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The Best of Verity Stob: Highlights of Verity Stob's Famous Columns from .Exe, Dr. Dobb's Journal, and the Register Paperback – 13 Aug 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2005 edition (13 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590594428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590594421
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 685,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Verity Stob has been a programmer since 1984 and a columnist since 1988. Her column appeared in the "cult" (i.e. defunct) British programming journal .EXE Magazine until 2000, and has since adorned the granddaddy of programmers' rags, Dr. Dobb's Journal. Stob's work has also appeared on the popular IT news website, The Register. Miss Stob lives and works in London, U.K. Her face remains hidden.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "andylow" on 2 April 2005
Format: Paperback
When I announced, on cix, that my "Verity Stob (does not) have a big bottom" t-shirt had finally fallen to bits (that's 8 bits not your new fangled 32 or 64 bits mind) Ms Stob wrote to me saying I should console myself with her new book.
So I did, and I'm jolly glad I did too.
Such joy at reading some old favourites from her jottings in .EXE mag. The subtle wit distilled from the understanding of the experienced practitioner and her coding pencil. The art of refined and clever programming by a master of her craft, clever, syntactically correct with all the correct verbs. A far cry from today's regression of languages to point and grunt.
This book is a must, to be chuckled at over and over and sit amongst the hallowed tomes of K&R, "Obfuscated C", Knuth and tattered cuttings of "Sam and the Fat man" from Freelance Informer (another defunct mag from the heady days when the streets of London were paved with drunk contract programmers).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark R. Bannister VINE VOICE on 10 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If, like me, you've managed to live your life quite happily until now without ever having heard the name of Verity Stob, you will be delighted to discover she is an intelligent (sic) writer of hilarious computer satire, who has been penning witty quips for computer magazines since 1988.

This book is a large collection of her articles from the archives, as well as a few that were not published the first time around. It has to be said that a lot of the humour in this book is for computer programmers, however, if you know nothing at all about programming but know an exceptional amount about dongles, gender-benders and two-way 25-pin D-type parallel connections, there is one article you may laugh at.

Stob's humour is very British at times, but she helpfully provides a jocular Glossary of Britisms at the back of the book to help you along if you're of colonial descent.

Occasionally Stob can witter on into the depths of obscurity, leaving you far behind thinking "am I stupid, or is Stob pretending to be clever?", but her pretence is so utterly believable I am left feeling somewhat inadequate. In particular her re-writing of classic poetry to the tune of technical jargon, and her numerous visits to the Book of Yoc-am written out in biblical-style verses and chapters recounting the adventures of the sons of Kahn (formerly known as the Borland-ites), can get a little tedious.

However, there are so many gems in this book, that anyone lucky enough to have lived through the development of PC software and technology between 1988 and 2004* will find this a laugh-out-loud and thoroughly entertaining read, which will trigger frequent mirthquakes. She's such a clever writer that even the article titles on the Contents page ooze wit.

I love this book, it now has pride of place in my toilet.

(* If you didn't get to live through it, I extend my belated condolences to you).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gary J. Walker on 4 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm astounded there aren't a whole load of positive reviews for this fine book. Funny, nostalgic, and hopefully Verity's column will reappear regularly in some suitable organ.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Verity's columns have always provoked a giggle, I don't know how accessible any of it is to non-techies, but I'd like to think she manages to be funny with or without the lines of sarcastic code!

This book contains a selection of the articles from exe and beyond (Stob was on the register last time I looked).

Unfortunately it is incomplete, there are some hilarious pieces she's done that have not made it in. The frustrating thing is, a lot of the stuff I like used to be on various online sites she had contributed to and they are gradually disappearing into 404 land.

I guess maybe what I like of Stob doesn't match the editor's tastes, the book is heavy on the poetic skits at the expense of the more fawlty towers type sketches that describe (in a round about way) the day to day pain of trying to be a programmer in corporate britain.

Long comedic discourse on what happened to various key figures and companies was probably funny in conjunction with the news at the time, but I don't think those bits age as well as descriptions of being asked stupid questions in job interviews.
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