I like to read; I maintain this list to keep track of things and give
people an idea of my interests. I still have most of these books; if
you're interesting in borrowing one just let me know. This is
obviously quite a dated list.
Some recent books:
Fullness of wings : the making of a new Daedalus - Gary Dorsey - - some history about MIT's human-powered flight programs. Recommended.
Turbine pilot's flight manual - Gregory Brown - - for pilots coming from piston backgrounds. Very informative and interesting read, and recommended if you're fascinated by airplanes.
A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson - - standard airplane reading, but quite enjoyable.
Do it Yourself Vacuum Forming - Douglas E. Walsh - - Want to vacuum form plastic? Read this. Reminds one of the old do-it-yourself VW repair manual, but quite useful.
The Charm School - Nelson DeMille - - Entertaining candy fiction; like Clancy but not quite as refined, although very enjoyable.
No Apparent Danger; The True Story of Volcanic Disaster at Galeras and Nevado Del Ruiz - Victoria Bruce - - Short account of the controversial things that happened in South America a while back.
Old Buzzard's Soaring Book - Dave Thornburg - - An absolutely hilarious and quite useful guide to flying RC sailplanes. Can be re-read many times without losing its charm, and has lots of really useful tidbits.
SSA Soaring Flight Manual - - good reference to flying full-scale sailplanes and passing the relevant FAA exams.
From Behemoth to Microship; Two Platforms For Technomadic Adventure - Steven K. Roberts - - This is the guy behind the bikes and sailboats that are completely decked out with communications and survival gear who nomadically explores the country. Lots of entertaining techo mixed in with Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance-style philosophy.
Neuromancer - William Gibson - - Classic sci-fi; very good.
understanding Gliding, third edition - Derek Piggott - - A classic reference to the theory behind how full scale gliders work and how to fly them well.
Stick and Rudder; An Explanation of the Art of Flying - Wolfgang Langewiesche - - Another classic; amazingly relevant and useful, especially when coupled with a good amount of theory.
Soaramerica - ed. John Joss - - A neat collection of older articles about soaring in America; very entertaining and fun. Purchased from Bob Wander, who is a pleasure to deal with.
No Heroes; Inside the FBI's Secret Counter-Terror Force - Danny O. Coulson with Elaine Shannon - - I went to hear Mr. Coulson speak at Georgia Tech about terrorism, and although I didn't completely agree with him, I was impressed enough to buy his book and get him to sign it. A neat look inside the unofficial FBI point of view on lots of very pivotal situations in our country's recent history, and worth a read if only to understand the far-out pschyos a little more.
Introduction to Hand Launch Aerobatics - Tim Harris - - A fabulous compendium of tips on the construction, flight, and theory behind building highly aerobatic and resiliant hand launch gliders. Tim really knows what he's talking about, and he's serious about helping educate others. This book (and his web site) will almost certainly teach you some good things about how to build hand launch gliders, and his constant attention to detail use of evaluative methods really helps get results.
Samantha - Philip Greenspun - - Amusing, insightful, and has
lots of good photographs. I bought the paper
version because I can't stand reading on my computer yet.
National Georgraphic Photography Field Guide - Peter
K. Burian and Robert Caputo - - Kristi Odom recommended this book, and
I've loved it.
The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson - - Quite interesting.
Read Thomas Annondale's guide for
some interesting thoughts on this book and general definitions.
French Or Foe? Getting the Most out of Visiting, Living, and
Working in France - Polly Platt - - Interesting and amazingly
useful book that goes into lots of detail about some of the most
common cultural differences that cause problems for Americans in
France. If you can get by the author's style, then there's a lot of
really valuable advice here. I definitely recommend it to anyone
staying in France. Even if you just read it to be amused, it's worth it.
Europe By Eurail 2000 - Laverne Ferguson-Kosinksi - - Not
terribly interesting, but a decent guide to how the Eurail pass system
works. Definitely a self-serving book, but it has some useful parts. I
would recommend looking elsewhere for travel advice and info, though.
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - - A fun read.
The Face of Battle - John Keegan - - If you want a good,
concise (mostly), and well-presented description of the battles of
Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme, then this book is for you. Used in
my INTA4011 class, I've found it to be in general a really good
The Trunked Radio and Enhanced PMR Radio Handbook - Neil
Boucher - - Provides a good coverage of the history and current
technology available for implementing all sorts of radio networks.
Also covers technical things related to RF, traffic planning, site
management and installation, and trunking protocols.
Transmitter Hunting; Radio Direction Finding Simplified -
Joesph D. Moell, K0OV and Thomas N. Curlee, WB6UZZ - - a nifty summary
of RDF principles and techniques geared towards the amateur
transmitter hunter, but it covers enough more advanced material to be
quite interesting. I'm going to build my own 2-meter quad now, and
probably a 70cm one too.
Extra Life >> Coming of Age in Cyberspace - David S. Bennahum -
- A really interesting and amusing account of the author's experience
growing up in the age of computers in society. Recommended to me by
Meredith White, a teacher I had in high school who fostered a very
similar environment with similar effects.
Timeline - Michael Crichton - - A very good read, much in
the style of his other books. Basic plot line is time travel in 14th
century France with a few twists.
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson - - It took me a while, but
I highly recommend this book.
Rapid Prototyping of Digital Systems, A Tutorial Approach -
James O. Hamblen and Michael D. Furman - - The textbook for a course I
took; the book includes lots of interesting labs and projects, many of
which we did in the class.
lex & yacc - John R. Levine, Tony Mason, and Doug Brown - -
Yet another nifty O'Reilly book. This one's required for CS2330 and is
ARRL Advanced Class Study Manual - - The ARRL's study guide for the Amateur Advanced
class radio examination.
Advanced Perl Programming - Sriram Srinivasan - - A neat O'Reilly
book on some of the more interesting things you can do with perl.
Both of the new psuedo-Clancy books (the ones that have his name on
the cover but were probably mostly written by the other guy). I'm a reasonable
fan of Clancy for enterainment reading, and neither of these disappointed me
too much in that regard. Unfortunately, both lacked some in the culmniation
of random plot twists that Clancy is really good at; they both had interesting
aspects, but certainly aren't on the level of most of the other books.
ARRL General Class Study Manual - - The ARRL's study guide for the Amateur General
class radio examination. Interesting enough, and I passed. ;)
Practical File System Design With the Be File System -
Dominic Giampaolo - - A random book I picked up in the library at Tech;
basically it's a discussion about the development of the filesystem for the
BeOS operating system, but it has a fair
amount of discussion and information on other filesystems and on the implementation
of things like journaling and caches.
Pthreads Programming - Nichols, Buttlar, and Farrell - - A good O'Reilly
book; the title somewhat gives away the content
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - - Also for English 1002.
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe - - For English 1002, but still interesting.
Relational Database Design (Clearly Explained) - Jan L. Harrington
Fermat's Enigma - Simon Singh
ANSI Common Lisp - Paul Graham
Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
The Twelfth Systems Administration Conference (LISA '98) Proceedings
Selected Papers on Computer Science - Donald E. Knuth
Blind Man's Bluff - The Untold Story of American Submarine
Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew, Annette Lawrence Drew - -
A fairly interesting nonfiction description of the US's use of submarines
throughout the Cold War.
The Age of Spiritual Machines - Ray Kurzweil
Principles of Modern Technology - Adrian C. Melissinos
The Art of Computer Programming (vol 1) - Donald Knuth - - I
mean ongoing in a serious way -- this isn't exactly light reading,
but I'm enjoying it. Also, just got through the section on balanced
trees in volume 3.
Talks attended (as time permits):
Jonathan Blandford talked a little about Red Hat and Gnome on July 9, 1999. It wasn't
terribly interesting, but they gave us free T-shirts and glossy brochures
proclaiming the greatness of RH6.0.
gave a short talk on PGP,
personal privacy issues, and the future of encryption at Tech on April 5, 1999.
Rick Cavallaro of SportVision
spoke at the CoC to the digital video effects class about how his
company does the hockey puck tracking system (using IR) and the
yellow first-down line on televised football games.