Saturday, May 22, 2010

Book Review: The Cuckoo's Egg

One of my favorite things about having a nursing baby is that I suddenly find myself taking 25 minutes of silent reading time about every four hours :)

The first book on my list was "The Cuckoo's Egg" by Cliff Stoll. Jon bought this as a text book for his computer ethics course at BYU. Kind of a strange class, but at least he got a good book out of it.

When I first picked it up, I didn't think I would like it, mostly because I am utterly backwards and incompetent when it comes to a lot of techy computer jargon. However, Stoll actually does a great job keeping the "layman" interested and explaining--sort of--how he went about finding the hacker. I still don't know exactly what a Gnu-emacs hole is, but I know that someone can exploit it to gain system manager privileges on a Unix-4 machine. Anyway, it's a great read, but you must remember that it follows a true story... so the disappointments and moments when the hacker escapes are much more numerous than the successes. Still, Stoll laces the often repetitive narrative ("... and by the time I got to the lab, the hacker had logged out... again...") with wit and entertaining verisimilitude... like his description of what happens when you put tennis shoes in the microwave to dry off...

So, if you don't mind a little dinosaur aged computer terminology and a slightly "Ender-esque" finale, this is a great book! High recommendation.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Backyard fun in the sun :)

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We got sidewalk chalk for Easter! So, I drew Dawna and Larry a hop-scotch course. Dawna does really well with the numbers forward... but backwards... well... in the video, she says, "10...6...7,8,6,4,5,3,2,1." Almost, Dawna... I guess we'll have to work on that a little bit... I also just love how Larry says, "One, Two, Weeeee!!!" and then runs the rest of the way!

While Dawna and Nana and Papa were at the A's game last Friday night, I slipped over to Redwood City to get this little slide off Craig's list. It's a little small for Dawna, but perfect for Larry... still, Dawna gets a kick out of it. This video is just Larry playing on it for the first time. Dawna was still gone, so he got to rule the roost for a little while. I thought it was awfully cute :)

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