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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #125 on: June 25, 2004, 12:02:41 PM »
Hmmm...
Fangs, leathery wings, and a long meaty tail. That's what bears need to have.
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

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Offline manfred

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« Reply #126 on: November 18, 2004, 03:15:47 AM »
Thomas Cahill:
How the Irish saved civilization


A good book about the period between the fall of Rome, and the Middle Ages as we know them. The author focuses mainly on Christian themes, but there are interesting things to be found, especially on the old Celts (the Irish).

There is also food for thought:
 (Reasoning how could St. Patrick in effect turn the pagan society into a christian one.)

Under the pretended courage of a warrior society, such an intense, shivering fear was hiding, that it could kill. The conscious ignorance of death, characteristic for their mythical heroes, masks the subconsious fear of death, that no chatting can remove. One could be murdered, betrayed, or enslaved any day. Their gods were cruel and monstrous, too. The Irish believed in a living world full of magic, but certainly not a friendly one. One was bound to fall into a trap, sooner or later.


An interesting way to see a nation of fearless warriors, don't you think? While I am not sure, if I shall believe it, (and certainly lack the arguments), it sounds inspiring.

So be a true barbarian. Have courage, and be merciless to your enemies. And show no fear of death, because you know it will get you sooner or later. And you can't avoid it, nor the other bad things that can possibly happen to you. But at least, you can drown the fear in beer, for a time.
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Offline Hogun

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« Reply #127 on: November 19, 2004, 08:48:40 AM »
assassin and fool books by robin hobb.  and pretty much anything by david gemmell

Offline Ancient Gamer

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« Reply #128 on: November 19, 2004, 10:45:40 AM »
Authors are arranged in order of preferance under their category. All authors are skilled and decidedly worth reading

Fantasy:
*Steven Erikson - Malazan book of the Fallen
*R.E. Feist - Early works like the Riftwar and the Serpentwar sagas. Newest stuff is promising though.
*Tolkien (the Silmarillion is really good after the first 100 pages. Endure and be rewarded)
*R.E. Howard
*David Eddings

Modern Horror:
Brian Lumley - The Necroscope series
H.P. Lovecraft

Technical Books:
History (some parts of history can move people to tears)
Folklore and mythology (The Bible, The Illiad, Norse Mythology, etc...)
Drawing, photograpy,  and 3D modelling
Languages
Computer science (Object Oriented Programming, Algorithms, System Design, Networks and Strategic IT)
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Offline Strolen

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« Reply #129 on: November 19, 2004, 04:40:28 PM »
Uh Oh, Ancient Gamer is into CS.

Couple of good ones that I may never fully digest
Code Complete by Steve McConnell. Probably the only thing with "Microsoft" on it that I respect.
The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew hunt and David Thomas...ummm wow.

What are some OOP that I can benefit from?

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Big U - Neal Stphenson (fun)

I have been on another postmodern kick lately as well

Chuck Palahniuk
-Fight Club (again)
-Choke (ummm, naah)

Douglas Coupland
-Shampoo Planet (crap)
-Microserfs (actually ok, had its moments)

Then I made the attempt:
Postmodernism by Glenn Ward
The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord
Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard (translated by Sheila Faria Glaser)

The latter two must be slowly digested, or read with a blank stare. Say too much in each sentence to lightly read.

Now into the Tom Clancy cycle again. Finished the Cardinal of the Kremlin last night and debating what to read next. Might be some more technical crap to get me back into the rebuild swing of things.

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Offline Ancient Gamer

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« Reply #130 on: November 19, 2004, 05:20:27 PM »
Quote from: "Strolen"
What are some OOP that I can benefit from?

Depends on what you want to make. For web design PHP 5(which you already know) is a great scripting language that has many OOP features. (I actually believe they call it fully OOP now, but I might be mistaken).

For applications (which is more my area of expertise) there is a multitude of possibilities. You have to separate the company advertisement from the facts here, which isn't easy. Heres my take on the three most profiled languages: (percentages are from the last Dr. Dobb's Journal that I can recall with a survey describing the current situation(Dr.Dobb's March 2004 I believe ))  

C++:
Considered archaic by some and supposed to be obsolete for the last 9 years. C++ still thrives and is as a matter of fact the most used programming language (50%+ use C++ at work). It is cryptic and powerful and it's thread and pointer complexity can be frustrating at times. (Ever sat a weekend trying to find a pointer bug somewhere within several thousand lines of code? Aaargggh!)

Books:
"C++ Master Reference" (Clayton Walnum). Its an encyclopaedia where you can look up the standard functions of C++.
"C++ for MFC" is an aging and probably soon obsolete book by Richard F. Raposa. I'm not into .NET yet so I can't give you any .NET friendly advice.
(The last book is deliciously thin, much unlike those 1000 page long monstrousities that has 250 page long introductions; "I want to thank my mother, my father...(Then 249 pages later:)... and Hamtaro, the hamster I had when I was 14")

Java:
Everyone expected Java to knock C++ out of the market, and for a long time it made a strong opponent. Java is user-friendly where C++ is not. Yet Sun/Java promised more than they/it could keep and these latter years the buzz has been that "Java is slow". (I do not entirely agree, but that is not something I can discuss without writing a full article on the subject). 40%+ programmers use Java at work.

Books:
I have only read Norwegian books about Java, but I have also read some excellent excerpts from Bruce Eckel's book. He is recommended by many of the sites I have visited.

C# (C sharp):
Microsofts new language that is expected to knock both C++ AND java off the market. MS has the brawn to do just that, but we'll have to wait and see if they will stay focused long enough to do that, or if they launch another language within the next couple of years :p
I am not fluent with this language, so I cannot give a fair judgement. about 5% use C# at work.

Ohhh...Wait, another one:
VB:
Alien* and simple. Visual Basic won't leave you much room for creativity. Yet it is fast, very fast and easy to use. Want to create applications without too much reading and hard work? Choose VB. But if you want to create complex applications like a 3D engine; stay away. (Familiar applications like Dungeon Crafter has been developed with VB)

*(for the C-family accustomed programmer (which includes php programmers))
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Offline Scrasamax

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« Reply #131 on: November 19, 2004, 05:47:07 PM »
Tom Clancy's Guide to an Armored Cavalry Regiment
Techincal Readout: 3060
December issue of Playboy


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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #132 on: November 20, 2004, 09:55:05 AM »
Have read most recently

Snow Crash - Neal Stevens
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stevens

Reading
Idoru by William Gibson

In process
Myst: The Book of Atrus
Myst: The Book of Ti'ana
Myst: The Book of D'ni
(Note to self... http://www.dnidesk.com/refindex.html )

I am going to be returning to the Wheel of Time series when I finish the Myst series (and get the new Myst series game).
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Offline Loki

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« Reply #133 on: February 18, 2005, 02:24:31 AM »
I read sci-fi, fantasy and horror

Asimov's robot novels
Terry pratchett
Anne rice

...and other genres occasionally  :D
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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« Reply #134 on: February 18, 2005, 04:17:12 AM »
I am currently re-reading the book "The Nobility of Failure. Tragic heroes in the history of Japan" by professor Ivan Morris.

Excellent! Wonderful! A must for anyone interested in Japanese culture and history. There are some (many?) things manga won't teach you!

Excerpt:
Quote from: "Oh, lone pine tree, oh, my brother!"

When he* reached the house of the Brave of the Kumaso, he saw it was surrounded by three ranks of warriors who had entrenched themselves in a pit dwelling by the wall. There was much noise and bustle in anticipation of a party that was to be held to celebate the completion of the dwelling, and food was being prepared for the banquet. He wandered about the house, waiting for the day of the celebration. When the time came, he unfastened his hair and combed it down over his shoulders in maidenly style. Then he put on his aunt's robe and skirt and, having made himself look exactly like a girl, mingled with the women and entered the pit dwelling.

The two Kumaso chieftains were much impressed when they saw the maiden and invited her to sit between them as they cintued their carousing, Prince Ousu waited until the festivities were at their height, when he pulled out the sword from the breast of his robe and, seizing the elder Kumaso by the collar, pierced him through the chest. The younger Kumaso rushed from the room in terror. The prince chased him to the foot of the stairs, grabbed him from behind, and thrust his sword up his backside. Then the chieftain said, "Do not move your sword any further. I have something to say to you."

The prince held him down and agreed to listen. Then the chieftain said, "Who may you be, my lord?" "I am the son of the Emperor who dwells in the palace of Hishiro and who rules the Great Land of the Eight Islands... Hearing that you two Kumaso chieftains were disrespectful and refused to submit to his commands, His Majesty sent me here with orders to kill you." "Yes, this must be true," said the chieftain "For here in the West there are no strong, brave men except us two, but in the Great Land of Yamato there is one who excels us both in courage. I shall therefore present you with a name. Henceforth may you be known as Prince Yamato Takeru!"

As soon as the chieftain had finished speaking, the prince killed him, slashing him to pieces like a ripe melon. From that time forward he was called Prince Yamato Takeru**"

*(Prince Ousu, later Yamato Takeru. Mythical hero)
** Yamato Takeru = The brave of the Yamato.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #135 on: March 10, 2005, 06:42:16 PM »
China Mieville
Perdido Street Station

Just recently finished it. Excellent book, despite a profusance of magic and stuff. It is just done, right, dammit! And it has Babbage's analytical engine, and steam-powered robots, and everything!
SO d**n COOL!
Although the ending is very unhappy.
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

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Offline manfred

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« Reply #136 on: March 22, 2005, 08:22:45 AM »
Currently reading: Future of Freedom by Fareed Zakaria

(explaining the backgrounds of democracy in Europe: )
Geography may have played its part, too, Europe being divided by mountains and rivers, valleys sharply cut between the steep hills offered protection, while on the broken relief of the Mediterranean rivers mouth into protected bays (good for seafaring), so even small regions can last undisturbed, and sometimes even flourish. It is here in Europe where the history of small independent states begins. They are hard to conquer, develop easily, the rivers and seas make business thrive. Compared to it is Asia full of vast plains - the russian steppes, the chinese plains - where imperial armies can march freely, hindered by no one. No wonder that great centralised empires ruled here for millenia.

The topography of Europe made a rise of communities of all sizes possible - city states, duchies, republics, nations and empires. Around 1500 A.D. there were over five hundred states, many not larger than a city.


As for geography, Africa is especially bad off its luck. While the second largest continent, it has the shortest coastline, usually surrounded by too shallow waters for ports to arise. Historically this hinders trade. Ships have trouble sailing its rivers, they are either too shallow again, or if deep enough, interrupted by waterfalls (the dramatic scenery is for these business purposes deadly). If we add tropical heats and diseases, we have simple reasonig why Africa is so under-developed.
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline Cheka Man

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« Reply #137 on: March 22, 2005, 12:38:42 PM »
I've got about halfway through my book about the Zulu
War and I'm really enjoying it.The British didn't know what they were walking into when they invaded Zululand,they thought
that because the Zulus were low tech,they were stupid.And the British paid the price at Islandwana when they lost over a thousand men.At the moment I've reached the part where the British general is avoiding the blame.

Offline AZKaban

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« Reply #138 on: March 23, 2005, 08:15:46 AM »
Quote from: "Cheka Man"
I've got about halfway through my book about the Zulu
War .
What's the name of the book again ?

Offline Cheka Man

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« Reply #139 on: March 23, 2005, 12:33:25 PM »
I think it's called "The Zulu War."

Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #140 on: March 23, 2005, 12:55:50 PM »
Just finished:
Exiles Honor By Mercedes Lackey
The adventures of a captain who joins the queens army after a career as an enemy officer. It is the first in the prequel trilogy about Alberich of Karse

Exiles Valor by Mercedes Lackey
This continuation of the adventures of Herald Alberich of Karse is the sequel to EXILES HONOR and the second book in a trilogy within the larger, extremely popular Valdemar series.

Giving up on the Myst Novels for now.

Rereading Guns, Germs, and Steel

Also Rereading Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
This is a must read book for every game master. It teaches you all the basic structures and tricks of a successful movie. Movies, being stories through time, are a much better metaphor for games than fiction writing. Only a tiny bit of the book is totally applicable to gaming, so well worth the time and effort.

I have been reading magazines mostly at this time, so I have not done a lot of fiction recently.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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« Reply #141 on: March 23, 2005, 01:23:09 PM »
I just read the city history of Prague. The book was filled with legends, history and tall tales. I loved every page, every sentence.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #142 on: March 25, 2005, 11:12:39 PM »
Just finished book 1 of Dean Koontz's Frankenstein. What a story!
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline Kinslayer

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« Reply #143 on: April 21, 2005, 12:33:31 AM »
I read somewhere that the typical American doesn't even read a book a year, less than two percent of the population can even handle a single book in an entire year (television listings don't count).  Other Western nations (according to the same source) aren't doing much better.  

Currently, I'm reading StarCluster.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #144 on: April 21, 2005, 06:31:31 PM »
Oh, gee, thanks, Kin. That makes me feel so good about my people. :)
Not that it really contradicts my own personal opinions anyway.

Currently reading the Hellboy comics (the movie was a sucky, sucky, thin shadow of the glorious greatness which is the comics).

Thinking of re-reading the Milagro Beanfield War.
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

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Offline Strolen

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« Reply #145 on: April 22, 2005, 09:41:33 PM »
In the last month with the traveling.

Altered Carbon - Richard Morgan
Godel, Escher, Bach - Douglas Hofstadter (dry in parts but interesting overall)
PHP Cookbook - O'Reilly
Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
The Codex - Douglas Preston (just started)

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #146 on: April 23, 2005, 09:25:24 PM »
300 by Frank Miller (of "Sin City" comics fame) and Lynn Varley

Wow. I mean wow.
This is the story of the Spartans at Thermopylae as you've never seen it before, that is, in graphic novel form (inside a big book though). It's so awesome I can't even describe it!
The issue, though, is that it's really difficult to find, and if you can get your hands on it, well, lucky, lucky you (TO EBAY!).
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

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Offline Pengilly

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« Reply #147 on: April 23, 2005, 10:37:28 PM »
I find it very sad that so few Americans read regularly. It makes me feel ashamed to be one. Luckily though, I am most definitely NOT in that two percent.

Currently, I am reading "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" by Kurt Vonnegut. It's....interesting, as all of his work is. I am also glad that someone else has read "Perdido Street Station," a sad, but good book.
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Offline Kinslayer

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« Reply #148 on: April 23, 2005, 11:56:06 PM »
Quote from: "Pengilly"
Luckily though, I am most definitely NOT in that two percent.
You're glad that you don't read even one book annually?
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Offline Michael Jotne Slayer

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« Reply #149 on: May 17, 2005, 08:56:09 PM »
Just read the Da Vinci Code, nothing spectacular there.
Just old theories and codes you can break yourself if you stop reading and use some time on them. Don't bother.
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