book review - 'Subject to Change: Creating Great Products and Services for an Uncertain World: Adaptive Path on Design'

Book title: Subject to Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World: Adaptive Path on Design Authors: Peter Merholz, Brandon Schauer, David Verba, Todd Wilkens ISBN: 0596516835 I was disappointed when I got my pre-order of this book. At a scant 160 pages, I was skeptical that it could offer very much insight….


book review - 'The Inmates Are Running the Asylum'

Book title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity Author: Alan Cooper ISBN: 0672326140 Cooper’s argument in this book is simple: you have to know your users, and you have to understand what they’re trying to accomplish with your software. The method that he…


Fake Steve is writing a Real Book

October’s going to be a busy time for me. Not only is that the month of OOPSLA 2007 (I’m posters chair, so submit your posters by 02 July 2007 and impress me with your intelligence!), but now I see that I’ve got some reading material headed my way. According to Amazon, my darling Fake Steve…


book review - 'Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colourful Company'

Book title: Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colourful Company Author: Owen W. Linzmayer ISBN: 1593270100 After reading the insufferable iWoz, I wanted a book about the early days of Apple that didn’t suck. A friend gave me Apple Confidential 2.0 for my birthday, and it was just what the doctor…


book review - 'iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon'

Book title: iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon Author: Steve Wozniak ISBN: 0393061434 I really wanted to like this book. Woz is a geek icon, after all, and the early stories of his life and inventions are the stuff of legend. They had to be better coming straight from the horse’s mouth, right? The…


book review - 'A Pattern Language for Web Usability'

Book title: A Pattern Language for Web Usability Author: Ian Graham ISBN: 0201788888 The title of this book is promising. However, the promise does not hold. The author clearly does not understand patterns or a pattern language. The so-called patterns given here are not patterns in any way. Instead, they are an attempt at a…


book review - 'Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences' by John Allen Paulos

Book title: Innummeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences Author: John Allen Paulos ISBN: 0809058405 The problem that resulted in this book is far-reaching: the public simply doesn’t understand mathematics. Statistics, ranging from a 10%-off sale to the sort found in opinion polls, are unfathomable to the general populace. Probability, especially in the context of gambling,…


book review - 'High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian'

Book title: High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian Author: Clifford Stoll ISBN: 0385489765 The title doesn’t tell us this, but in this slim volume, Stoll gives us a skeptical look at computing in the classroom. He unflinchingly questions the assumptions thrown around by the proponents of the technology. This isn’t a scholarly work, and…


book review - 'Leonardo's Laptop' by Ben Schneiderman

Book title: Leonardo’s Laptop : Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies Author: Ben Schneiderman ISBN: 0262692996 Schneiderman’s Leonardo’s Laptop is singularly disappointing. Promising to raise our expectation of what we should get from technology, he instead uses a forced extended metaphor in the form of Leonardo da Vinci. What would Leonardo do?, we are…