I’m always interested in new and strange ways of teaching people about technology, and I’m particularly amused by bizarre computer books. Yes, I read this stuff for fun (why are you staring at me like that?)
For example, Head First Java teaches Java with cartoons and wierd jokes. It is totally brilliant.
Stealing the Network, on the other hand, is straight-up text, but its also unique. It teaches network and computer security through a bunch of short stories. The quality of the writing as fiction isn’t stunning, but because there are characters and dialogue, the situations are engaging and interesting and the technology is thus easier to absorb.
Online there are always a lot more examples of unique technical writing, and today’s example that inspired this post is Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby. I’m not sure this guide actually teaches much, but its certainly interesting and a lot of fun to read. Kind of a surreal stream-of-consciousness thing. With cartoons.
I admit, I am a real sucker for cartoons.