Books to read

Just posting some books that I want to read this upcoming semester.

Structure and interpretation of computer program (free html version): The quintessential book on computer programming. It’s a classic and I feel like I should read it just to say that I have and to understand the basic theory of computing presented easily. The book opens with an amazing dedication that I would like to share.

This book is dedicated, in respect and admiration, to the spirit that lives in the computer.

``I think that it’s extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun. Of course, the paying customers got shafted every now and then, and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful, error-free perfect use of these machines. I don’t think we are. I think we’re responsible for stretching them, setting them off in new directions, and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all, I hope we don’t become missionaries. Don’t feel as if you’re Bible salesmen. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don’t feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What’s in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make it more.’’ -Alan J. Perlis (April 1, 1922-February 7, 1990)

Inspirational on many-a-level.

On Intelligence: This is an AI book that I heard about through a blog. Sounds really interesting, and is applicable to my Events website. I am trying to do some neat stuff with tagging/hierarchical structure of data, so understanding the best ways to store data (intelligence) on a computer would be good.

Hackers & Painters: This is a book by Paul Graham that I have read most of the essays from. But it looks amazing and I want to read it all in printed form. It talks about how Programmers are really artists, which is a theory I subscribe to, and hopefully that book will give me the vocabulary and authority to have that conversation with people and not have them look at me funny :)

Lucky for me the awesome UMW library has all three books. Yey!

Hey there! I'm Eric and I work on communities in the world of software documentation. Feel free to email me if you have comments on this post!