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On Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 09:22:58AM +0900, Josh Cheek wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 5:18 PM, Stu <stu / rubyprogrammer.net> wrote:
> >
> > I wanted to start a thread discussion on classic computer science
> > texts you have read that have influenced you in your lifetime. I am
> > always on the lookout to acquire books that last beyond the subject
> > matter where the concepts transcends the era in which it was initially
> > conceived and implemented. I am an avid collector of books and have an
> > collected several out of print gems or not available now in hardbacks
> > over the years as I enjoy collecting these texts for my library.
>
> Hmm, I'm going the opposite direction. I think it will be all PDF from here
> on out (annoyingly, publishers haven't embraced this yet). But then again, I
> wonder if technical books will even be competitive. Things change so fast
> that books are almost stale by the time they're published. At the beginning
> of the summer I went through all my books, and realized I had some that I
> had bought within the last year or two but not gotten to read yet, but they
> were already obsolete.

Books are extremely important for fundamentals.  That won't go away just
because the details change.


> >
> > For example every year I take a week and re-read The C Programming
> > Language (Kernighan, Ritchie) as it's the gold standard to simply well
> > written texts. It's also a very good read.
>
> O.o That was actually my first book, I bought it because it was the shortest
> C book at Barnes and Noble. My opinion of it wasn't very high at that time.
> I felt like there was some context or tacit information that would have
> prevented me from getting past even the first chapter if I hadn't been able
> to figure it out. Maybe I would like it more now, but I haven't felt
> compelled to re-read it.

It's a good book.  Once you feel comfortable enough with programming in
general to be able to wade through its density, go back to it.


> >
> > What books have you read that you still admire and refer to even after
> > all these years? The kind of books that you would love to be
> > altruistic and loan to your colleague or friend but fear it wont ever
> > get returned?
>
> I liked The Pragmatic Programmer, but was probably still too novice to
> appreciate most of it at the time I read it. Still, it was pretty
> accessible, and very motivating. It makes you want to write good code.

That's actually the first book that sprang to mind when I saw the topic
of this thread, but then I though "Does that qualify?  It's not exactly
'computer science', per se."


> 
> I like Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, I actually reread the last 70 pages
> a few days ago, and decided to set up a personal wiki as a result. It's
> another motivating book. Makes you want to be productive, get shit done,
> organize your life, encourage your creative side (R-brain in the book). I
> got a lot of takeaways from this book, and even almost a year later, still
> do (intermittently) some of the things they talk about in it. It also makes
> a point to give you a mental model for your brain. And I think it gets
> better as you go.

That's another good book.  I second your recommendation.


> 
> I've read quite a few Ruby books, but none of them have really inspired me.

Ruby book recommendations:

    10 Great Books And Other Resources For Learning Ruby
    http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/programming-and-development/?p=3886


>
> Eloquent Ruby might have if I'd read it two years ago (also had to deal with
> DRM infested bullshit when I tried to buy the PDF from the publisher).

Thanks for mentioning that.  I'm thinking about getting the book; I'll
avoid the PDF (and other PDFs from the same publisher, I guess).  This
kinda limits what books I'd be willing to buy from that publisher, given
the benefits of a searchable digital book on my laptop.  After all . . .

    DRM Is Counterproductive
    http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/security/?p=5604

-- 
Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]

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