I've finally gotten into a good reading groove, and I've managed to read a bunch of books. The Reason-Driven Life, Bad Science, Food of the Gods, The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss, Breaking Open the Head, Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar..., The Hunting of the Snark, Odd John, The Abominable Earthman, and Cosmos. I also read two Clarke books, The Songs of Distant Earth and Imperial Earth, and bought a couple of more that I'm planning on reading very soon. I also read a short manga series, Uzumaki, and I'm currently reading some others (which I'll hopefully complete soon).
I spent some time pruning the books database, culling irrelevant books or books with poor reviews, or simply books with no review which I plan on re-reading and giving a proper one.
I also noticed a horrendous mistake on the Books page which has been there since the beginning: manga books would have their cover images (back and front) reversed for the simple reason that they're read from "back" to "front"! (These are relative terms, of course.) That was a silly mistake, and it's fixed now.
And I added a link to Ektoplazm, an excellent repository of free music (of varying quality, but a lot of it is good).
I spent an hour fixing something on my Books page that's been bugging me for a long time: You can now toggle the visibility of the contents of books when there are multiple books being displayed, independently (example), whereas before it was limited to one book (when multiple books were displayed you'd get a permalink to that book's own page).
I read the Scott Pilgrim series of comics and watched the movie of it, both of which I found mildly entertaining.
I did some minor janitorial work here and there on the site.
There's a cold wave sweeping over this part of Norway, which means I get to take far fewer walks than I'd like to.
Do I blog?
Something I forgot to mention which happened a few months back: I got a job working for a company called Etrip as a programmer, which explains the dearth of updates.
I converted all the PHP code that deals with databases (which mostly means the Archive and the Books page, but some other places too) from the MySQL (procedural) way of doing things to the MySQLi (OO) way of doing things. Right now, there's no difference, but I want to eventually take advantage of some of the advanced features of MySQLi (like prepared statements). Rummaging through my code, I found a lot of other things that could be improved, but what I really want to do, when I have a good chunk of free time available, is rewrite my entire damned site. In the meantime, if you find something that's horribly broken, please contact me.
I've read two Bradbury novels, Dandelion Wine and its sequel, Farewell Summer. They were sadly only moderately good. I've also done some minor janitorial work on the Books page. Nothing major, just small patches here and there. I have great plans for that page, and the way the code is structured now, I'm hoping that extending its functionality will be a breeze.
I return from the dead!
Hopefully this'll be last of the long (really long) hiatuses. The reasons for my extended absence are manifold, but in short, I've suffered a serious lack of inspiration and initiative. Since the last post my plan had been to again set up an RSS feed, but I discovered that there's no set standard for it, and so I simply gave that up, not wanting to choose between several competing standards and conventions and whatnot. Besides, my web site isn't a newsletter, right?
So in the preceeding year I've actually managed to read some books. I'll simply list them:
This is an abominable rate, I know. I am also painfully aware of the fact that my reviews are short and not that informative. The problem is that I don't immediately review the books I read right after I've read them, when they're fresh in my mind. But then again, if there wasn't room for improvement, where would the fun be?
I've got some stuff in the works, though. Doing nothing is boring, and I'm bored of being bored.
I worked on a simple substitution cipher. I'll work some more on it, and maybe make a little game out of it.
I also finished those door-stoppers!
And I read three novels:
I added some more special browsing criteria to the Books page. The neat thing about having a relational database like this working like a charm (as it now finally does) is that you can view your data in all kinds of interesting ways. As an example of this, check out The Internet Speculative Fiction Database (which I discovered in the course of properly cataloging my science fiction books and which is a tremendously useful tool).
And of course, I've read some more books:
I realize that many books lack a synopsis and a review, and that those that have them have very short ones. This will probably get fixed when I re-read some of those books. You see, I have qualms about making my mind up about a book while I'm reading it (or just after I'm finished). If I don't digest it properly, I don't trust my own opinion on it. Better to do a proper review than a hasty one, I think.