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SLRP (R=reddit). PDF Paradise!
March 26, 2011 9:01 AM   Subscribe

"Have any of you ever found a great PDF online?"

Sorry if a link to a reddit thread is dodgy. Mods, remove this post if it's a problem. But it seemed like such a useful collection and I thought maybe Mefites could add to their own suggestions here.
posted by grumblebee (52 comments total) 247 users marked this as a favorite

 
awesome. Thanks!
posted by Kwine at 9:02 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


You had me at "Bike Maintenance Made Ridiculously Easy".
posted by cyphill at 9:09 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Brilliant list! Thanks!

But how come we never get recommendations to such gems as An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces (.pdf) here?
posted by Ahab at 9:21 AM on March 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


But how come we never get recommendations to such gems as An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces (.pdf) here?

Ah, but we do.
posted by drlith at 9:26 AM on March 26, 2011 [14 favorites]


The Pepsi logo article is a masterpiece of hoodwinkery.
posted by HeroZero at 9:34 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks drlith, glad to know I can still feel a little smug about the five bucks.

Serazin's story in that thread is something really quite special, too.
posted by Ahab at 9:37 AM on March 26, 2011


I'm really enjoying Why Snakes Have Forked Tongues. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:37 AM on March 26, 2011


I have kind of mixed feelings with one or two of the links, where, for example, the notably-named "tenlittleniggers.com" site has what appears to be PDF conversions of textfiles from textfiles.com, and a bunch of people are excited about all the awesome stuff on the other site, not knowing there's a PDF-free version of all of those, plus a ton of other BBS-era history.

But on the other hand, the history is being saved.

Someone tell me what to think!
posted by jscott at 9:46 AM on March 26, 2011 [4 favorites]




You had me at "Bike Maintenance Made Ridiculously Easy".

And it's a pretty good document, too. I'm definitely giving that to my bike-user-but-non-bike-person friends and family.
posted by entropone at 9:46 AM on March 26, 2011






I'm really loving that figure 1 of the penguin poop article.
posted by tickingclock at 9:56 AM on March 26, 2011


I found Surreal Numbers - An Introduction pretty helpful last summer.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:58 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks. I originally saw this on reddit and meant to take a look through the material but it fell off the main page.
posted by purephase at 10:00 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I'm really loving that figure 1 of the penguin poop article."

It is, of course, a t-shirt

posted by Blasdelb at 10:03 AM on March 26, 2011


It is now impossible to find MANUAL000019933.pdf in its native habitat, but here it is on Scribd .

More information on the NM-156 Reciprocating Emu Press may be found here.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 10:10 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


These are a problem for me. I'm a PDF (and CHM/DjVu/Microsoft Reader/TXT/etc.) hoarder. I filled a whole external hard drive with stuff like this recently.

What do you do with more reading material than you can possibly read in your lifetime? Share it with others?

(ElbitZ is a private tracker for educational material with no shortage of PDFs. Looks like registration might be open again April 15.)
posted by MrFTBN at 10:20 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm still working through the Tome of Awesome, but it has completely changed the way I think about D&D already.
posted by Copronymus at 10:49 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there an explanation of why I have a forked tongue?
posted by cjorgensen at 11:04 AM on March 26, 2011


Sciencemadness.org has a library of out of print books related to extreme science. I just finished reading Ignition! about the early development of liquid rockets. I looked for it after seeing it mentioned in a post here about extremely nasty chemicals.
posted by TedW at 11:11 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


David MacKay - Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms -- I keep meaning to look at this, which is dense but apparently quite workable-through.

I still don't understand how reddit threads work...
posted by knile at 11:16 AM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not the chicken PDF, but it makes a nice companion piece:

Now follow along!
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:16 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jeff Erickson teaches our school's CS Algorithms course and he's put up his (excellent) notes online as PDFs for download. He notes:
Am I writing a textbook? No. All textbooks suck. (Partly that's because of the unethical rapacious profitable business practices of (most) textbook publishers—these notes will always be freely available. But also, I've never seen a textbook on any topic that I'd be willing to teach from for more than a few weeks; that's why I wrote these notes in the first place.) In particular, if these notes ever became a textbook, they would immediately suck. (Determining whether they already suck is an illuminating exercise for the reader.) Besides, have you ever talked to someone who's actually written a textbook? Do you realize how much work is involved?! No way, man. Not for me.
Excellent!
posted by yaymukund at 11:18 AM on March 26, 2011 [8 favorites]


I've found this book on algorithms pretty good. It is expensive, though. In my addition there was a bug in the red/black tree algorithm, which I actually implemented and had to figure out myself. Once I fixed it I realized the book was wrong and looked up the errata, to find the mistake I found was fixed.

Still a good book though. Only $30 too.
posted by delmoi at 11:29 AM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dorm Room Dreadfuls!
posted by squalor at 11:36 AM on March 26, 2011


It is expensive, though … Only $30 too.

Huh?
posted by kenko at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2011


It is expensive, though … Only $30 too.

Oops. I remembered it being more expensive, then when I actually looked up the price it was cheaper. Probably because they're on to the 3rd edition now, which is like $68.
posted by delmoi at 11:39 AM on March 26, 2011


Jeff Erickson teaches our school's CS Algorithms course and he's put up his (excellent) notes online as PDFs for download.

There seem to be errors, though?
Let LCS(i, j) denote the length of the longest common subsequence of two fixed strings A[1 ..m] and B[1 .. n]. This function can be defined recursively as follows:

LCS(i, j) =
  • 0 if i = 0 or j = 0;
  • LCS(i-1, j-1) if A[i] = B[j];
  • max(LCS(i, j-1), LCS(i-1, j)) otherwise
From which it immediately follows that LCS(i,j) always equals 0. (Presumably the second condition should be 1 + LCS(i-1,j-1).)

The handouts are also kind of hard to follow for reasons instantiated in the first sentence of the blockquote: the length of the longest common substring of two strings is not a parametric value. "LCS(i,j)" has two parameters. I mean, sure, we're talking in a dynamic programming context and LCS is really a matrix whose value at (m,n) is what interests us—but that's not what it says, dammit!
posted by kenko at 12:21 PM on March 26, 2011


"Is there an explanation of why I have a forked tongue?"

You're a white man.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:30 PM on March 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


Thanks, mr_crash and cjorgensen, movie goers had been wondering for years who it was.
posted by Cranberry at 12:46 PM on March 26, 2011


A really nice pdf of the properties of the amino acids.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:31 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


"eyes only" filetype:PDF site:www.foia.cia.gov
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:34 PM on March 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Introduction to Methods of Applied Mathematics or Advanced Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers", an enormous, insightful, and reasonable comprehensive introduction to applied mathematics. Available in formats suitable for computer viewing (2321 pages) and printing (1463 pages).
posted by Upton O'Good at 2:08 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Your state (or neighboring state or far-away state!) extension is a good place to find PDFs on all sorts of topics! I currently have open in another tab Beef and Pork Whole Animal Guide which has nice pictures of meat (and has taught me the difference between a porterhouse and a t-bone.)
posted by vespabelle at 2:36 PM on March 26, 2011


Thanks for the bump, yaymukund.

And thanks for the (embarrassing) bug report, kenko. The first sentence was just wrong, and the recurrence was missing a +1. Anyway, it's fixed now.
posted by erniepan at 2:45 PM on March 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is not in .PDF form (though some of the links point to .pdfs), but I feel the need to post anyways: Appropriate Technology Library.

It's a huge collection of instructional books/articles/pamphlets that was developed for free distribution in 3rd world countries and the topics range from crocodile farming in Papua New Guinea; permaculture design; building with bamboo;passive solar heating; aquaculture; DIY dentistry; banana beer; to how to build: a blacksmith forge, a human-powered treadle pump for irrigation, a biogas digester, a solar oven, a portable charcoal kiln, a non-electric refrigerator, a donkey harness, and more! Granted, because there is so much there, you have to wade through a bunch that may have absolutely no relevance to you, but that's part of the fun.
posted by mingo_clambake at 3:32 PM on March 26, 2011 [7 favorites]


I read this and now I want to punch a marketer in the dick.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:13 PM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


For every "Introduction to Methods of Applied Mathematics or Advanced Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers" there's an Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O. C. and Stiggs.

Or rather, there would be, if I were in charge.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:35 PM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


knile: the MacKay book is excellent. There are a surprising number of good math books available free online, because there's no money in math books and so more and more publishers are okay with this sort of thing. Cambridge University Press is one of the publishers that come to mind for that; MacKay's book is one of theirs. Some other math books of theirs that I like are Analytic Combinatorics (Flajolet and Sedgewick), Algebraic Topology (Hatcher), Music: A Mathematical Offering (Benson), Networks, Crowds and Markets: Reasoning about a highly connected world (Kleinberg and Easley).

I haven't seen a good list of them. (I've seen bad lists -- basically, people start a list and then don't bother to update it.) I keep thinking I should compile such a list and put it on my web site but it would probably suffer the same fate.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:27 PM on March 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


David MacKay's Sustainable Energy – without the hot air (entire 50 MB pdf) is a really good read.
posted by Rickalicioso at 7:47 PM on March 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


obiwanwasabi, is that real? It must be from the Onion. At least I pray it's from the Onion.
posted by cccorlew at 8:08 PM on March 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


now all I need is an 8.5" x 11" e-ink reader for under $200...
posted by Zed at 10:32 PM on March 26, 2011


Where do mama/papa words come from? - A study of why so many languages have baby-talk words for mother and father that are similar to mama and papa. I found it quite fascinating, maybe some of you linguo-nerds would like it.
posted by marble at 10:44 PM on March 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


StupidsexyFlanders, do you know about the movie? Despite being directed by Robert Altman and having a cast that included a young Jon Cryer and Jane Curtin it went pretty much straight to video.
posted by TedW at 4:45 AM on March 27, 2011


I used to work for an online merchant. One of my duties was working with our fraud department. Somewhere along the line we got this [Online] Fraud Awareness Guide. I found it VERY informative and useful. It's over 10 years old, but I'm pretty confident that not much has changed in those ten years, at least for online fraud...
posted by pwb503 at 11:09 AM on March 27, 2011


We used that Advanced Calculus text in a class as I recall. I also like his Companion To Real Analysis if you are ok with some non-standard (but consistent!) notation.
posted by klausman at 12:14 PM on March 27, 2011


I once found a great PDF and posted a link to it right here on Metafilter. Matt deleted it.
posted by Ardiril at 3:14 PM on March 27, 2011


pwb503 - Metafilter had its very own internet fraud detective... once. (sniff)
posted by Jpfed at 3:28 PM on March 27, 2011




I still don't understand how reddit threads work...
posted by knile


It's pretty simple:

1. Someone will post a link or ask a question

2. Someone will respond with a carefully crafted answer

3. That answer will disappear as the funniest response gets upvoted

4. The entire thread will slide off the front page and you'll never be able to find it again.

5. During peak times the lag will be so bad that you'll only click on the photo links, the only ones that will work.
posted by mecran01 at 7:23 PM on March 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


pwb503 - Metafilter had its very own internet fraud detective... once. (sniff)
We didn't just have one. We had nine.
posted by scrump at 4:24 PM on March 30, 2011


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