may, 21, 2004 archives

jingfired

the crucible of time by john brunner is a fantastic book, it’s a shame that it is out of print. it traces the development of life on a doomed planet, basically from the time of the first astronomers to their escape from the planet before it is obliterated. the creatures aren’t humanoid, but more bug-like, and the technology they develop is based largely around specialized creatures. this all takes place over many generations, and across some intervening near-calamities.

it’s a book i’d very much recommend. powell’s books has some copies, or you can do what i did and get it at your local library. (the los angeles public library system has five copies.)

tradeoffs

one decision that one would have to make in setting up a dvd rental place is how to package the rentals. use the standard box that the discs come in, or a special box just for rental? (keeping the original box pristine makes resale easier, but represents a logistical challenge.) have the discs in the box on the shelves, or behind the checkout counter? (keeping the discs on the shelves makes checkout easier, but represents a security challenge.)

these cd library units are interesting, because you can string them together and connect 127 of them to one computer, which can then control them all. hook that up to a dvd rental checkout system, and you’ve got a nifty little behind-the-counter setup.

here’s one place that sells locking dvd cases.

here’s a place that sells various bits of store equipment.

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