Kevin Kelly has released a PDF version of his 2003 real-book Cool Tools. Cool Tools is the spiritual kin of The Whole Earth Catalog. They are very similar, except that Cool Tools has more or less kept up with the times. So what he’s done is dumped the entire text – with color pictures – out into a nicely formatted PDF book. It’s yours for $3.50.
This is the scale plastic stock and model parts catalog used by architects, scratchbuild modelers, railroad hobbyists and other miniature makers. They have EVERYTHING at various mini scales: I-beams, T-beams, Hbeams, tubing, tiny plumbing fittings, stone and brick-patterned sheets, plastic sheet stock in every size, color and thickness. The next time you watch a sci-fi film and see a far-away shot of, say a mining colony on a lonely asteroid, youâ€™re probably actually looking at a big chunk of the Plastruct product line. Their website is abominable; get their paper catalog.
The cool thing is it used this new (well, at least to me) service from payloadz.com that seamlessly integrates with paypal.com. Click a link, send some money, and a unique download location is served up for you. Pretty cool stuff for small run things like this.
The whole thing is put up under a Creative Commons license, which allows you to more-or-less give it away for free, but I chipped in the tree-fitty. Well worth it.