Wheel of Time – Completed

Ah, it only took ~15 years, but I have now completed the series. What started out as a racing set of books, then slowed into a crawl for book ~8, 9, 10, 11 and turned back into a racy  adventure by book 12 and was a full on blood bath with plots getting sorted rather fast and furious in the final book 14.

Quite pleased how it went. Glad some main characters died. Over all very pleased.

I didn’t get much else done in the last month, so now I am free to enjoy other things, and am currently having the ‘completer type’ sense of done-ness about the whole thing.

Thanks Jo for getting me into the books and lending the early ones to me, and thanks Harvey for lending/giving the latter ones to me. Much appreciated to the both of you.

Who Cut The Cheese?

I purchased Who Cut The Cheese? – An A-Mazing Parody about Change (and How We Can Get Our Hands on Yours) from a local library books sale for $1, and it was fantastic parody of the Who Moved my Cheese book/program that was ran at a previous employer before lay-off’s.

This book was a very quick read, but so funny in it’s parody. Many frowning looks from my wife as I really laugh-out-loud, and read parts out to her.

Interestingly there seams to a large number of Cheese books on Amazon, and this is probably the best one…

Also if you want a good laugh, read the one star reviews of the original book on Amazon, there are gems like alternative books titles, “It’s Never Easy Letting Valuable Employees Such As Yourself  Bill, I mean, Bob


outliersI purchased Outliers while in America this year.

Funny book buying story: there was a 20% off sticker of the jacket, but no price tag. All books in New Zealand have a price sticker on the back, as they are the US or UK print runs shipped here. Thus I was looking for the price sticker, when it dawned on my that it might be the RRP.  I then had to search the book jacket for the RRP (it’s on the inside front cover). Felt a complete nob.

Anyway the book is good, I had read some reviews/out-takes that talked about the hockey/football teams, so I was hooked.

I found the rest of the book to be as insightful. The key idea being that success is not just the efforts of the successful, but also not completely up to fate, very much along the lines of: life is what we make of those chances we are presented. To be a true outlier you need both (fate and effort) to go your way in large doses.

It also showed once again that there is no get-rich quick, no magic formula. Just people becoming great via hard work.

Why Software Sucks…and What You Can Do About It

I read Why Software Sucks by David Platt over a month ago, and have been wanting to blog about it since then.

Firstly the book is so true,  as an engineer I love control, doesn’t everybody?

No is the answer apparently, and once I got this, I have noticed myself asking questions like, what if I’m wrong? or more to the point, what if less is more?

There where some great quotes in the book, I read a few out to workmates, and they all nodded their heads (testers/managers). I’ve returned the book to the library, so I cannot share them with you.

But the biggest win was a few weeks ago, when discussion a feature in a meeting, one of the testers proposed a different and really stupid ugly way of presenting a concept to the user. I started on my usual, pros/cons discussion. But now taking a less control freak perspective, I slowly found more winning points on his design, and in fact mine had discovery problems (the biggest problem actually), which as a in-the-know person all made sense, but how would we teach the users this feature, or allow them to discover it and learn it.

After a 10 minutes of talking, I said “you win” and he had not said a thing. I’m now ok with it, because I concivnced myself his was the overall better option.

So there you go, a great read, well presented look into software, the mindsets that developers have (me me me) when building software, and how they are not the same people that actually use that software.

Book: Cost & Management Accounting: An Introduction

cost-and-management-accounting-an-introductionI have just finish reading Cost & Management Account: An Introduction by M. R. Mathews. I purchased this book off TradeMe six years ago. So it’s not been on my must read list, but I have slowly read it over the years.

The book is old 1981, but it’s still an interesting read.

Funest example in the book, starts like this:

Mole Ltd, installed a small desk computer on 1 May 1979 at a cost of $18,750 ….

how many K for small desk computer….

Also nice old-school 50 cents on the cover…