|By Don MacVittie||
|March 14, 2013 09:00 AM EDT||
It is interesting, talking with people about what they read, and seeing how what they read is reflected in their daily lives. Even the occasional reader of this blog would not be surprised to find that I spend some amount of time with my nose buried in epic fantasy books and military history books. It shows in much of how I carry myself, what I do for hobbies, and even the examples I choose in this blog.
But a far greater percentage of my time has been spent reading about computer science. Since I was a young teen, those were avocations, I wanted computers to be my vocation. So it should surprise no one that I devoured what can arguably be called the classics of our field – Norton’s hardware programming books, compiler theory books (used one book in each of my post-secondary degrees, own dozens, literally. Compilers and OS Design fascinate me), some of the Cisco stuff, MicroC/OS, the dragon book (worth mentioning separate from the other compiler books), the J2EE books by BEA, Norton’s security book, the list goes on and on, and gets pretty eclectic. I read “Implementing CIFS with relish, though I may be the only person on the planet that did, and I have several releases of CORBA docs, all read at one time or another in the past…
But with two of us (Lori is a pretty voracious reader also), we have amassed a collection of Comp Sci books that cover three shelves and fill another closet that is three rows of books deep and shelves every 12 inches. And we don’t read them all. Some were useful at one time – the early Obfuscated C books, Fedora 2, The Tao of Objects, Perl 5… Many of the aforementioned books. Some were never real useful. Mastering Web Services Security, for example, was not such a great read when it was new. Nor was Programming Language Landscape.
And thus, we’ve been going through the painful process of determining what to keep and what to lose. While some of these we can get on our kindles, not all of them. Some of our current collection of programming books (every Android book we own, for example), are on Kindle, but most are not, and many are not available on Kindle at this time. So we’re making the actual “we will use this, we won’t” decision.
Some of the decisions were easy. We don’t use Borland IDEs anymore, so we really don’t need the three copies of the documentation we had laying around. Two of them went. Some weren’t so easy. Operating Systems Design, The Xinu Approach is a rock-solid book with some great examples, but Linux and FreeBSD have kind of blown the bulk of the need for it out of the water. Sure, we might refer to it some time, but probably not. The various IT leadership books we’ve earned by virtue of going to management training over the years? Yeah, most of those can go, but a couple had rock-solid stand-the-test-of-time themes to them. Collected papers of various IEEE and ACM subgroups? Those are always an astounding read. The Risk subgroup, back when it focused on “people will die if this is wrong” was great, those papers are a good read… But not likely to be useful, and we really do need the shelf space.
So how’s it working out for us?
Well, we’re not done yet, but we’re set to condense all that space into a single 4’ tall bookshelf. At this point, our selections are broad enough that I can tell you what the pattern is. There’s overlap in all of these, no one section came 100% from one of our choices, we both contributed to them. They are:
Management Books – both funny and serious, from Dilbert to Peopleware
Networking Books – We both still do a lot with networking, so it makes sense that things you rarely see massive change in, we’d keep reference to. From a Cisco introductory text to TCP/IP Illustrated, Vol 1.
AI and Neural Networks – This space is largely Lori’s playground, but a small collection of focused books on the topic, with fuzzy networks in C++ being my favorite.
Data Structures and Operating Systems – From Lori’s favorite Introduction to Algorithms to my pet Reusability and Software Construction in C/C++, there are about a dozen of these, we tended to lean toward overview type books, but some of the OS ones are pretty deep.
Hardware – I’m still a fan of embedded programming, there is computer architecture, and hardcore networking development requires hardware references… So this section is pretty big, from MicroC/OS-II through Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach.
Languages – Books we cannot, or do not want to, do without. Strostroup on C++, a LiSP reference, Kernigan and Ritchie, Java architecture, and assembly language, and that's just the tip of the ice burgh.
Compilers – I admit it, this is my bit, just like AI is Lori’s. She reads some of them, and enjoys them, but I’m a bit of a freak on the topic, having written compilers and linkers, just to prove to myself I could. From the COFF format to Modern Compiler Implementation in Java, We’ve got a score or so of them. Great bedtime reading.
What would you keep? If you had to cut your book collection to about 10% of what it currently is, what would go? We had Java books and XML books that we never even got out of the shrink-wrap, because the online references were so good. No doubt you have the same… Those can go, if you’re never going to read them. :-)
So what it says about us is that we’re geeks. We kept four (possibly five, I can’t decide on “The Leadership Challenge”) management books, and so far have dozens of books only a geek could love. By the end, we’ll have completely filled that little shelf, but we’ll have unloaded a ton of unnecessary books. That’s all good to me. And hey! In the process, I found some military history books I was looking for. No idea how they ended up stacked between calculus and Red Hat 2.0, but there they were (in the picture, top shelf). Now to find time to read them… And to finish going through that half-done closet in the picture.
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
Jan. 25, 2015 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,140
Datapipe has acquired GoGrid, a provider of multi-cloud solutions for Big Data deployments. GoGrid’s proprietary orchestration and automation technologies provide 1-Button deployment for Big Data solutions that speed creation and results of new cloud projects. “GoGrid has made it easy for companies to stand up Big Data solutions quickly,” said Robb Allen, CEO, Datapipe. “Datapipe customers will achieve significant value from the speed at which we can now create new Big Data projects in the clou...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,532
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 2,930
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
Jan. 25, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 2,666
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
Jan. 25, 2015 04:30 PM EST Reads: 2,968
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
Jan. 25, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,517
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
Jan. 25, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 2,389
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 25, 2015 02:45 PM EST Reads: 2,126
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 25, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,206
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your onlin...
Jan. 25, 2015 02:15 PM EST Reads: 2,823
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore's Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at Big Data Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, disc...
Jan. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,824
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by minin...
Jan. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 3,401
Software Defined Storage provides many benefits for customers including agility, flexibility, faster adoption of new technology and cost effectiveness. However, for IT organizations it can be challenging and complex to build your Enterprise Grade Storage from software. In his session at Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, CMO at Cloudian, looked at the new Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) market and how it is changing the storage world. Now Software Defined Storage companies can build Enterprise grade ...
Jan. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,057
Companies today struggle to manage the types and volume of data their customers and employees generate and use every day. With billions of requests daily, operational consistency can be elusive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Dave McCrory, CTO at Basho Technologies, will explore how a distributed systems solution, such as NoSQL, can give organizations the consistency and availability necessary to succeed with on-demand data, offering high availability at massive scale.
Jan. 25, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 1,399
Vormetric on Wednesday announced the results of its 2015 Insider Threat Report (ITR), conducted online on their behalf by Harris Poll and in conjunction with analyst firm Ovum in fall 2014 among 818 IT decision makers in various countries, including 408 in the United States. The report details striking findings around how U.S. and international enterprises perceive security threats, the types of employees considered most dangerous, environments at the greatest risk for data loss and the steps or...
Jan. 25, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 1,414
CodeFutures has announced Dan Lynn as its new CEO. Lynn assumes the role from Founder Cory Isaacson, who has joined RMS and will now serve as chairman of CodeFutures. Lynn brings more than 14 years of advanced technology and business success experience, and will help CodeFutures build on its industry leadership around its Agile Big Data initiatives. His technical expertise will be invaluable in advancing CodeFutures’ AgilData platform and new processes for streamlining and gaining value from gro...
Jan. 25, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,373
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization's assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In...
Jan. 25, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,375
SYS-CON Events announced today that ActiveState, the leading independent Cloud Foundry and Docker-based PaaS provider, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. ActiveState believes that enterprises gain a competitive advantage when they are able to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value, but they face many challenges that ...
Jan. 25, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,739
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core...
Jan. 25, 2015 10:30 AM EST Reads: 2,234
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, outlined key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to the ...
Jan. 25, 2015 10:15 AM EST Reads: 2,009