Mother's Day Unwired

by Brian Sawyer

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Ever wonder what becomes of the tools and objects that appear on covers for Hacks and Unwired books after they've performed their service? Sure, some of the cover images are stock photos from various archives, and we at O'Reilly have never actually handled or even seen the objects themselves. But some of the images we use are actually original photos our cover designers have taken of objects they've lovingly hunted down and selected specifically for the covers on which they appear.

Take, for example, the antique iron birdcage that adorns the cover for Windows XP Unwired:


Here's a beautiful object that no longer served a need for O'Reilly after it had been photographed, but I was lucky enough to be around when it was about to be put to pasture. All it needed to become the perfect gift for my wife's first Mother's Day was a little love, some moss, and some ivy:


Check it out. There's even a moss bird on a perch in there:


Though the gate is always open, this little guy shows no signs of fleeing any time soon. Happy Mother's Day.

Where are they now? Anyone else have news of a retired cover image being put to new use?