FW: Good books in computer science?

Phil Runciman philr at aspexconsulting.co.nz
Tue Jun 16 06:33:31 CEST 2009

Oh dear the "latter" referred to VME/K but got lost in my editing. Sorry about that.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Phil Runciman
> Sent: Tuesday, 16 June 2009 4:26 p.m.
> To: python-list at python.org
> Subject: RE: Good books in computer science?
> FWIW I actually dislike this book! Gasp...
> Much of the material is excellent but IBM got into the huge mess with
> the 360. Brooks observed failure from the inside and IMHO did a great
> job of it.
> Project managers can never rescue stuffed concepts especially if a
> lot of money has been spent! Such projects have momentum and roll
> over anyone who gets in the way.
> Brilliant architects are worth their weight in gold. I believe that
> ICL's VME/B OS began as a skunk works project.* It had such an
> architect. The LATTER was the official OS and was pretty good too. I
> think Warboys took over later once VME/B became official... if anyone
> out there knows better then please let us know and correct Wikipedia
> too. The Wikipedia item on VME is too sanitised for my taste. The
> "truth" is generally far more interesting.
> If the software you are developing is going to be used by many people
> then remaining sharp and on top of your game is so important. Do not
> program if you are tired or you will spend your life debugging. ;-) I
> stop coding at 3pm for this reason. I come right again around 10pm!
> Yes, despite the above, do read the book, but remember that among the
> content is a cautionary tale!
> Ooops, the above is a bit away from Python. ;-)
> Phil
> *I was told this by the leader an ICL research team, no less than
> Alan Sutcliffe himself... many years ago now. (c. May/June 1970)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Roy Smith [mailto:roy at panix.com]
> Sent: Sunday, 14 June 2009 2:21 p.m.
> Subject: Re: Good books in computer science?
> In article <mailman.1534.1244926333.8015.python-list at python.org>,
>  "Rhodri James" <rhodri at wildebst.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> > The Mythical Man-Month (Brooks) is a must.
> What's amazing about this book is just how relevant it is today, 35
> years
> after it was written.  Some of the technical details have changed
> (how many
> of us still keep our project notes on microfiche?), but cross out
> "microfiche" and write in "wiki" and what he's saying is just as
> valid
> today.  It's not about computer science.  It's not really even about
> software engineering.  It's more about general project management
> than
> anything else.
> In the same vein, Death March, by Ed Yourdon.

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