Recently in Books Category

Effective C#

Buy Effective C# from AmazonOne of my friends recently gave me "Effective C#" by Bill Wagner. I just wanted to do a quick post to say what an excellent book this is.

I have recently moved from Java to C# and because the languages are so similar I can often do things in C# exactly the same way as I did them in Java but that isn't always the best way. This book explains what those better ways are.

Normally in a book such as this I would find myself disagreing with many of the recommendations, however Bill Wagner does a great job of explaining why he is recommending what he is (sometimes delving down into the IL to show you what he means). This means you can understand when that tip should and shouldn't apply.

I recommend that you get this book and skim through the tips one day when you have some time (I did it on a train). Then when you are next writing some C# you will remember the tip and can go look up exactly what he was talking about.

The Broker - John Grisham

The Broker at has been ages since I have read any fiction. I am doing quite a few miles in the car at the moment and have little time to sit down with a book to relax. Last week, I was very kindly given "The Broker", the new book by John Grisham - but as an audio book.

Podcasts are good to help pass the time in the car (and have the advantage of being free) but following the story of Marco trying to survive in Italy has made a nice change. Some of John Grisham's observations on Europe have been painfully incorrect at times, and I obviously have to suspend my technical head when he talks about the latest Smart Phones or hacking a super secret satellite system. It follows the same Grisham formula and is un-challenging. I love it! - great fun to listen to. I would recommend you take a read or a listen if you have the time.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Fantastic news. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is set to be extended this year with new editions of the radio series and also (finally) the movie that Douglas Adams tried so long and hard to get made.

Update: 24/9/2004 Just listened to the first of the new radio series and it is superb. I was worried when I heard they were going to be doing a new one, but it seems to be working out brilliantly. I've listened to the old series so many times I'd forgotten how funny and fresh Hitchhiker is.

Reading Around UI Design

Doing a big peice of UI design again at the moment. While avoiding writing documentation, found a couple of books that are pretty good, however the titles will certainly not help improve my wife's opinion of my job.

First up with have Designing with Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman. This is rapidly becoming a standard text on the subject like Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity by Jakob Nielsen. However, unlike Nielsen's book Designing with Web Standards is well laid out, up to date and an interesting read.

Next up is Defensive Design for the Web or to give the book its full title; "Defensive Design for the Web: How to Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Online Crisis Points" - proof positive that search engines are ruing the art of a good title. Despite the rather uninspiring title, this is a good read with helpful comparisons that really make you think about design. If I could only get as far as generating error messages from my current project... At least they will give me something to read on the train.

Electronic Ink is on the Cards

The first commercial E-Ink product is about to hit the market in Japan. According to the BBC the Sony LIBRIe 1000-EP will cost around 200GBP and be available in April.

While this is the first version of the technology, it looks like it may well take off. If the screen is as good as it sounds, the propect of weighing your holiday bags down with paper-backs may well be coming to an end...

Hardware Hacking for Geeks


Ever wanted to connect your toaster to the internet, turn a skyscraper into a giant display, add a web server to your filter coffee machine or make a furby say things that will severely disturb the kids - then have a read of Hardware Hacking Projects for Geeks by Scott Fullam.

The book is full of cool projects to try out and waste some of your spare money / time on. It has clear photos, circuit diagrams and schematics allowing you to do something useful with all that technology you may have lying around. If, like me, you don't have a lot of spare time or money at the moment then you should still read the book and dream of the things you could do... Hmm, satanic furby...

Software Cold War

BBC Four recently broadcast an interesting documentary Tetris: From Russia With Love which was a very interesting account of the battles behind this simple but addictive game set against the backdrop of Cold War tensions. Rupert Murdoch's access into the Russian political system is also highlighted.

Anyway, an article on the Register has highlighted Thomas Reed's book At The Abyss which looks well worth a read.


Creative Commons License
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.