’re terminated about 50 yards down a 60 degree mountainside, and this poor kid keeps hoofing it up and down to try different pairs. He eventually gets it kinda-working, says he’ll be back tomorrow (his meter’s battery died, so he couldn’t test it anymore), we gave him a bag of chips (he’d skipped lunch and was looking lightheaded), and were about to send him on his way when…

He comments, “yeah, you’ve got a whole unused 6-pair in there, and it’s like new. But it seems to have been cut or something, I don’t know, I can’t get dial tone on it. And the old 4-pair drop you’ve been on might just be corroded. It’s not testing well, there were a lot of errors.”

Well, familiar with that situation from Vegas, I ask, “…and? If the drop is bad?”

He shrugged. “We replace it.”

I kind of rebooted. From my dealings with CenturyLink in Vegas, I didn’t know, “fix our own broken shit” was an option for telcos these days. So, assuming this all plays out, good on you, South Central Communications. Good on you.

Side notes:

  • Our electrical service and telco service are in the same trench. It appears that whenever the power company digs, they call the telco to come drop wires in the trench at the same time. Unprecedented cooperation. Must be because it’s so hard to get a cocktail in Utah.
  • The DSL tech also handles dial-tone. Makes sense; smaller area, less need for specialized techs. But he – and his meter – can also run tests on the copper itself. That’s unheard of for a telco, where the linemen are usually a separate freakin’ union. This kid could declare the copper bad and summon in the trenching team, without having to kick it back and forth until I call a supervisor. Ahem.

DevOps and DSC Camp Detailed Agenda

In addition to the draft general agenda and the overall event brochure (which includes registration info), we’ve now got a list of the topics we’ll be workshopping!

  • Welcome & State of the DevOps/DSC Art Address
  • Building A Complete Lab in DSC (“The Lab-Building DSC Shit-Show”)
  • JEA (with DSC) for Delegated Administration
  • Writing Pester Tests to Validate Infrastructure
  • Have Ya Seen Azure DSC?
  • Building an Infrastructure Delivery Pipeline (“Infrastructure from Code”)
  • Test-Kitchen and DSC
  • Unit Testing Existing DSC Resource Codebases
  • Enhancing the Pipeline with New Community Driven Projects

This is a pretty serious lineup from some pretty knowledgeable folks – and because we’re limiting the event to under 20 people (including Microsoft team members in attendance) you can be assured of a deeply engaged and interactive experience! We have only a handful of seats remaining, and don’t forget that the fee includes your hotel room and almost all of your meals!! Grab the brochure and register today!

(And no, due in part to the very interactive, discussion-based nature of the event, and the fact that some of it takes place in nonstandard venues like my back yard, we will not be streaming or recording. This is an event where being there is the whole point.)

 

DevOps (and DSC) Camp 2016 Agenda

We’ve finalized the high-level agenda for Camp!

CampAgenda

Obviously, not all of the exact presentation topics have been nailed down, in part because Camp is such a fluid, discussion-based, of-the-moment kind of event. We’ll have a rough draft of our schedule a month or so before Camp itself – so late June to mid-July.

We still have a few seats left (remember, only 20 campers are admitted, so we can keep our intimate, discussion-based focus). If you’re thinking of attending, check out the brochure, and then get over and register.

Dual eBook Publishing: @GitBookIo and @LeanPub

Over at The DevOps Collective and PowerShell.org, we’ve been keeping our free ebooks in PenFlip. Thing is, PenFlip sucks. Great idea, but deeply broken, and the author appears to have vanished. Meh, it was free. But moving there was, on paper, the right idea: it’s a Git-based repository where you write in Markdown, and it publishes to a variety of friendly formats on-demand. But… broken.

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