Articles tagged in book

  1. What I have been reading these days

    It's November! Two more month to the new year, and blogging here has also been winding down.

    I've got back to reading books on the bus again, as I found it better use of time than reading SMH, new feed items or listening to podcasts. Anyway, these are the books that I have been reading, although I've finished none.

    Building Scalable Web Sites Building Scalable Web Sites by Cal Henderson, the architect behind Flickr. I am about 3 quarter way through, and I have to say that it is quite an useful book for someone who is building, or is planning to build a horizontally scalable website. Lots of good info there, ranging from hardware, network, OS optimization, software architecture, security, etc. It is PHP and MySQL centric.

    Escape From Kabul Escape From Kabul by Eberhard Muehlan. It is a documentary of 8 Christian aid workers being captured by Taliban in Afghanistan just before 911 5 years ago, how they continued to trust God, and how were they rescued at the end. No, I am reading the English version (not the German one) :) This book was given to Vivian by someone else, but somehow ended up in my computer bag so I read a bit of it. Only half way through but stopped for a while. The story told is very encouraging, although reading through it can be a bit confusing at times, as the same parts are repeated from a different aid worker's perspective.

    Prodigal World Prodigal World: how we abandoned God and suffered the consequences by Phillip D Jensen. It's a collection of essays by Phillip, and I have just started reading it. However, if you have heard enough talks/sermons by PDJ, the content should not be foreign to you. It's typical PDJ's attack on the western world and how they have drifted away from their roots in Christianity.

    They should keep my commute time occupied for this month. By the way, currently there's 20% off everything in stock sale at Koorong, which ends today!!! I am getting Broughton Knox Volume 3, which should be a good read.

  2. Buying Technical Books in Australia

    Just bought a programming related book on-line. It was released in Q2 2006 so I did not consider the second hand book market. I went straight to the oracle asking where can I find it in on-line bookshops in Australia.

    Only a handful of shops returned, and LSL Australia is around $10 cheaper than the big guys, although both are cheaper than the RRP. Who buy things at RRP these days anyway. Except, if you are a student and shopped in Co-op Bookshop, which happened to be the most expensive of them all.

    Sounds like LSL is the one to go? However, there's a Dymocks 50 metres from the building where I work, and it costs $11 for LSL to post the book to my office. D'oh.

    Amazon.com Logo I ended up buying the book from the big A, and it will be shipped from the States in 2 weeks. The listed price is less than half of Dymock's "special price", and even if you factor in the postage (about half the cost of the book) and plus 10% GST (just for the sake of comparison), it is still a good 7 bucks cheaper than LSL's listed price without the delivery. Not to mention Amazon's shopping cart is probably one of the best out there for your Wow experience.

    I guess no one can really compete against Amazon for their volumes. Or is that so? Where do you buy your technical books in Australia?

  3. The Babel Fish

    Douglas Adams said in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy about the origin of the "Babel Fish".

    Babel Fish "The Babel fish," said The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy quietly, "is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy not from its carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.

    "Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindboggingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

    "The argument goes something like this: 'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'

    "'But,' says Man, 'The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'

    "'Oh dear,' says God, 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic.

    "'Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

    "Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best- selling book Well That About Wraps It Up For God.

    "Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloddier wars than anything else in the history of creation."

    Very clever, witty little snippet of one of the best selling science/humour fiction. I watched the 2005 Hollywood remake on DVD last night, and really enjoyed it. I think I shall start reading the series. I will also review the DVD later this week.

    But the argument for the non-existance of God? Flawed right from the beginning, as proof has never denied faith, but rather, it can be an important building block to strength faith.

    Nor can the absense of faith diminished God into nothing, as God is never a product of mental exercise. God, as the creator of this universe, reigns regardless how much faith his creatures have.

  4. Spurgeon, A New Biography

    For the last week and half, my commute time reading has been Spurgeon A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore. It is, as the title has suggested, a biography of Charles H. Spurgeon, a famous English evangelical baptist minister in the 19th century. Like a biography, it started with Spurgeon's life …