Reviews: Just For Fun, The Code Book and E=mc2
Book reviews - February 2003
Everyone know what E=mc2 is about, "it is this formula that Einstein made up, isnt it?", but what does it really mean? How was the formula found and what effects did it have? These and other questions are (sort of) answered in this book which focus on the formula itself rather than on its inventor.
The book is a light-weight book for everyone that have little knowledge of phsyics but have a feeling that they should have a grasp what E=mc^2 is really about. Well, I think the book hits its target with bringing out a bit more knowledge to non-scientists, those who knows a bit about the topic should stay away from the book since there are probably other more-in-depth books out there.
Before there was Linux there actually was a nerd called Linus. This book tries to find out everything you always wanted to know about Linus but never read in the Linux Journal.
David Diamond bugged Linus for a year or so and tried to figure out who this original person is, why and how he created Linux. The book was not the literal work of its year, but you will get to know Linus a bit more, where and how he grow up, why he decided to start to work on Linux and why he released it for free.
You do not read it the book to enjoy the excellent intrigues or amazing story telling, you read it to gather information about Linus Torvalds. And that does the book succeed with; bringing over info about his childhood, how he spent the summers indoor messing with the computer and why on earth he decided to create his own operating system. It is written in an email-sort-of-style, short sentences bringing over most info with least unnecessary noise. Nowadays Linus lives in the US and is working at Transmeta but he is still strongly involved with Linux.
An excellent read if you are interested in Linux and want to know more about its creator.
If you ever wondered how archelogists manage to decode the written symbols of a long lost language, or how Enigma worked and how it was cracked; this is the book for you. Starting with the ancient egypts and going forward in time to RSA encryption and quantum encryption it covers all the major characters in the history of crypthograpy. Without complicated math or uncomprehensible language, you will get insight in the art of cryptography.
And it is no point for you to try to win the prize for cracking the cipher challenges at the end of the book; a swedish team was first with cracking all of the ten challenges.
Excellent reading for anyone with the slightest interest in the topic, too bad that they haven't managed to decode the cryptic language in the income-tax return form; that would really make life easier!
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