Saturday, April 01, 2006

Reading list during a sleepless night

Last night I couldn't sleep! I don't know why.

I decided to do something conventional, that is reading books and magazines instead of reading the Internet. I turned off my computer! Yes, it was hard for me. Let me go back to my "scientific root."

I pulled three of the latest magazines I just received from the "to-read" stack (it's about two feet tall!) and grabbed whatever book on the table. Of course I also took my iPod nano while I headed to my bed. Let the fun begin.

First, the book. It was "blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. I've been carrying this book like forever! I just could not get it going. I have bought other books since I bought "blink" and have finished a couple of them (one of the being the biography of Phil Collins, the drummer of Genesis). You've seen this blink book in many photos that I have taken and maybe more if I cannot finish it quickly. (Here's a link to the photo, and here's a clearer view.)

Blink is not a bad book. In fact, it is a very good book - although I like "Tipping Point" (by the same author) better. In any case, I decided not to read it this time. Skipped it.
[Music on my iPod nano: Donna Summer - On The Radio]
Next, I pulled the first magazine. It was IEEE Anals of the Internet History of Computing, vol. 28, no. 1, January - March 2006. Yes, I subscribe to this magazine or journal as part of my IEEE membership. I am always interested in history of computing and the people behind it. I even want to write a book on history of computing in Bahasa Indonesia. This issue is on "Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN): The First 40 Years, Part 2." Darn! It's part 2. I have not read the first part. It is still in my stack of to-read-list. Not gonna read this.
[Music: Dream Theater - Under Glass Moon]
Next magazine. IEEE Software March/April 2006. Hmm... it seems the magazines that I took were those that I just got from IEEE. The issue is on "Software Architecture." Yay! Great! I've been confused with the word "architecture" before and was happy to see it in the context of software architecture. What does "architecture" mean?
[Music: Earth, Wind, and Fire - After The Love Is Gone]
At one point in my professional lifetime I created a "security architecture" document for a client. I thought it was a masterpiece. It wasn't a theory. It was a real workable or implementable architecture of security. Just like an architecture of a house that is not only good on paper but it is also good in the real building. So, I decided to read this magazine.

The next magazine lying to me is IEEE Computer, March 2006 with "mobile displays" as its main topic. Well, you'll get your turn baby. Not this time. Let me read this IEEE Software first and learn more about software architecture. (I use to love IEEE Computer magazine when Bob Cowell was still writing his column. But, there's no Bob Cowell.
[Music: De Barge - Lost Without Your Love]
I started reading the magazine while the music kept on moving.
[Music: ELP - C'est La Vie; England Dan & John Ford Coley - Part of me - part of you; Goo Gool Dolls - Name]

The first article I read was Grady Booch, "On Architecture." It's an interesting article that sheds some light in terms of the difficulty dealing with "software architecture." I was searching for the philosophical meaning of "architecture" though. But, I appreciate his take on this. He started an initiative to create a handbook on software architecture at www.booch.com/architecture. I will check on it. Well, the guy is an expert in his field. You've got to respect him. I've read (part of) hist book a long time ago while I was still a graduate student.

The second article I read is "10 Small Steps to Better Requirements," by Ian Alexander. Okay, I've been reading on "requirement" but still don't understand it. Maybe, (a) because I have no background in requirement engineering, and (b) my mind wandered into many things. It was close to midnight. What do you expect? There's a cartoon (or ads?) next to the article that says:
"Requirement Engineering Made Easy.
Essential Requirements
Engineering Practices for Average Joe"
I guess that is exactly what I needed.
[Music: Jay Graydon - After The Love is Gone; Joe Jackson - Stepping Out; John Mayer - Love For No One]
Apparently, my iPod nano was set to sort the songs alphabetically based on the artist's name. At this time, I continued reading but was to tired. Put down my reading glasses and went to sleep.

So, that's my story . . .

2 comments:

iim said...

Hi Pak..Salam Kenal.

I've read 'tipping point'. Nice book. But somehow i feel that 'Tipping Point' is easy to say but very uneasy to reach, ya. This could be happen by luck but unfortunatelly luck is not coming to us every minutes so if we want to bring our brand into 'tipping point' what we need is a proper marketing communication strategy. Finish this book, pak. It talks about 'brand' from another point of view (not too scientific as other marketing books)

Ian Alexander said...

Saya gembira... that you found my IEEE Software article '10 Simple Steps to Better Requirements', even if it was in the middle of the night. Hope you found it helpful (if only to get to sleep).

Selamat tidur! Ian