Holiday Reading : Cyprus

I spent the past couple of weeks in sunny (excruciatingly hot) Paphos, Cyprus.  In a similar vein to last year’s Holiday Reading : Lanzarote, I took a lot of reading material with me…

With the exception of Sharp Ends they are all quite old books that I had never got round to reading.

Books

Sharp Ends – Having read all of Joe Abercrombie’s other books this latest collection of short stories was recently released, thankfully in time for my holiday.  It didn’t pull me in quite so far as the other books, but such is the nature of the short story beast.  It’s always great fun reading about “The Bloody Nine” and the new characters introduced left me wanting more.  Hopefully more is in the pipeline.

The Da Vinci Code – I watched the Da Vinci Code film many years back.  Aside from vaguely remembering there was a blonde monk who enjoyed whipping himself, all other details had been lost.  I read Angels and Demons recently and decided to continue with The Da Vinci Code.  It’s fascinating how Dan Brown mixes history with story.

The Moon of Gomrath – This is another old book from the 60s, I read the Owl Service last year, and subsequently Elidor.  Fast paced high fantasy, not a long read and won’t be for everyone.  If you like Wizards, Cat Armies, Dwarves, Elves, Possession and Witches you’ll like this one.

Adrian Mole – Sparked by a recent conversation in the pub with a couple of friends I decided to revisit Adrian Mole’s Diary.  The stories are hilarious and level of detail make it so easy to relate to.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide Book 2) –  Another Comedy classic, Hitchhiker’s guide will no doubt be familiar with a majority of the audience likely to be reading this blog given the subject matter.  The humour is incredibly sharp and had me chuckling to myself (and groaning) throughout.

Paphos Shore
Paphos Shore

 

 

 

Review : Dark Days by D. Randall Blythe

As a drummer, Chris Adler of Lamb of God has always been an idol of mine (his signature sticks are my go to), and I’ve been a huge Lamb of God Fan for a number of years now.  The story of their front man, Randy Blythe getting arrested on Manslaughter charges on landing in Prague Airport, Czech Republic two years after the alleged incident was truly shocking.  His book, Dark Days, recounts the ordeal and offers an insight into his incredibly strong outlook on life and how he made it through the other side.

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Review : The Software Craftsman by Sandro Mancuso

The term Software Craftsmanship seems to be rather divisive in its support, with, as mentioned in the book numerous times (along with retorts) the fact that the movement can come across as elitist.  At it’s core it’s another manifesto, a fairly open-ended one at that, but having read the book it extends far beyond this.

In much the same way as Agile, in the pure sense, is more of a mindset than a prescriptive set of rules, the ideas behind Software Craftsmanship conveyed in the book really lean towards achieving excellence, building on and complementing a lot of the practices outlined under XP and Agile.

The Software Craftsman

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Review : Vic Firth SIH1 Isolation Headphones

A bit left field with this post, I’m going to review a set of Vic Firth SIH1 Headphones and share my (positive) experience with Vic Firth Customer Service.

First off, a bit of a disclaimer, I’m no headphone aficionado so don’t expect an in depth analysis of the quality against any other headphones on the market!

Vic Firth predominantly make drum sticks, so inevitably these headsets are aimed at drummers.  I play both acoustic and electric drums, so ideally I needed a set of headphones to use with both…

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Review : Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums by Travis Barker

I finished reading Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums by Travis Barker over the holiday season.  Going a little left field on this one…

Anyone who knows me will know that I play the drums and have done for many years.  Throughout my teens I was a huge Blink 182 fan (Skateboard, hoody, etc.), not sure I ever really came out of that phase entirely.  Travis was always an idol of mine, I still have a pair of his signature Zildjian drumsticks, which were really thick and somewhat like playing with white painted tree trunks.

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Universal App Tutorials Part 12 : Universal App Reviews

One of the most compelling reasons to download an app is the number of Universal App Reviews in the store.  This tutorial will look at adding a Review App Button to our completely empty About Page.  There are various places you can surface the Review App Function, commonly it’ll be available on an About or Info page, or you may choose to have a Review Reminder.  As with a number of things with UWP apps, the Universal App Review Method changed slightly from Windows Phone 8’s MarketPlaceTask, let’s take a look…

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