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Offline Strolen

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #225 on: August 16, 2009, 08:17:24 AM »
I read my first Harry Potter book, The Order of the Pheonix. Been sort of dogging the series for awhile as the popularity of it had basically turned me off to it. My son read the first 4 (we make him read them before he can watch them) and then my wife started reading them because everybody kept saying they got "dark."

Anywho, started it a week or so ago and was sick as a dog yesterday so rested and finished it up and I enjoyed it very much. Very quick reading, good characters and a nice story that weaves around. Lots of neat creatures, interesting back stories of other creatures, and nobody is one-dimensional. Mystical beasts you can only see if you witnessed death? How sweet of an idea is that? Giants that fight each other at the detriment of their own species? Awesome! Fun spells and cantrips, a swamp in the middle of a hallway! Will probably pick up the rest and rip through them eventually as I am sure there are plenty of small gems of ideas packed in them.

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Offline Pieh

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #226 on: August 16, 2009, 06:11:26 PM »
Currently Reading:
The Ringworld Throne by Larry Niven
I'm really enjoying this series, I absolutely adore the new and alien words such as Tanj (An expletive that started as a acronym for There Ain't No Justice) and Rishathra ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rishathra ). There is lots of mystery and plenty of excitement in this series.

Recently Finished:
Ringworld and The Ringworld Engineers
See above.
Locke & Key - Welcome to Lovecraft Graphic Novel by Joe Hill
I picked this up in a nice hardcover with it's own bookmark tassel for about $25 because I assumed it just jumped off the shelf at me. With a name like Welcome to Lovecraft I was expecting it to be a lot weirder. As it turns out Lovecraft is simply the name of the city in Massachusetts that the Locke family moves too in the beginning. It is well illustrated and rather gory at times, but the gist of it seems to be an ancestral home with mysterious keys and doors that do different things. Like turn you into a ghost, leaving you body dead in the doorway waiting for you to fly back through. Not bad, but short. I don't think I'm willing to dish out $25 more for the next one. Maybe a softcover or compilation. Check it out if you see it.

On and off reading: Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
A book of the wizarding world's children's tales. It's short, but, despite gobbling up the rest of the Harry Potter series, it just feels like a cheaply thrown together book to make even more money (though the price sticker says it was only $8 at WalMart).

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Offline Moonlake

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #227 on: August 16, 2009, 09:21:35 PM »
Don't have time for serious reading so all my current books are what I term "light reading". Just finished two of the numbers series on Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich (mystery), will be starting on one of the Agatha Chrisite books.

My all time favourite, like most everyone else, is The Hobbit and Lord of Rings. Close seconds are (were?) Raymond E. Feist (things went downhill for me after Serpentwar) and David Eddings (just the original 4 series and not the Elder/Younger Gods). A recent find that didn't quite make it to fav but is brushing the border is Anne Bishop and her Black Jewels world books but not sure if that's a gender thing. Then I have lots of "comfort writers", people whose book I pick up just b/c they wrote it- R.A Salvatore and basically any and everyone involved with the Forgotten Realms (i guess Forgotten Realms in one of my "comfort series"), Margaret Weis, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell etc. etc.

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Offline Pieh

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #228 on: August 16, 2009, 11:25:40 PM »
I found a copy of To The Nines by Janet Evanovich and read it a while back, I enjoyed it, but not enough to pursue the rest of the series. Margaret Weis is one of my favorites as well, have you picked up the Dragonships series yet, Moonlake? I think Weis and Hickman are doing that with TOR Publishing (I could be wrong), trying to get away from WotC.

Another book I would recommend is Necroscope by Brain Lumley. I have the second in the series as well, Vamphyri!, but the first was so good I don't want to ruin it by reading a lesser sequel. I also suggest checking out the numerous H.P. Lovecraft collections, especially the ones with stories not written by HPL. There some amazing hidden talent in those books, as well as rare short stories from a few bigger names like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. Speaking of Gaiman, The Sandman graphic novels are also top-notch. That is all.. for now.
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Offline Moonlake

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #229 on: August 17, 2009, 01:43:56 AM »
I agree Janet Evanovich isn't worth buying, anything on my "light reads" is those I think "so-so" in quality or those only good to get some humour out of (My book taste runs towards serious mindedness aka epic adventures but once in a while I read sth light in b/w my "serious reading").

I guess all your recommendations will have to go into my contemplation list. I'm grilled on both the study and work front at the moment. But thanks for the recommendations and I think I need them too b/c it seems I'm fast outgrowing most of my comfort authors.



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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #230 on: August 17, 2009, 02:43:43 AM »
There is nothing to worry about Pieh. Lumley's books are great, and I thoroughly enjoyed Vamphyri as well.
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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #231 on: August 17, 2009, 12:40:08 PM »
Recently finished:

Guilty Pleasures, Circus of the d**ned, and The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K Hamilton. Heard alot about this series being much vaunted vampire porn among female readers. There are some interesting bits, and plenty of other supernaturals including lamias, wererats, zombies, necromancers and the like. Some of the characters are paper thin, others are a collection of cliches bundled together by rote expressions and descriptive blocks.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, to so called prequel to the daVinci Code. I've previously read the code, and found it to be an interesting read, and some of its points while entirely fictitious are quite compelling. Angels and Demons falls well short of this. It starts with a stolen canister of anti-matter, runs through a Illuminati plot of murder and intrigue, an assassin, and an ending I saw coming and I generally dont try to guess what is going on in a book and just read to enjoy it.

Canticle for Liebowitz by Miller. Written in 1959, this post apocalyptic tale covers the 18 century recovery of mankind after nuclear war. It is a must read.


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Offline dark_dragon

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #232 on: November 23, 2009, 09:09:10 AM »
Recently finished:
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
That was so much fun! The humour is bleak and satirical and exactly how I like it. ("One day, son, this will all be yours...") The book skirts absurdity, flirting with it unashamedly, making this a very memorable read. I will raid the book stores for more of Vonnegut's work in the future. I will also now be answering surveys regarding Religion with  "Bokononism"...

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
A really great book. The prose is lyrical and almost poetic (although it is sometimes too self conscious). The story and Ray's growth and almost-descent into madness is very well told, with masterful imagery. However, there are some things that are unforgivable (What on earth happens to Clarisse? This is what railroading feels like). Without question, this book is of its time, (And fairly brave at that, since it was released at the heights of the House Committee on Un-American Activities) with an unsurprising ending. But it remains a very good read even today, with thought-provoking ideas and creative prose. I would recommend it unreservedly, with a particular nod for bibliophiles.

Currently Reading:
Sputnik sweetheart - Haruki Murakami

Wanting to read:
Tinker tailor soldier spy - John le Carr
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 10:27:57 AM by dark_dragon »
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #233 on: December 17, 2009, 11:47:57 PM »
My most interesting readings has been 4 graphic novels

Fables I, Fables II, Fables III, and Fables IV.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fables_(comics)

This would be a great deal of fun.  I might have to collect the comic, rather than wait for the next volume.  However, I have a lot to catch up on first. 

This would be a great setting to game in, yet at the same time it would be really hard to work with as there is several hundred years of backstory to work out for each character that has links to all the other characters. 



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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #234 on: March 27, 2010, 07:28:16 PM »
As some of you know, I am an avid Steven Erikson fan. His "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series is the crowning achievement of fantasy litterature, just as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is the benchmark against which all fantasy must be compared.

So far my favourite books were: Gardens of the Moon (book 1), Memories of Ice (3), The Bonehunters (6) and Reaper's Gale (7).

I just finished Dust of Dreams (9) and I must say it was not one of Erikson's finer moments. His all time low was Midnight Tides (5), but this book ain't great either.

Why, you say?

Here is why:
* It ends in a cliff hanger. True enough, he says so right there at the start, but it is bad form nonetheless.

* Erikson must really want to be a respected author of fine litterature, for at times the philosophical internal debates and pondering of his characters feel overwhelming in a "oh np, I am back at high school" kind of way. It is epic war fantasy for chrissake! I want to read about women with large breasts, nipples barely concealed by revealing armor. I want to read about ascendants ripping the heads off vile monsters and drinking blood from their neck arteries. I want camaraderie and action and fierce battles. I want humor, and, fine, I want a little bit of the heroes' feelings too. But I do NOT want a fifteen page essay about the maddened ramblings of a "power word wielding" starving cannibal child, lost wandering the desert. Get me right: The writing is top notch, but it doesn't fit the format.

* Get to the point already! Unlike earlier novellas by mister Erikson, his latest works seem to go on and on and on without the characters reaching their destination. So I have to read 1000 pages of walking in caravans and talking and thinking and bickering, just to get to those juicy last 100 pages of action. Yes. I am male. I am easy. When my woman wants to see Pride and Prejudice I have to work overtime, so my woman sees it with her friends instead. But since when did my woman pay Erikson to slip Pride and Prejudice material into my favorite novellas?

No fair!
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Offline Maggot

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #235 on: March 27, 2010, 08:13:41 PM »
Strangely enough, your description of thebook has sparked my interest in reading it. Do I have to read the preceding books in the series in order to understand the novella?
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #236 on: March 28, 2010, 03:33:34 AM »
Yes.

All his books, except the first (Gardens of the Moon) are like that. Lots of internal debate.

It was fine before, but when he ditched the action and went "internal debate puristic", I began to growl.

I also agree with this review:
http://kingofthenerds.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/review-dust-of-dreams-by-steven-erikson/

Maggot:
Given your preferences, I think you will rather like this book. The children in the desert and the hobbling of Hetan / The Barghast society does fit the subs you have posted here at the citadel
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 04:27:46 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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Offline Maggot

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #237 on: March 30, 2010, 04:58:25 AM »
Thanks! I'll be sure to look that one up.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #238 on: March 30, 2010, 01:39:37 PM »
Let me quote a review of THE BEST BOOK EVER, Memories of Ice, by Erikson (3rd out of 10 while Dust of Dreams is 9th out of 10)

A bare-bones summary: A Malazan army, commanded by Dujek Onearm (guess how many arms he has), has been outlawed by the Empress herself for sedition. Finding themselves outside the imperial embrace, Onearm's host joins forces with former foes to face a new evil, the Pannion Domin. The Pannion Domin is a newly formed regime rebelling against the Malazan's imperial yoke. Ruled by a man known simply as the Seer, the Domin is essentially a band of religious zealots. Each citizen of the Domin worships the Seer above all else and would give their life to exercise his will. The Seer has an elite army comprised of professional soldiers and skilled mages, much like any other army in the Malazan universe. However, the Seer holds an ace up his sleeve... the Tenescowri.

Let me say now that I think the story of the Tenescowri is one of the most novel and horrific I've ever read. Novel because I've never before seen its like, horrific because of its cold practicality. The Tenescowri is a huge, unarmed peasant army. The Seer and his forces are a swarm, sieging one city after the next. At each city, all inhabitants are forced to convert to the Pannion faith or be executed. Men, women, or children... it makes no matter. From this tactic, the Tenescowri ranks have swollen to the hundreds of thousands. The Seer uses this huge force in the initial attacks on his targets, throwing wave after wave of Tenescowri to break the ranks of defending armies. Such a huge, peasant army is a great asset, but it should also be a great burden to supply. Therein lies the genius of the Tenescowri. The Seer doesn't supply his peasant forces. They receive no rations whatsover, besides the flesh of all those they conquer. The Seer has produced a seemingly endless supply of soldiers who fight ravenously at every turn... to feed themselves.

Oh yeah, did I mention the Tenescowri are led by a small band of elites known as Children of the Dead Seed? These "children" come to be when the female Pannions rape those defending soldiers they find dying or dead on the battlefield.

I love this book.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #239 on: May 31, 2010, 08:37:56 AM »
Thought I would start rereading the Wheel of Time series again. I remember being absolutely enthralled in it back in the early nineties and figured, since there were so many d**n books now, that it was a decent time to get into them again and was excited to do so.

About 3/4 way through the second one and, well, they are starting to frustrate me. Jordan is so d**n verbose and repetitive in style that it gets annoying. I understand the need for subtle repeats in case nobody read the first one, but it goes well beyond that in his sentence structure and why the dialogue is written. I grit my teeth too often and I fear that I won't ever be finishing the series.

Additionally, the main characters and Aes Sedai, for all their methodical maneuvering, act so stupid sometimes ignoring things they discussed only pages prior in order to make it seem like there is this difficult decision for the group when they just frick'n discussed the solution. I just want to slap them when the story is so contrived and man handled to not allow the characters to act at their own mental capacity and instead at the authors extended pace.

If it continues or gets worth I simply won't have the fortitude to continue and I know there is a s**tty book with Rand stuck in a box for most of it that I didn't greatly enjoy the first time. Might just read the synopsis of that one.

Any others I should skip and just read the cliff notes?

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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #240 on: May 31, 2010, 02:37:51 PM »
You have my agreement about verbosity. I had major issues with some of the books at times. It feels like reading Tolkien's long descriptions of landscapes. I never got the impression of the characters acting below-capacity, though.

If you have to avoid certain books, though, avoid Winter's Heart, and The Crossroads of Twilight. Both of those are so boring your hair will fall out. Particularly the latter, which made a huge uproar in the fandom because nothing happened. At all. It was entirely setup and tying up loose ends. The books since, especially the new one from Anderson, have some good action and are almost worth dealing with the monstrosity known as CoT.
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Offline Maggot

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #241 on: July 22, 2010, 06:00:02 AM »
What befell the Wheel Of Time was a major tragedy. It had the potential to be a fantasy classic that was in the same league as the Lord Of The Rings, but Jordan got greedy  guess.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #242 on: July 22, 2010, 05:13:29 PM »
I think I am on book 10, I loose track as I am rolling through them in me ebook form so not really paying much attention to titles. I find myself racing through A LOT just to get to the point, any point. His rambling over detailed style gets so old when all we want to know is what happens next. Maybe I am in a more severe state as I have read these 10 over the past month and a half so just want them over at this point.  I also get extremely annoyed when these stoic Aes Sedai keep getting described when somebody mentions the dark one or whatever and they almost fall from their saddle, or puke or blanche and almost pass out. Really? These stoic powerful people get in cat fights and complain like 10 year olds, puke at the mention of a name and then they are supposed to be held in this extreme respect? Their stupid, petty arguing and tantrums annoy the HELL out of me! Especially our female stars of the book. Gets so old that they still act like little kids with all that happened to them. Figure in 10 books they would have some growth through their character arc.  I am totally scanning the rest of the books in my limited time. I really could care less about the details and what food they are eating, I just want to know what they do and what happens, speed racer style.

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Offline Maggot

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #243 on: July 25, 2010, 02:27:44 AM »
I think I am on book 10, I loose track as I am rolling through them in me ebook form so not really paying much attention to titles. I find myself racing through A LOT just to get to the point, any point. His rambling over detailed style gets so old when all we want to know is what happens next. Maybe I am in a more severe state as I have read these 10 over the past month and a half so just want them over at this point.  I also get extremely annoyed when these stoic Aes Sedai keep getting described when somebody mentions the dark one or whatever and they almost fall from their saddle, or puke or blanche and almost pass out. Really? These stoic powerful people get in cat fights and complain like 10 year olds, puke at the mention of a name and then they are supposed to be held in this extreme respect? Their stupid, petty arguing and tantrums annoy the HELL out of me! Especially our female stars of the book. Gets so old that they still act like little kids with all that happened to them. Figure in 10 books they would have some growth through their character arc.  I am totally scanning the rest of the books in my limited time. I really could care less about the details and what food they are eating, I just want to know what they do and what happens, speed racer style.

Excellent observations. It's very interesting  that many of the purpotedly strong female characters in the WOT saga are often reduced to being cowardly or immature cliches. Nyanaeve for example is often given the attributes of a spoilt child so it's nost just the Aes Sedai who are made to look like complete jokes. Even some of the female Forsaken have their competence as villains seriously questioned. How did Jordan expect his readers to take such caricatures seriously?           
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Offline Strolen

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #244 on: August 02, 2010, 05:35:41 PM »
WoT Book 12 was actually really good. Tied up at least 3 major plot threads, more than the last 5 books managed to do. Now I am ready for the last 2.

Tried to start Joe Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy.  Couldn't get past the 5th chapter or so. Must not be my style of writing, I found it....well, not good at all.

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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #245 on: August 12, 2010, 05:46:05 AM »
Currently reading ''The Name of the  Wind'' by Patrick Rothfuss. Only of the few fantasy novels on the market that can still appeal to my jaded palate.

By the way Strolen, how did you access the online WOT e-books? Despite the fact that some of the novels in the series have dissapointed me, I still intend to complete the whole series but at the same time, don't want to find myself saddled with a mammoth collection of all 12 books. Thanks.
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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #246 on: August 12, 2010, 08:06:08 AM »
Have you checked that anachronism, the Library? :) 

I'm trying to get over my own-lots-of-books addition and get books from the library instead.
   
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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #247 on: August 12, 2010, 09:02:30 PM »
The Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Main character is a coyote shapeshifter in a world with werewolves, vampires, fae, and they hint that there are worse things out there. I rather like them. They're fast paced, have solid character development, and have one of the more interesting main characters I've seen before.

Honor Harrington by David Weber. Wonderful, glorious Science Fiction. The numbers he gives are apparently not quite right at times, but on the whole, he does a pretty darn good job of things. There's nothing so glaringly wrong that I can't overlook it, and to be honest, the only people that really care are the fan-nazis who demand perfection. The books themselves have good plots and pacing, though in a few places the story slows a bit as he gets a bit more into the details needed to explain certain points. Sometimes that's okay, and sometimes it's not. Overall, highly recommended.

And of course, The Dresden Files are always on my reading list, though the next one is a little ways out still...

Edit: Algorithms in a Nutshell. I absolutely can't forget the wonderful little book I'm using right now.  It isn't one you just read through (though I probably will one of these days), because it's a reference book. But what a reference book it is! It gives detailed implementations and descriptions of a number of different algorithms, as well as optimizations and performance evaluations.

It starts with classic sorting and searching, but quickly moves to other topics, such as graphs, computational geometry, and pathfinding. Their coverage of Best/Average/Worst case theory is a bit thin, but they even say on the back cover that it's just enough to allow you to understand and compare performance, which is fine with me. I honestly don't need yet another course in performance analysis, tyvm!

Overall, this book is an excellent reference, and even without having used it much, I already have gotten my money's worth. Any suggestions for other books like this?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 02:25:34 PM by Chaosmark »
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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #248 on: August 17, 2010, 03:06:21 AM »
Well, in my bookshelf I have Standish "Data Structures, Algorithms & Software Principles in C". I also have some of the "Game Programming Gems" books, and a couple of books about 3D game graphics and real time terrain engines with DirectX and OpenGL.

The Thomas Standish book is great for the basics, but by the sound of it your "Algorithms in a Nutshell" book already covered those.

The Game Programming Gems books cover various problems, like the stacked canyon problem, shaders and so on.

Depends on where you wanna go, really. Do you want to became a game programming ace, or do you want to become a scientific persona attempting to solve unsolved problems in computer science. http://garden.irmacs.sfu.ca/?q=category/theoretical_computer_science

Me, I moved on to rootkits and injection techniques. Read about ARP cache poisoning the other day, and, years after leaving school, I signed on a college class about network security. The class is mostly about defensive techniques and firewalls, but I take what I can get.

Well, hacking is not really related to algorithms, but it is sooo fuuun.

Just don't hack Strolens. Use the public "test your skills" servers found on the net. They are legal to hack, which is neat. That way you don't end up in jail and stuff. ;)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 03:12:33 AM by Ancient Gamer »
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Re: What books do you read?
« Reply #249 on: October 30, 2010, 10:18:52 PM »
I might need professional help.

Read A Game of Thrones by Martin and couldn't get into it. It actually kind of annoyed me. So much going on without a lot really happening. I guess it is pretty clear that it sets up the rest of the books but I am not used to reading a 700 page introduction. Tell me that it gets waaaay better and I might continue. Right now I am not interested enough in the story to care.

Perhaps I am just getting more picky. Can't wait for the final WoT book to come out. The last one was actually really good. A lot of movement and things happening. Not used to that in the series. This final book should prove to be a great finish....I hope.

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