my recent reads..

Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters; From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima
Power Sources and Supplies: World Class Designs
Red Storm Rising
Locked On
Analog Circuits Cookbook
The Teeth Of The Tiger
Sharpe's Gold
Without Remorse
Practical Oscillator Handbook
Red Rabbit

Saturday, July 28, 2007


After reading The Tipping Point, I realised blink was also by Malcolm Gladwell so I picked it up at the first opportunity.

If anything, I found blink even more engaging and interesting than The Tipping Point. It explores and tries to explain what happens in those first microseconds of automatic insight. Even more challenging is the question of whether you can harness and train this "power of thinking without thinking" ...

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is one of those books that you suddenly realise is everywhere - bookshops, airports, being read by people on the bus or train.

It's an easy and engaging read - Gladwell's a compelling story teller - and does a convincing job of exploring and explaining just how social epidemics work. He uses a simple model of three concepts to organise the book:
  • The Law of the Few : Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen

  • The Stickiness Factor

  • The Power of Context
I found myself immediately reflecting on how this all applies to what I am trying to achieve at work. I'm sure every reader will do a similar thing - whether your mission is to nurture an idea, a product or a message.

In one of his case studies, Gladwell even makes a very convincing argument for why public health policy has got it completely wrong in regard to controlling smoking!

Softwar - An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle

I've been meaning to pick this up for some years, and finally did while killing a few hours at KLIA. And I'm glad I did, devouring it last weekend.

It is a great read, no matter what views you may personally hold about Larry or Oracle itself. So many things about the way you see Oracle operate today are given a rich historical background. Fascinating. And remarkably balanced ... I'd say its still 50/50 whether you'll finish the book with more or less respect for Larry and Oracle.

Since the final touches to the epilogue were made in March 2004 (just on the verge of the PeopleSoft acquisition), it was a bit like watching “Fellowship of the Ring”. The story is unfinished and you can’t wait for the next episode of the saga to come out. But despite it being a few years old, I think it remains a highly recommended read especially if you work in enterprise computing. I do hope Matthew Symonds gets to continue the story in another book (a SQL?).

Favourite quote .. LE writes,

"Okay. Maybe database clustering is not as cool as flight. But it's close."
See also:

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Brain

From xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar

I recently finished listening to the Librivox recording of The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar. Librivox make it available as a free podcast, but I notice the book is also available from Amazon.

This is Maurice Leblanc's classic. The Sherlock Holmes/Hercule Poirot who took the other path in life!

I first encountered the character in the Japanese anime Lupin III by Kazuhiko Kato.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The fake David Blaine tapes

I can see the future. Whether you love or hate the real David Blaine, you are going to rofl when you watch these.

David Blaine Street Magic: YouTube Edition!

David Blaine Street Magic part 2 : youtube Edition!

Here we go ..

Prata. The king of foods. Best served hot and slightly crispy, with a masala curry and sweet teh tarik. Its cheap.. quick.. satisfying..

That's what this blog is going to be about. Its my place to post quick satisfying stuff, no subject out of bounds.