Category Archives: Books

Another day pushing the product ahead

Once again I am breaking the rule of leaving the day work project for the day, because I am trying to deploy it in AWS before Monday.

From the fact that I didn’t take the time to do deployment earlier, I am paying with the extra weight now of making sure it works properly, and that I can deploy it again and be reasonably sure it works. It has no surprises, I did the job before, but it still consumes a good amount of time. I am making extra checks for connectivity, configuring ports, addressing security issues, and after all that the program is still off the real world and just running inside the work network. But, as the story goes, it could have been worse.

While I am waiting for the scripts to run, I started reading Rework, from the guys at 37signals. My friend Magoo mentioned it a few days ago and I usually follow his recommendations. I didn’t find it irreverent, but my communication style is probably rougher than my friend’s. And a lot of the recommendations from the book resonate very well with my current line of thinking (the ‘a month’s evenings‘ theme looks like taken from the first few chapters of the book). It is very easy reading, and valuable as well.

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Breaking Windows: How Bill Gates Fumbled the Future of Microsoft

I had Breaking Windows: How Bill Gates Fumbled the Future of Microsoft as my ‘before sleeping’ book for the past two weeks.

The book is centered about the antitrust case that the USA’s Department of Justice raised against Microsoft before 2000, and the change in the business model required by the growth of the Internet. It is an interesting story, but for me the tone is too close to a business magazine or business section of a newspaper.

Obviously the guy knew his work and did a good research, but probably I will not remember too much of it in a couple of years.

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Startup – A Silicon Valley adventure

I finished Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure a few days ago. Even being a kind of ‘old’ book (most of the technology advance they were trying to do sounds prehistoric a decade after) the problems, solutions and conclusions have the same validity today.

The style of Jerry Kaplan is very easy to read, and the whole story is coming from the battlefield, just as I like with computer books. My highlighted take away: work with people and companies that have things in common and really want to work with you. Since he mentioned their contract with IBM I was asking myself ‘why in hell did they do that?’

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Everybody’s knife bible

I finished Everybody’s Knife Bible: The All-New Way to Use and Enjoy Your Knives in the Great Outdoors a few days ago.

The book is easy to read, and the clinometer idea is very good (I did something like that when I was at the University, but I didn’t think about dividing the arc in percentages instead of degrees).

The author is happy with Blackjack Knives and kukri designs (I never tried any of them), and very vocal about the size of knives handles (while I agree up to a point, I can’t see myself wrapping my knives with four layers of stuff that I might need. I prefer to keep the knives clean and carry the extra in a bag, sometimes attached to the case).

All in all, is a nice book to read if you already know knives and are looking for stories from the trenches for new ideas.

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The autobiography of Benvenutto Cellini

I just finished reading “The autobiography of Benvenutto Cellini” from the Project Gutenberg. The guy was an extremely interesting character, and his works are magnificent.

I first read about him during my childhood, in a primary school encyclopedia, where they talked about his debate on being a soldier or stay as an artist (even than he remained as artist, he was armed all the time and took part in a lot of fights and a war or two). That caught my attention and I remembered the name, and I saw one of his works when we went to Paris, but never read anything else about him until a few months ago, when an article from Bruce Sterling in Make magazine mentioned the file in Project Gutenberg.

It makes an interesting reading for the bus, because the chapters are short and deal with one anecdote only. Most ot them are very interesting, some of are plain weird, and most show the different mindsets that people had 500 years ago.

The last point that captured my attention: while working in a statue a piece of metal cut one of his eyes and stayed there, and after a few days a doctor drive it off using the blood of a few pigeons. After the episode he recon that his eyesight was much better than before. It looks to me like a very old laser eye surgery, without laser or surgeon :).

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