My bookshelf

I've got a lot of books; just recently I ran to Ikea to pick up a huge shelf to manage the overflow. But, there's a group of books that I keep by my bookshelf, just in case I need a quick reference, or just feel like reading. Here's a breakdown, from right to left:

  • Manual for an MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard (honestly, not quite sure how that snuck in there)

  • The Design of Everyday Things, an absolutely fantastic book; I'm only about 1/4 of the way through it, and already I love it. It's about the tiny little nuances about designing user-friendly things; it's not explicitly technical (more about physical objects than virtual ones), but it's definitely easy to cross it over into the web development / designing realm. I picked it up on reccomendation of Jeff Atwood.

  • Dreaming In Code, another really good book; I saw it in the library one day and decided to flip through it. It's a fantastic rendition of the exploits of the developers of Chandler, a personal information manager, and explains in detail how many things can go wrong with a software project; software is never on time, and the author (a reporter) does a great job in explaining how this phenomenon occurs.

  • The Art of War, by Sun Tzu; it's hard to find a copy that's just the Art of War, and not 'the art of war in relation to business' or some such. It's pretty fascinating; it's about military strategy. I couldn't find this specific copy on Amazon; I think I got it from Barnes and Noble about two years back.

  • jQuery in Action; I love jQuery, more and more as each day passes, and I figured it was about time I picked up the book. The online documentation will always be more up-to-date, but I can't bring that in the car with me (without a 3G netbook, anyway), and the book is written so that I can read it from cover to cover. It has several interesting insights into the technical reasons of jQuery's architecture.

  • Comet and Reverse Ajax; one of the 'reccomended books' Amazon advertised to me while I was ordering jQuery in Action. It's really, really short, but it explains how to do something I never really thought possible with HTTP protocol: use a server push, instead of a client pull. This may mean Neflaria gets a real-time chat.

  • Red Hat Linux 8 for Dummies; picked it up a long time ago when I was first experimenting with Linux. It does a really good job at getting a Linux dummy up to speed.

  • MCTS and MCPD books for .Net Framework 2.0 web development; a set of 3 books written to get my MCPD. I hate the whole idea of certifications (I'm a firm believer that skill > credentials), but I figure I should get them eventually (because very few other people believe that).

  • MCTS for SQL Server 2005; see above. Although, has actually useful information, not garbage to memorize in the rare event that Visual Studio's intellisense and Google collectively collapse.

Top to bottom on left stack:

  • Wired magazines; Wired's awesome. It's like Gizmodo, only in more detail.

  • Swing Hacks; when we (Don and I) were first looking at developing an MMORPG, we were trying to decide what language to use; consequently, I picked up a few Java books, this and the next two. I knew very little about Java at the time; it was the cross-platform compatibility that attracted me. It was the entire language that turned me off.

  • Wicked Cool Java; has a lot of cool project ideas for developers at any stage. If you want to mess around with Java a bit, this is the book to get.

  • Killer Game Programming in Java; what I expected, and yet somehow not. It takes you from developing your own graphical engine all the way through game mechanics, which is awesome; but, with the abundance of pre-made 3d/physics engines out there, it's more than I needed, so I never got more than halfway.

  • Starting out with Java 5; my CS classes were in Java, and this was the book I used. Highly reccomended for beginners.

The next book to go up there will be Digital Security, which is another amazing book; it totally opened my eyes, and changed the way I thought about security.  I'm only halfway through it now, so it's by my bed instead of on my bookshelf.

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