|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.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Dec. 10, 2016 04:15 AM EST Reads: 1,384
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Dec. 10, 2016 04:15 AM EST Reads: 542
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
Dec. 10, 2016 04:00 AM EST Reads: 5,314
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Dec. 10, 2016 03:15 AM EST Reads: 471
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Dec. 10, 2016 02:15 AM EST Reads: 792
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
Dec. 10, 2016 02:00 AM EST Reads: 614
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for s...
Dec. 10, 2016 01:30 AM EST Reads: 787
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dec. 10, 2016 01:00 AM EST Reads: 1,265
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 11:30 PM EST Reads: 1,158
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Dec. 9, 2016 10:45 PM EST Reads: 564
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
Dec. 9, 2016 10:00 PM EST Reads: 338
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,288
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 9, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,044
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Dec. 9, 2016 06:45 PM EST Reads: 5,151
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 9, 2016 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,772
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:30 PM EST Reads: 2,381
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,482
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,903
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Dec. 9, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,326
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 9, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,874