Illusory Follies Andrew Flanagan's Blog


Price Tracking

Price tracking can be confusing online. Retailers  like Amazon and Newegg (two that I buy from frequently) seem to sometimes change their prices daily. One expects prices to drop over time but this doesn't always happen. I was surprised to find that prices for Solid-State Hard Drives have actually been rising recently (although the real deals appear to have been back in October/November). Thankfully there are some tools that can help. One of them is the Camelizer -- a Firefox plugin. Alternatively, you can access the same data at the website (for Amazon) and camelegg (for Newegg). The same group also tracks prices at BackCountry, Best Buy,, and Zzounds,

Here's an example of one of the SSD's that I'm interested in:

In this digital age it's nice to have something that keeps some history around. It's easy to get information these days but it's always easy to change information (which is why I'm also a big fan of the WayBackMachine -- check out the original Google page!) We don't keep coupons, flyers, or catalogs anymore, we just remember the website.

Anyone experience this sort of problem?


O’Reilly Books

home_tarsier (Copyright O'Reilly Media)I love almost all the O'Reilly books that I've read. The content is great. The style is readable. The quality is excellent.

I've heard of Safari Books Online over the last year or two and I've been thinking about it more recently. Safari Books offers unlimited access for $42.99/month to all the O'Reilly books. At first blush, it seems expensive. Yes, it's nice to be able to do a full-text search through a printed book that's sitting in front of you -- those "index" things in the back are so hard to use! 😉 but at the same time, I don't typically enjoy reading things on the computer for extended periods if time.

...But I'm trying it anyway. My thought is that over the last 12 months I think I've spent at least $50/month on technical books. Most of them (all but 3 I think) have been O'Reilly.

oreilly_large (Copyright O'Reilly Media)

Anybody reading this used Safari Books? Any opinions? I'll post my thoughts in the next week when I make the decision whether to keep the subscription or not.

Pictures used in this post are owned by O'Reilly.