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Windows Tools

Source code for all these tools is on GitHub.

ADO.NET ConnTest A simple, free Windows program to test ADO.NET connection strings.

Lines of C# Ever wanted to know how many lines of C# code are in a file or folder hierarchy?  This free Windows program will tell you.

XmlTools Free tools to process XML files from the command line.

‘Future Tech, Future Problems’
Score: 4/5

John Scalzi

A nice enough near-future crime book. It seems to me the setting is used for its overtones of coming problems with internet-of-things and computer-brain interfaces but y'know, maybe that's just me. I still found it enjoyable, as well as quick and easy to read.

Posted by 'geoff' on Tuesday, 17 March 2015. No comments.

‘Geeky Humour And Magic’
Score: 4/5

Scott Meyer

Geeky humour and magic. A lovely combination. I thought this was very easy to read (especially compared to Out On Blue Six) and quite enjoyable too.

Posted by 'geoff' on Tuesday, 17 March 2015. No comments.

‘Too Deep For Me’
Score: 2/5

Ian McDonald

I thought this was a hard book to read and hard to get into. Not as hard as the book I started last year and haven't managed to get through yet, but hard enough.

I bought the book after reading this on Boing Boing, and since the author lives in Belfast I wanted to really like it.

Posted by 'geoff' on Tuesday, 17 March 2015. 1 comment.

‘That’s More Like It’
Score: 4/5

Gavin Deas

This is the second purchase in my refund-so-I-bought-Elite-books tale. It's much better than the first.

This one actually feels like it's set in the Elite: Dangerous universe for a start. The characters and situations are a bit more credible. And there's a lot of fighting in spaceships.

What more could I ask for?

Posted by 'geoff' on Tuesday, 17 March 2015. No comments.

‘Could've Been Set Anywhere’
Score: 2/5

Gideon Defoe

I started playing Elite: Dangerous a while ago, and was stuck in a bookshop looking for something to buy with a refunded purchase. I bought a couple of Elite: Dangerous books.

This one I just didn't really warm to. It's set in the Elite: Dangerous universe but it doesn't really capitalise on that, and it doesn't really have any of the feeling of that universe. Humour is subjective, but that didn't really work for me here either. Ah well.

Posted by 'geoff' on Tuesday, 17 March 2015. 1 comment.

‘More Anxiety-Ridden Misadventures’
Score: 4/5

This is a collection of articles, some of which I'd previously read. It does show the very odd situations the author finds himself in though and I do enjoy reading his work.

Posted by 'geoff' on Tuesday, 17 March 2015. No comments.

‘People, Character and Intelligence’
Score: 5/5

Daniel Keyes

This is an old ‘classic’ science fiction book that I hadn’t read until now. I can see why it’s a classic – it tries to explore current thinking and culture by using science fiction, rather than just being a regular story but with Space Aliens instead of some other enemy.

The narration is a little odd and takes some getting used to. It’s all in the form of journal entries. This doesn’t interfere with story – at times it’s written more as a ‘first-person past tense’ telling of events than what you’d expect in a journal. Transitions felt pretty seamless.

Transitions is a good word to describe a lot of what goes on in the book.

I’m not sure how well this will transition to film, but I may hunt down ‘Charly’ or the more recent ‘Flowers For Algernon’ to see what the filmmakers made of it all.

Posted by 'geoff' on Wednesday, 31 December 2014. No comments.

‘Fun, But No “Intruders”’
Score: 3/4

Steven Brust and Skyler White

Like Michael Marshall’s ‘The Intruders’, this is another look at what could happen if souls or consciousness could transcend death and inhabit a new body.

That’s about it for similarities though – the actualities are a bit different here. The differences seem to me to make it a bit less believable though – it’s hard to see how they’d be so altruistic, and also hard to understand how they’re not rich. The book does try to cover these points but as I said it’s a bit hard to believe.

That said, the book is well-paced and interesting, and there’s enough drama and action.

Posted by 'geoff' on Wednesday, 31 December 2014. No comments.

‘Fast Pace, Compelling, Short’
Score: 5/5

As usual, Gaiman has quite the imagination and he tells the story so beautifully. From the turns of phrase he uses to the subtle way he builds up to what’s actually going on, each page was a delight.

This was a lovely wee book. My only wish is it had been longer.

Posted by 'geoff' on Saturday, 22 November 2014. No comments.

‘Well Paced, Dramatic, Intense’
Score: 5/5

William Goldman
£2.00 (in a charity sale)

I thoroughly enjoyed this and raced through it very quickly.

I wondered how it would compare to the film, with its intense ‘Is it safe?’ scene, but it held up very well. The film is good, the book is different but also good.

As is often the case, the book has a bit more depth to it than the film, and a bit more backstory to ground some of the characters. The book came first but the film was quite true to the book’s story.

(As a side note, it’s worth watching the film if you haven’t already. I was surprised at a few people I mentioned it to who hadn’t seen it.)

Posted by 'geoff' on Wednesday, 19 November 2014. No comments.
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