Thursday, November 29, 2007

Brightness Reef - David Brin

This novel is my first uplift experience. It's an interesting take on how humans, and other sapients of course, got to where they are. I wonder if we'll ever see the uplift books in a museum dedicated to intelligent design?

As I got closer to the end I realized I wasn't going to find a conclusion in this book. Duh! What did I think trilogy meant? I have the other two books in the trilogy ordered now and they're in my to-read queue. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer

There are vampires and then there are vampires. This novel is a love story with a twist. How would you handle it if your lab partner in high school biology was a vampire? What would you do if you fell in love with this vampire? How would you introduce a vampire to your parents? What do you wear to meet a vampire's family? What happens when some other vampires decide you're snackable? All good questions and all covered in this novel. I'm looking forward to reading the two other books in this series. Highly recommended.

This novel is suitable for teens. There's no sex and no bad language, but it does get scary at times. However, younger kids probably won't sympathize with this much teenage angst. One reason I read this book was to see if it would make a good Christmas present for my grandkids. I'll let them get a little older before I give them this book, but it's on the list.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Lick of Frost - Laurell Hamilton

This is the sixth book in the Meredith Gentry series. If you've been following this series you know what she's been trying for and you have to read this novel. Now I have to wait for the next book! Highly recommended.

Drop Dead Gorgeous - Linda Howard

This is the sequel to To Die For. Blair is back in danger again. Wyatt is busy protecting her. The question is will they make it to their wedding or not. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson

This book took me a long time to read. I read the paperback, which has small print and 1,139 pages, including the appendix. It's long and seems convoluted at times but it finishes strong. If you're math challenged you can skip all the interesting problems. If you have any interest in cryptography and early computers this book is for you. If you're a WWII buff, you'll find this book fascinating. If you always wondered how global finance and corporate piracy worked, there's something in this book for you too. When I first started reading, I brooded that I wasn't getting very far. In the end, I was disappointed when I ran out of words. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

SPAM - way too much

How many of us lose email we want because we have spam filters that accidentally throw it away? I've had an email address since the 70's when I dialed into compuserve with a terminal and a 300 baud modem. I've had a domain since the 80's when I had a UNIX box on my desk at home. That means a lot of people have been able to scam my email address over the years and I get a ton of SPAM. What can you do?

I have a friend who's almost computer illiterate, but I got him on the web with his business back in the 90's and he's got the same SPAM problem I do. I don't recommend this as an experiment, but it sure shed some light on his SPAM problem.

He managed to click on the wrong thing a couple of weeks ago and got a virus. A nasty one that required he have XP reinstalled on the computer. We saved most of his data, but he was off the net for almost a whole week. When we got his email client reinstalled and back online there was an interesting result.

He has one email address that he's had for almost 10 years. He has three other email addresses that I setup for him in the last year for other activities like communicating with students (he's a teacher) and special projects. After a week of not checking, these three email addresses had 24 email messages combined waiting to be downloaded. The 10 year old email address had over 3,000 messages waiting to clog his inbox.

For me the lesson is, if you want to ditch spam change your email address. I know that's not possible in some cases because it's a business address with lots of clients. However, if you get yourself another email address or two, and slowly start weaning your clients and friends over to these new addresses, eventually you can slam the door on the SPAM and free your inbox. You'll have to keep the new addresses close to the vest, and clients will leak them, but it will provide some relief for some period of time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

To Die For - Linda Howard

This book made me laugh out loud a bunch of times. I have a friend who owns a fitness facility and I'll be giving her this book for Christmas. This is a hilarious tale of a southern gal who owns a gym and the police detective who is bound and determined to capture her heart. Along the way there's murder and attempted murder, and (yes it is Linda Howard!) lots of steamy sex. Sorry this is not for kids. I finished this one while I was out of town last weekend and I've already started the sequel. Highly recommended.