This book's focus is definitely on the equipment, and throughout includes some good (if high-level) instructions on how to build a lot of that equipmeThis book's focus is definitely on the equipment, and throughout includes some good (if high-level) instructions on how to build a lot of that equipment. This book is pushing 20 years at this point, and I'm wondering if some of the stuff described in here isn't just more easily purchased -- putting aside for a moment the pride you can have from building your own gear. That said, there's some good history in here (re: different types of equipment) as well as some good discussion about different techniques. (I particularly liked the chapters on fermentation and yeast culturing, in particular). I'd consider purchasing a copy (I borrowed it from the library) -- but I need to get a good base of tools to start with. (Though at that point I may as well just buy the equipment to start with.)...more
The fact that it's such a short book is both its best quality and its main short-coming. This book gives just enough practical advice to help get someThe fact that it's such a short book is both its best quality and its main short-coming. This book gives just enough practical advice to help get someone oriented to the art of home-brewing so that they can confidently brew their first couple batches. But there isn't much in there about some of the finer, more technical points -- the particulars about different hop varieties or yeast strains, for example. As someone who has a bit of brewing under his belt now, this book felt like "not enough" -- but at the same time, I think if someone had handed me this book a year ago when I was just getting started[^1] I think it would have been just the right amount of detail for those first couple batches.
Recommendation? If you want to try homebrewing, and you're not the kind of person who goes "all in" all at once, then this is the perfect book to get you started. But it won't be long before you graduate to Papazian's or Palmer's book.[^2]
Nice set of recipes in the back, though.
[^1]: And let's be frank here -- even after a year, I'd still say that I'm "just getting started".
[^2]: But if you are the kind to go all in, all at once, then just skip straight to Palmer's How to Brew or Papazian's The Joy of Homebrewing. Since that's where you're likely to end up anyway....more
Using my usual anthology rating method here... Rate the individual stories and then deriving the overall rating from the averages. Lightspeed: Year OnUsing my usual anthology rating method here... Rate the individual stories and then deriving the overall rating from the averages. Lightspeed: Year One had a mean of 3.532 and a median of 3.5; Goodreads doesn't do half-stars, so I'll round up. But I'm rounding up mostly because I'm really favorable on the editor, and one of my friends is a slush reader for them. (Also the fiction I'm otherwise reading in the magazine is consistently great.)
Breaking it down...
• "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You In Reno" (Vylar Kaftan) ★★★★☆ • "The Cassandra Project" (Jack McDevitt) ★★★½☆ • "Cats in Victory" (David Barr Kirtley) ★★★½☆ • "Amaryllis" (Carrie Vaughn) ★★★★★ • "No Time Like the Present" (Carol Emshwiller) ★★★☆☆ • "Manumission" (Tobias Bucknell) ★★½☆☆ • "The Zeppelin Conductor's Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball" (Genevieve Valentine) ★★★½☆ • "…for a Single Yesterday" (George R.R. Martin) ★★★☆☆ • "How to Become a Mars Overlord" (Catherynne M. Valente) ★★½☆☆ • "Patient Zero" (Tananarive Due) ★★★☆☆ • "Arvies" (Adam-Troy Castro) ★★★★☆ • "More Than the Sum of His Parts" (Joe Haldeman) ★★★☆☆ • "Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain" (Yoon Ha Lee) ★★★★½ • "The Long Chase" (Geoffrey A. Landis) ★★★☆☆ • "Amid the Words of War" (Cat Rambo) ★★★★☆ • "Travelers" (Robert Silverberg) ★★★☆☆ • "Hindsight" (Sarah Langan) ★★★☆☆ • "Tight Little Stitches in a Dean Man's Back" (Joe R. Lansdale) ★★★½☆ • "The Taste of Starlight" (John R. Fultz) ★★☆☆☆ • "Beachworld" (Stephen King) ★★☆☆☆ • "Standard Loneliness Package" (Charles Yu) ★★★★☆ • "Faces in Revolving Souls" (Caitlín R. Kieran) ★★★½☆ • "Ej-Es" (Nancy Kress) ★★★★☆ • "In-Fall" (Ted Kosmatka) ★★★★½ • "The Observer" (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) ★★★½☆ • "Jenny's Sick" (David Tallerman) ★★★½☆ • "The Silence of the Asonu" (Ursula K. Le Guin) ★★★★½ • "Postings from an Amorous Tomorrow" (Corey Mariani) ★★★½☆ • "Cucumber Gravy" (Susan Palwick) ★★★☆☆ • "Black Fire" (Tanith Lee) ★★★☆☆ • "The Elephants of Poznan" (Orson Scott Card) ★★★★☆ • "Long Enough and Just So Long" (Cat Rambo) ★★★☆☆ • "The Passenger" (Julie E. Czerneda) ★★★☆☆ • "Simulacrum" (Ken Liu) ★★★★★ • "Breakaway, Breakdown" (James Patrick Kelly) ★★★★☆ ** was a 3 for me right up until the last 500 words • "Saying the Names" (Maggie Clark) ★★★★☆ • "Gossamer" (Stephen Baxter) ★★★★☆ • "Spider the Artist" (Nnedi Okorafor) ★★★★★ • "Woman Leaves Room" (Robert Reed) ★★★★☆ • "All That Touches the Air" (An Owomoyela) ★★★★½ • "Maneki Neko" (Bruce Sterling) ★★★★☆ • "Mama, We Are Zhenya, Your Son" (Tom Crosshill) ★★★☆☆ • "Velvet Fields" (Anne McCaffrey) ★★★★☆ • "The Harrowers" (Eric Gregory) ★★★½☆ • "Bibi from Jupiter" (Tessa Mellas) ★★☆☆☆ • "Eliot Wrote" (Nancy Kress) ★★★☆☆ • "Scales" (Alastair Reynolds) ★★★½☆
I've been heard to say that I don't care for Hemingway, but this book approaches perfection w/r/t/ novels. Stripped bare of pretense. Absolutely nothiI've been heard to say that I don't care for Hemingway, but this book approaches perfection w/r/t/ novels. Stripped bare of pretense. Absolutely nothing added that was not essential to the story. I wish someone had "made me" read this a long time ago. (Instead of Billy Budd -- yeesh!)
Having not read Plato's The Republic, I May be lacking the right lens through which to evaluate this book. Nevertheless, there is some interesting stufHaving not read Plato's The Republic, I May be lacking the right lens through which to evaluate this book. Nevertheless, there is some interesting stuff going on in here. I'm especially taken in by Walton's take on relationships and sexual politics. (The bit with Apollo in particular? A+)...more
Fantastic. Not as edgy (perhaps?) as Dhalgren, but experimental at enough points, while still retaining a more/less linear superstructure to keep itFantastic. Not as edgy (perhaps?) as Dhalgren, but experimental at enough points, while still retaining a more/less linear superstructure to keep it accessible. Gets a bit G.E.B.-ish at the end there, but it's a satisfying space romp (even if Rydra comes off as a bit Mary-Sue-ish in the depth and breadth of her abilities, though not at all Mary-Sue-ish w/r/t/ her being an authorial wish-fulfillment and/or personal insertion (though I'd stand by assessments that Dhalgren's "The Kid" is such a character))...more
An interesting way of thinking about teams and teamwork, and the ways it can go wrong. I'm grateful for the fable -- it makes it easier to digest theAn interesting way of thinking about teams and teamwork, and the ways it can go wrong. I'm grateful for the fable -- it makes it easier to digest the "teaching" portion in the form of a story. (Though as a story it has some cringe-worthy moments.) I also believe the part where he describes the five dysfunctions as "simple but requiring discipline to mitigate."...more
Would've been nice had this been an object lesson in dealing with disappointment. I guess the bit with Seymour goes a long way w/r/t/ "making things rWould've been nice had this been an object lesson in dealing with disappointment. I guess the bit with Seymour goes a long way w/r/t/ "making things right" when you goon up. But still anyway I guess kind of a cute story....more
Cute, I guess. But I could have done without the word "hate". (Also: I'd rather not need to explain "Good Samaritan" to the kids. "Nice" would have woCute, I guess. But I could have done without the word "hate". (Also: I'd rather not need to explain "Good Samaritan" to the kids. "Nice" would have worked just fine.)...more
Very solid introduction to D3.js. Written primarily for a non-technical audience, but includes just the right amount of information to get you orienteVery solid introduction to D3.js. Written primarily for a non-technical audience, but includes just the right amount of information to get you oriented to the library without feeling like it's patronizing or too shallow. (And/but/so Murray uses a colloquial tone which was fine with me but can rub some people the wrong way.) Despite being so long, it's actually a quick read -- which is good because you really ought to get through *at least* the chapter on scales before you try and go do anything with D3.
I learned quite a bit about Play, though most of what I learned feels like "guess I need to go learn Scala?" As the3 stars is generous; more like 2.5?
I learned quite a bit about Play, though most of what I learned feels like "guess I need to go learn Scala?" As the title suggests, the book does a pretty good job of laying out the essential parts of Play Framework (the foundational components, tools, and techniques), but I feel like you're only going to get a "scratch the surface" view of Play unless you're already familiar with Scala. Granted: Play also comes in a "plain Java" flavor, and the author includes equivalent examples (where possible) that are in Java, but these wind up feeling more like a distraction -- like you keep context switching.
I really feel like this book could have been made much better by two things:
(1) A quick introduction to Scala -- just like the quick introduction to Groovy that shows up as Chapter 2 of Grails in Action.
(2) Drop the Java examples -- or move them into some kind of appendix. They just feel like they distract from the main point. (And honestly, I just skipped most of them.)
As the book stands right now, it seems like it's a pretty good introduction to Play (again: I learned most of what I was hoping to learn) but it does gloss over some points, and (more importantly) if you don't know Scala, you're probably going to feel a little lost....more
I'd like to write a review at some point but for now, just some notes: (potential spoilers?)
1. Ending was pretty right-on. With that epilogue it was aI'd like to write a review at some point but for now, just some notes: (potential spoilers?)
1. Ending was pretty right-on. With that epilogue it was almost like trying to say "and everything went back to normal and they lived happily ever after" except that like two pages before that we know that that's simply not true.
2. Overall: chilling, esp. in light of Haldeman's own war experience. How much of it is extrapolated? vs. echoes of that experience?
3. Easy to see how much this informs a lot of the other sci-fi (Mil. or otherwise) that's out there, even if it's at arm's length, indirect, or incidental....more
Review forthcoming but short version: lots of good ideas, mostly overlapping nicely (or directly) with Scrum; still some unanswered challenges w/r/t/Review forthcoming but short version: lots of good ideas, mostly overlapping nicely (or directly) with Scrum; still some unanswered challenges w/r/t/ larger organizations. ...more
Much like the the original Seven Languages in Seven Weeks by Bruce Tate, this is a great idea that is really hard to pull off, and more than a littlMuch like the the original Seven Languages in Seven Weeks by Bruce Tate, this is a great idea that is really hard to pull off, and more than a little bit challenging to take in as a reader. Trying to tackle this subject is very ambitious, particularly because the promise of this particular series is that the authors are going to take you beyond pure theory and demonstrate the practical applications of each of the seven highlighted paradigms (even if those "practical applications" are somewhat contrived and/or trivial). But that's also what's so goddamn enticing here: reading a bunch of academic baloney about the Actor model is all well and good but sometimes you need that little nudge that will carry you right into the loving arms of a Real World Example™. And it's those Real World Examples that are worth the price of admission, getting your hands dirty and really seeing why (and not just how) to apply a given concurrency/parallelism paradigm to a particular class of problem.
But this is also where things can be a bit challenging for (some) readers. If you are unable or unwilling to fully engage with the text -- to really dig into those examples and follow through on each of the FIND and DO follow-up sections... Well, it winds up just feeling like more of the same academic and/or in-the-abstract discussions. If you've read any of the other 7-in-7 series books, you're likely familiar with that point and are nodding vigorously there. But what makes this book doubly so is that not only are you learning the concurrency/parallelism paradigms, but you may also be having to learn "just enough" of the languages that go along with it.
Unfortunately for me, this one hit me in the sweet spot where my interest was very high, but my patience was at an all time low -- a double-dose of frustration and disappointment. Which is not to say that I didn't get anything out of this book -- it's certainly possible to take in quite a bit of academic and/or in-the-abstract information about the seven paradigms even without digging deep into the exercise. But... you'll miss out if you can't or don't. (I missed out.)...more
Decent intro reference to several of the bread-and-butter commands of the Unix/Linux/OS X command line world. It also introduces several of the importDecent intro reference to several of the bread-and-butter commands of the Unix/Linux/OS X command line world. It also introduces several of the important operators re: I/O redirection. I was a little disappointed because I was hoping for a little bit more (e.g., differentiating between STDOUT and STDERR) but I would still strongly recommend it to anyone that needs to quickly learn their way around a modern shell....more
I borrowed this one from a friend; he said: "It gets pretty mathy toward the end." I think he meant in Part IV ("Theory") but "it gets mathy" happenedI borrowed this one from a friend; he said: "It gets pretty mathy toward the end." I think he meant in Part IV ("Theory") but "it gets mathy" happened for me on like... page 2. Which is fine because we're talking about feedback control loops which need to make continuous inferences about the state of an observed system &c. but... heads-up: there's some calculus.
Which isn't to say that you can't get anything out of this book if you are not yourself "mathy". Janert does an excellent job of explaining the principles behind feedback control (esp. w/r/t/ applying them to computer systems and software problems), and by the end of the book you should have at least a good enough understanding of the types of questions to be asking when assessing a system that you expect to put under some kind of feedback control mechanism. In other words, you may not know how to do the math ("yet!") but you'll know to ask things like: "If I increase servers, I should see a decrease in... overall latency?"
The other thing to take away from this is that Janert knows that despite the math, applying the feedback control principles is as much an art as it is a science. It's hard to get these exactly right on the first try, and it's expensive to experiment in production. So he also provides a bunch of simulation code to help bootstrap you.
Lastly: the colorized graphs are a nice touch....more