Category Archives: Reviews

Software Design Decoded

This is a delightful little book on the perennial topic of how a software architect should think and behave. While that subject seems to attract shorter books, this one is very concise – the main content is just 66 two-page … Continue reading

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

A catholic Taste in Films?

I’ve always wondered about the phrase "a catholic taste", meaning "broad". Surely the way in which the Catholic religion (like most others) prescribes and proscribes certain behaviours and materials acts to limit rather than broaden an individual’s tastes? Apparently the … Continue reading

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

The One Man

Overall this is a cracking WWII thriller, set around the concept of an Allies break in into Auschwitz to rescue a specific prisoner who holds information vital to the Manhattan Project. Andrew Gross has done a great job of capturing … Continue reading

Friday, September 30, 2016 in Reviews

All Tide Up

Like it’s predecessor, Man Up!, this is a knock-about farce based around the capable but somewhat cursed sports agent, Patrick Flynn. This time the key protegé is a nymphomaniac Russian tennis player, but otherwise the cast of gangsters, hit-men (& … Continue reading

Monday, April 25, 2016 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

The Eerie Silence

This book is a review, at the 50 year point, of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and a consideration of how it may evolve in the future, by the scientist who heads several of its key committees. It’s a … Continue reading

Saturday, April 23, 2016 in Reviews

Influx

Daniel Suarez is billed as the new Michael Crichton. While a few of his novels have come onto my radar, this is the first I have read. Based on this showing there’s a great deal of promise, but the fairly … Continue reading

Friday, April 15, 2016 in Reviews

Mother Tongue

Amusing exploration of the English Languge, but needs a refresh Continue reading

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in Reviews

Twin Tales of Sporting Daring-Do

The 1988 Winter Olympics brought us not only one, but two heart-warming stories of sporting heroism by unconventional outsiders. The story of the Jamaican Bobsleigh Team was told promptly in the wonderful 1993 Disney picture Cool Runnings, but we’ve had … Continue reading

Monday, April 4, 2016 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

Can No-One Write A Good Book About Oracle SOA?

I’m frustrated. I’ve just read a couple of good, if somewhat repetitive, design pattern books: one on SOA design with a resolutely platform-neutral stance, and another on architecting for the cloud, with a Microsoft Azure bent but which struck an … Continue reading

Saturday, June 13, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews, Thoughts on the World

Cloud Design Patterns

This is a very useful introduction to key cloud concepts and how common challenges can be met. It’s also a good overview of how Microsoft technologies may fit into these solutions, but avoids becoming so Microsoft-centric that it becomes useless … Continue reading

Service Design Patterns

One of the most influential architecture books of the early 00s was Enterprise Integration Patterns by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf. That book not only provided far and away the best set of patterns and supporting explanations for designers of … Continue reading

Friday, June 5, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

Edge of Silence

We’ve just finished our 30th anniversary viewing of Edge of Darkness. I must now have seen the series at least 10 times, but in this case familiarity breeds respect. Like the best Shakespeare play or Verdi opera the series rewards … Continue reading

Friday, May 29, 2015 in Photography, Reviews, Thoughts on the World

Next Generation SOA

This book sets out to provide a concise overview of the current state of, and best practices for, Service Oriented Architecture. While it may achieve that for some managerial readers, it is simultaneously too general for those with more background, … Continue reading

Thursday, May 28, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

A Tide In The Affairs Of Men

Observations on the Inaudible, Incomprehensible and Impossible “Interstellar” Continue reading

Sunday, November 9, 2014 in Reviews

Man Up

This is a comedy thriller very much affecting the style of Carl Hiaasen. Hiaasen’s latest, the hilarious Bad Monkey, uses almost exactly the same Floridan and Bahamian locations, and reading this book almost immediately afterwards did feel a bit like … Continue reading

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in Reviews

Resistance

This is a fascinating book, although its title and blurb are rather misleading. I was expecting something along the lines of a Welsh Defiance (the story of the Belorussian Otriads which successfully battled the Nazis behind the Eastern Front), or … Continue reading

Saturday, April 26, 2014 in Reviews

World War Z – One from the Ministry of Strange Coincidences…

I’ve just posted my review of World War Z – The Book. In it, I liken the book to a science fiction version of “The World At War”. Now here’s the real oddity – the book of The World at … Continue reading

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in Humour, Reviews, Thoughts on the World

World War Z – The Book

“The World At War” with Zombies! Continue reading

Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

El Dorado Blues

Like the predecessor novel, Wahoo Rhapsody, this is an enjoyable romp which charges on at an impressive pace. As a complete antidote to all the “Templar Treasure” novels of recent years, while this does feature a long-buried fabled treasure, which … Continue reading

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 in Reviews

Review – Olympus TG2 “Tough” Camera

There’s a salutory lesson here about not jumping to premature conclusions. Based on my first impressions of this camera I had mentally started drafting a review based on praising the hardware, but with some criticism of the software and firmware. … Continue reading

Monday, April 29, 2013 in Photography, Reviews

Occupational Hazards

Rory Stewart is almost unique as a commentator on the post-war development of Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade. Following an early military career and extensive travel in the Muslim world, he then spent over a year trying to … Continue reading

Saturday, April 27, 2013 in Reviews

How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog

Professor Chad Orzel and his mad mutt Emmy are back, this time to explain the concepts of relativity. I enjoyed enormously the companion book on quantum physics last year, and was very much looking forward to seeing the other great … Continue reading

Friday, April 26, 2013 in Reviews

News from Gardenia

William Morris’ 1890 novel News from Nowhere describes a utopian vision of the late 20th century. In News from Gardenia Robert Llewellyn brings the story up to date, with a visitor from 2011 ending up in 2211. Like Morris, Llewellyn’s … Continue reading

Thursday, April 25, 2013 in Reviews

Responsive Web Design

There are, broadly speaking, two types of technical book: those which attempt to bring large amounts of knowledge comprehensively covering a subject area under a single cover; and those which concentrate on really communicating the core concepts of a topic. … Continue reading

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 in Reviews

Utter Folly

As good as Tom Sharpe at his best Continue reading

Monday, April 15, 2013 in Reviews

Secret State – A Review

We’ve just finished watching Secret State, Channel 4’s latest attempt to capture the conspiracy thriller crown. It was good, but it could have been so much better. Edge of Darkness is safe for another few years… There were some touches … Continue reading

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

Excellent Service

I’d just like to put in a word for www.mrmemory.co.uk. I ordered a RAM upgrade for my Alienware laptop at 5.30pm yesterday. It arrived, exactly as described, in the Saturday morning post! Highly recommended. Now about those 5 virtual machines … Continue reading

Saturday, October 27, 2012 in Reviews

I Do Solemnly Swear

Pedestrian Thriller Continue reading

Thursday, October 18, 2012 in Reviews

Action At A Distance

I have just read three cracking thrillers: Nothing to Lose, written by Lee Child in 2008, Zero Day, written by Mark Russinovich in 2011, and Perishable Goods, written by Dornford Yates in 1928. All three are great yarns, and well … Continue reading

Friday, October 5, 2012 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

Prometheus – Was I Supposed to Laugh?

I went to see Prometheus over the weekend. Was it just me, or is the plot so ridiculous it’s actually laughable? I mean, given the context of the story would you really: Go wandering helmetless on your first visit to … Continue reading

Monday, June 11, 2012 in Reviews