Archive for category: Books I Read

The opposite of Pinterest Fail: The Alinea Project

December 19, 2014 | Books I Read, Cooking and Recipes, Food | By: Mark VandeWettering

One of the more interesting online communities that has sprung up in recent years is Pinterest. It serves as a kind of Internet inspiration board: people clip pictures of projects that interest or inspire them, and post them as a sort of pin board that can be shared. I recently found several boards on ships […]

Book Review: Land of LISP, by Conrad Barski

April 26, 2011 | Books I Read, Games and Diversions, Programming Languages | By: Mark VandeWettering

I learned to program as a teenager back in the 1980s, starting as most of a generation of future computer professionals did. I had an Atari 400 at home, and learned to program using the most popular language of the day: BASIC. There were lots of magazines like COMPUTE! and Creative Computing that included program […]

Colossus: The secrets of Bletchley Park’s code-breaking computers

January 15, 2011 | Books I Read, Cryptography | By: Mark VandeWettering

As long time readers of my blog might remember, I’ve been fascinated by old cryptographic machines. I spent quite a bit of time tinkering around with them back when I was working on Simon Singh’s cipher challenge in his book. In particular, I spent a considerable amount of time reading up on the German Enigma […]

Teaching English, Ebooks, and the Public Domain

September 24, 2010 | Books I Read, Gutenberg Gems, Intellectual Property, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

Forgive this slightly meandering diatribe, there are a few ideas that have been kicking around in my head, and today is the day I decided to try to give them form here on my blog. I’ve been thinking about three interwoven topics: the rather odd way we teach people “English” in high school, the oncoming […]

Build Your Own Z80 Computer

June 7, 2009 | Books I Read, Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

Old timers may remember Byte magazine, and Steve Ciarcia’s column therein. Steve went on to publish Circuit Cellar magazine, an electronics magazine which is more or less dedicated to embedded computer systems. Byte books published a book of his called “Build Your Own Z80 Computer”, which now can be downloaded in its entirety with Steve’s […]

Book Review: New Sherlock Holmes Adventures, edited by Mike Ashley

July 19, 2006 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I love Sherlock Holmes. I think that Conan Doyle’s portrayal of London’s most famous fictional detective are some of the most fun and yet also most artful works of detective fiction ever written. The only pity is that there aren’t more of them. For fun, I picked up a copy of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures, […]

Baseball Hacks

April 12, 2006 | Books I Read, General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Sometimes you find a book that seems uniquely written for your interests: such is Baseball Hacks, the latest O’Reilly book in their illustrious “Hacks” series. It is basically a manual on how to use computers to fuel your obsession for baseball statistics, and includes a wide vareity of cool things you can do with a […]

Parasites on the Brain

February 9, 2006 | Books I Read, Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

Just in case you didn’t have enough to worry about on this fine Thursday, check out this interesting article: Damn Interesting » Parasites on the Brain Toxoplasma gondii may be the most prevalent human parasite. As many as 50% of humans worldwide, and up to 80% in urban areas, have been infected with it at […]

What is so damned fascinating about The DaVinci Code?

January 31, 2006 | Books I Read, General | By: Mark VandeWettering

I just finished listening to Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code and I can’t help but shake my head and wonder: Why the hell is this book so damned popular? Dan Brown is a dreadful writer.   Not just mediocre.  But bad.  Really bad.   I mean really, let’s open with an evil albino?  Why not […]

Book Review: Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883: Books: Simon Winchester

January 11, 2006 | Books I Read, General | By: Mark VandeWettering

For quite some time, I’ve been meaning to read Simon Winchester’s book Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883, but haven’t had the time. Now that I finally got a CD player instlled in my Expedition though, I decided to purchase it as an audiobook, and have been enjoying it during the hour […]

Thought of the Day

October 13, 2005 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m currently reading ::amazon(“0670033847”, “The Singularity Is Near”):: by Ray Kurzweil, and it’s kind of an over-the-top utopian view about the future. His basic hypothesis is fairly radical: that the accelerating innovation in the world will result in a vast leap in human evolution in the 21st century. I don’t know that I buy the […]

Théorie de la spéculation

September 19, 2005 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m currently reading Poundstone’s book Fortune’s Formula, and am up the the part which discusses the French mathematician Bachelier, and his thesis that the prices of stocks in the market follow a random walk. His thesis was published in 1900, and slept for quite some time until resurrected after his death in 1946. A bit […]

Extra Stuff: Gambling Ramblings

July 21, 2005 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I picked up a new book on my trip to Reno: Extra Stuff: Gambling Ramblings by Peter Griffin. Griffin is the author of one of my favorite books in my collection of books on gambling topics: The Theory of Blackjack. This book includes all sorts of interesting tidbits of gambling theory. The book had a […]

Must Have Magazine: Make

February 28, 2005 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I just got my first issue of Make, and all I can say is Wow! Terrific magazine. Fifteen minutes after cracking it, I went to the website and subscribed, then went back and read some more. If you need food for your inner-geek-child, this is it. Don’t miss it.

Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot

February 18, 2005 | Books I Read, Robotics | By: Mark VandeWettering

Today’s book recommendation is Brad Graham and Kathy McGowan’s Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot. Brad and Kathy are the authors of a book which was highly recommended to me, Atomic Zombie’s Bicycle Builder’s Bonanza. I’m not all that interested in building strange bicycles, but robots, hey, that seems like more up my alley. I’ve got […]