Friday post: book reviews

It's Friday. If you're planning on doing some reading this weekend, here are some book reviews:

Stephen King's IT

Considering the title and page count, I was expecting an exhaustive piece on how to plan, implement and manage an enterprise-size Active Directory topology. Instead I got a fairy tale about kids, unspeakable evils, growing up, that kinda thing. Not a single computer in the whole story. Score: 300bps out of 115200bps.

Trevanian's The Main

Considering the title, I was expecting a treatise on the foundation of modern development - the main() function. I was hoping for a discussion about the philosophical differences between void main(); int main() and indeed int main(void). Instead, I got an understated crime story that's really about one aging police officer's relationship to a world that's changing around him, about a lifetime of experience clashing with the enthusiasm of youth, about impossible love. There are computers in the story, but not many. Score: return -1;

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

I picked up this book, expecting to read about the eternal conflict between testers - prejudiced to believe all code is flawed - and developers - whose pride may stop them from acknowledging the flaws. I was hoping it would address the clash of forces experienced by those of us who only write code for fun and therefore are our own testers, and who constantly question our ability to write flawless code and indeed to find the flaws we inevitably create. Instead - another love story. Not a single computer. Score: BSOD.

Stel Pavlou's Decipher

After the other books, I didn't expect much. I was however hoping for a story on complexity, the difficulties in representing conveying information in a culture-neutral manner, in cracking codes and super computers. And that's exactly what I got. Score: on a scale from 68000 to 68060, this one getsĀ 68060.

Btw, don't get me started on Cthulhu().