I'm on sabbatical this semester, working to create a new, self-published update to--and massive reorganization of--my book, to be titled Networking and Control Systems for Live Entertainment (the title was selected by you!). I've got a first pass done on the reorganization, have heading placeholders in for new content areas, and I'd like to get your feedback.
You can download a PDF of the newly updated Table of Contents here (and if you can't find your copy of the third edition, you can see that edition's TOC here to see what's changed), and I'm looking for your feedback on the new organization, and especially, missing topic areas that should be included, or obsolete information that needs to be cut. Keep in mind that my "Who is This Book Written For" section on page xxx says:
While writing this book, I have kept in mind two groups of readers. First, I’ve targeted those working in or studying the entertainment technology field: technicians, designers, technical managers, and so on, with a special focus on entry-level readers. (Note that I left entertainment product designers and engineers off this list--they should be reading the same technical source materials I read.) Second, I’ve targeted technically literate folks outside the entertainment industry who want to learn more about entertainment control. This group may include an electrical engineer who wants to get some background on and context for the live entertainment standards or protocols that he has been reading about, or a computer artist interested in interfacing her software with show production elements. As in previous editions, I focus here not gear (which goes constantly obsolete), but on open techniques and standards, because I think it’s critical that people know not only the “what” but the “why” of entertainment technologies.
Though I’ve tried not to be extremely technical, this is a field of ever-increasing technological complexity. In order to make the content of the book manageable, I assume the reader knows the general difference between analog and digital, what a Volt is, the basics of computing, and so on. However, you do not need to be an expert in all these areas, since, in entertainment technology, we deal mostly with higher-level systems integration, and we do so very practically. It’s great for an entertainment technician to have the skill to do component-level electronic circuit-board repair, or packet-level analysis of network traffic. However, it’s even more important for the average technician to learn how to put together reliable systems and make sure the show actually happens—experts can always be found when necessary. For those who want to pursue the core technologies further in depth (something I strongly encourage), I have suggestions listed in the book resource sections on my website.
With that in mind, if you have any suggestions/corrections/additions, please post a comment here before 10am Thursday March 22, one week from today. Don't worry about typos, etc--I have a copy editor later in the process who will catch those.
After the deadline, I will select the most helpful comment that leads to an improvement in the book (emails don't count--I'll use the blog time stamp to determine who makes a comment first, and to avoid redundant comments). The winner will get a copy of the book when it comes out (sometime this summer, I hope)! Obviously, you must post with your real name and email (which won't be published) in order to win. I would really would appreciate comments like, "this looks fine" too, to let me know I'm on the right track. Thanks!