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Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
by Paul Graham
Edition: Hardcover

17 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Art of programming? More like libertarian tract, 11 Jun. 2007
I thought this book would cover the art of programming. Don't know why, something about the title perhaps?

Instead it's a libertarian, elitist, political tract: small companies are good, big companies are inefficient, making money is good, geeks are good (OK, I'm not going to argue with that one). I've learned nothing at all yet about programming, and all sorts of stuff about running companies, startups, capital, wrapped up in a load of elitist garbage.

We all know (well, those of us involved in computing) that some programmers are gifted, and a gifted programmer can perform more than 10 times better than just a good programmer. What I was sort of hoping for from this book (judging by the blurb and its other reviews) was some insight into what this difference was, maybe with a view to upping my own game. Instead, I get a series of rants about how these elite programmers are held back in big corporations, and how people who perform 100 times better should be paid 100 times more. If I wanted to read a political science book, I'd have bought a book by someone who knew something about political science - Graham might be a gifted hacker, but his politics are naive and his exposition is a rant rather than an argument.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2010 11:17 AM GMT

Look Into The Eyeball
Look Into The Eyeball
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £13.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like humans do, 25 Oct. 2006
This review is from: Look Into The Eyeball (Audio CD)
This is the Byrne album I play the most, and from the opening bars it lifts me up. UB Jesus is a storming track, and from there on it just gets better. Then you get to Accident, which makes you stand still and sends shivers down the spine. Gotta get home and listen to it again. Great stuff.

France (Lonely Planet Cycling Guides)
France (Lonely Planet Cycling Guides)
by Ethan Gelber
Edition: Paperback

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No entry for Calais?, 22 Aug. 2006
This book is probably great if you're at the planning stages of a trip. If you're after general information about getting to France and cycling, then it's a bit vague. I expect that the majority of English speaking cyclists arriving in France will be coming via Calais or Boulogne, or perhaps over-land through Belgium. This book contains no entry for either French city, and doesn't cover the border with Belgium at all. So if you're thinking of pootling about north eastern France this simply isn't the book for you as it doesn't actually contain any specific information about the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.

The regions covered in the book don't overlap, so there are other departments you won't be able to find much about: Poitou-Charentes is largely omitted, the cities of Lille and Lyon and surrounding areas don't appear in the index (or as far as I can tell the book) and there's a band of un-covered territory stretching from south of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to just south of Grenoble on the borders with Italy.

In all - if you want to parachute into the Champagne region, or teleport to the Pyrenees with your bicycle, then this is the book for you. If you're interested in getting aross France it's simply not going to be enough.

Quicksilver (Baroque Cycle)
Quicksilver (Baroque Cycle)
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reiterating..., 21 April 2006
I made the mistake of buying this book along with "Confusion" and "System of the World". Finished this one last night, picked up "Confusion", and was most disappointed to discover it started with Book 4! So I owned books 1, 4, 5, ... What a pain.

If you're interested in reading the whole set (which I am) don't get this one, get the bigger one with the same title.

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