Category: Books

Currently Reading: 50 Foods

The premise is intriguing: just 50 foods. Why those 50, specifically? Are these the best of all foods? And what’s a food, anyway? Just something you can pick or kill? That would eliminate anything processed, like bread or wine or cheese.

Whatever criteria Edward Behr used for deciding what foods to include in this 400-page celebration of foods, their varieties, selection, preparation, storage, and enjoyment, he has produced a tantalizing and satisfying read. And part of the fun of reading the book is deciding where you agree with his selections and what foods you would add or delete.

One proof that this is an idiosyncratic selection is that, out of 50 foods, Behr has seen fit to include six different cheeses. Over ten percent of the foods here are cheeses. I’m not suggesting that there’s anything wrong with that.

Behr is the founder of the food magazine The Art of Eating.

A Perl Classic — for $0.00

Modern Perl 4th Edition by chromatic is out now, and the price of the digital version is $0.00.

I must disclose that I was the editor for this edition. Actually, I’m bragging about it. I’m proud to be involved with this classic reference on the classic Swiss Army knife language. And “classic” in the case of this language doesn’t mean over the hill. As chromatic points out, modern Perl may well be the best tool for the job you have to get done. And at this price, what is there to keep you from finding out?

If you already know and appreciate Perl and Modern Perl, you might want to get the print edition. It isn’t free, but it’s worth the price, and chromatic isn’t going to make a lot on royalties from $0.00.

/now

What I’m up to right now:

Publishing PragPub, a monthly magazine for software developers
Editing books on web development and usability for the Pragmatic Bookshelf
Putting together an anthology of articles on functional programming
Writing a biography of a tech legend
Winterizing the homestead

Join the /now page movement:
https://sivers.org/nowff

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New from the Pragmatic Bookshelf

Here’s the latest news from the Pragmatic Bookshelf.

The very engaging and useful Your Code as a Crime Scene: Use Forensic Techniques to Arrest Defects, Bottlenecks, and Bad Design in Your Programs is now in print and shipping. We have an article by its author, Adam Tornhill, in the upcoming April issue of PragPub.

And Ruby Performance Optimization: Why Ruby Is Slow, and How to Fix It is now out in beta. It’s by Alexander Dymo, it’s edited by, uh, me, and it’s great!

Fire in the Valley News

Fire in the Valley, the seminal history of the personal computer and the ragtag band of revolutionaries who created it, is available again, now in a third edition that brings it up to the Snowden era. Paul Freiberger and I first wrote Fire back in 1984 when we were rubbing elbows with these crazies every day as journalists covering the birth of this strange and exciting new phenomenon. The third edition is now available in a beta version from the Pragmatic Programmers, and the official release is imminent.

You can find out more about the book at the Prags site, and you might also want to take a look at the book’s Facebook page, where we’ll be posting historical tidbits, news about the book and our appearances, and other goodies. And you can follow us on Twitter, too, where we promise to have something interesting to say.

The book will also soon have its own Web page, where we’ll share even more goodies. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to find out when and where that will happen.

Re: Fire in the Valley

Fire in the Valley is the memory lane of personal computing’s early years… Reading like a high-tech Three Musketeers, but with characters out of Dickens by way of Popular Electronics… A book not to be missed, just plain good reading about the drama of the kids next door turning their dreams into millions.”
New York Times

“Swaine and Freiberger capture the communal spirit of the early computer clubs, the brilliance and blundering of some of the first start-up companies, the assortment of naivete, noble purpose and greed that characterized various pioneers, and the inevitable transformation of all this into a major industry. Must reading.”
Philip Lemmons, editor-in-chief, BYTE Magazine

“A complete and authoritative history. Great reading.”
John C. Dvorak

“Much of the book could also be called ‘Those Magnificent Men and Their Computing Machines.’ Their portrait is of creative and caring people whose sense of adventure and curiosity weighs heavier than their pursuit of profit.”
Los Angeles Times

“The first book to chronicle not only the technological innovation, but also the social legacy created by the true ‘fathers’ of the personal computer… a very human, sometimes funny and always articulate story of the industry’s otherwise cloudy origins. The pages are filled with the people, the projects, and the frenzy that built the personal computer industry.”
Computer Currents

“Like indulgent gods, Freiberger and Swaine seem to love all of Silicon Valley’s children, but their hearts are clearly with the hobbyists and hackers, gifted weirdos and insanely curious oddballs, the ones they show us most clearly.”
The Industry Standard

“I couldn’t put it down.”
Steve Wozniak