I mentioned this before but I finally signed up for O’Reilly’s Safari because I wanted to read some chapters from a book to fix a sysadmin problem and couldn’t wait a week or more for a real book to arrive. Safari had the book, so I signed up (ironically, the sign up process doesn’t work with the Safari web browser).
The particular book didn’t help me solve my problem, but now I know that and for only $9.99, I saved $35-50 on the book! And now I can read 4 other books this month for free. But the coolest thing about Safari is that you can post public or private comments on any page of the book! If this gets popular, it’ll basically be like reading someone else’s highlighting and corrections and clarifications. You can’t do that without the internet!
On the downside, the service is kinda slow, sometimes taking a minute or more to get to the next page.
And I did solve my original problem, but had more luck with Google searching mailing list archives.