Archive for category: Books I Read

Getting started with “Getting Things Done”

January 11, 2005 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

After reading some of the material on, I decided to order, read and apply some of the lessons in the book. It’s good! I’ll have some more comments later, but some good additional pointers are here. Try reading them to see the flavor of Allen’s approach, and to see if it might be helpful […]

Books in the Queue…

November 2, 2004 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

Inspired by Dave Slusher’s mention of Robert Rodriguez and his Ten Minute Film School, I decided to get a bunch of books on the subject of low budget guerilla film making. To get the total up high enough to get free shipping from Amazon, I purchased Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez How to […]

Free Culture

August 5, 2004 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I must admit, I’ve been a slacker. I haven’t read Lawrence Lessig’s book Free Culture, and since you can actually get free copies of the book off the web, there really is no excuse. Indeed, today I decided to download the audiobook version to my iPod before I hit the treadmill to exercise. The audiobook […]

The Mathematics of Gambling

July 15, 2004 | Books I Read, Games and Diversions | By: Mark VandeWettering

Thorp’s book, The Mathematics of Gambling, is apparently available online with permission of the author. Thorp is of course the author of the classic book Beat the Dealer, to which an entire generation of card counters owe their heritage.

A Mathematician at the Ballpark

July 12, 2004 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m a bit of a baseball fan, and I’m also fascinated by gambling and probability. It’s rare that I find a book which talks about both, so I was somewhat pleased to see Ken Ross’ A Mathematician at the Ballpark on the shelf at my local Borders. What was even more surprising was the fact […]

Moneyball, by Michael Lewis

May 23, 2004 | Baseball, Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I received an interesting phone call from my friend Phil last week. I hadn’t heard much from Phil, but he called me in the middle of a ferry ride to San Francisco to tell me that he was reading a book called Moneyball by Michael Lewis, and that he was sure that I’d enjoy it. […]

Don’t double down on hard 20…

October 27, 2003 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

This weeks whim book purchase was Books: Bringing Down the House : The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions. Apparently MIT has a long history of blackjack players, and this book details a particular team which aggressively used card counting, team play, shuffle tracking and other aggressive techniques to […]

It’s a Small, Stick Figure World…

April 25, 2003 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

When I was probably eight or ten years old, I remember going to the Book Vault, our local bookstore and seeing Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World. I remember asking my mom to buy it for me, but somehow I forgot about it, even though I thought it was a really cool book. Well, […]

Robot Sumo

January 25, 2003 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I stopped by Barnes & Noble on the way home the other day, and was bemused by a couple of books, including this one on the construction of robots to play sumo. Since I am considering a small robotics project, I thought this book might be good, and after a brief reading, it appears to […]

Eric Meyer on CSS

August 23, 2002 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

I just picked up a copy of a new book on Cascading Style sheets by Eric Meyer. He’s a wizard of all things having to do with style sheets, and rather than just describe the syntax and options (which are easy to get from he presents style sheet wizardry in the form of thirteen […]

An Essay on Typography

August 13, 2002 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

Recently I’ve become rather interested in the topic of the design and printing of books. It seems that many modern books are incredibly poorly designed and typeset, despite the existence of excellent tools that should make book production simpler. The problem is that while software has been created to reduce the tedium, it has not […]

DIY Metalworking

July 29, 2002 | Books I Read | By: Mark VandeWettering

As part of my experiments with telescope making, I’ve been exposed through the efforts of some of my friends to the world of metalworking. i did some minimal metalwork (fabrication of some aluminum bearings and C channel using Paul Zurakowski’s lathe and mill) for my “Australia scope”, and that gave me the bug to learn […]

Rare Earth

July 21, 2002 | Books I Read, Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

One of the most important and interesting question that science can ask is whether or not life exists elsewhere in the universe. The recent book Rare Earth by Brownlee and Ward hypothesizes that multicellular life is quite rare in the universe, so rare in fact that it is likely that we are the only intelligent […]