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Profil für Travis Cottreau > Rezensionen

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Beiträge von Travis Cottreau
Top-Rezensenten Rang: 5.595.234
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Rezensionen verfasst von
Travis Cottreau (Wellington, New Zealand)

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Code Complete: Practical Handbook of Software Construction (Microsoft Programming)
Code Complete: Practical Handbook of Software Construction (Microsoft Programming)
von Steve McConnell

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A gift to the software community, 4. Juli 2000
Every software developer should read this book. It is concise, well written, and useful at every stage of software construction.
There are at least 3 copies floating around the office. As developers browse through other people's copies, they realize that it's a great book to have.
The only drawback, and this is just a sign of the book's age, is that it works primarily for procedural driven languages. This is almost assumed from the beginning, since Object oriented languages were much less developed then. An updated version for OO is necessary and would definitely be welcome.
The book describes practices how an individual programmer can make themself better at building software. By necessity, this overlaps other facets of software development, including managing projects, but the bulk is for the individual programmer.
I can't tell you how much this has effected my personal practices. It makes a world of difference, especially to the middle of the road programmers, which is the biggest group in the software community.
As Mr. McConnell says, the best programmers take a lot of this material for granted, and the worst think that they don't need it or that it doesn't exist. As a result, a lot of the practices go undocumented and are lost to those who could benefit from them. They are in this book and clearly spelled out and well organized.
If you are programming for a living, and want to get better at it, this is the book for you.

The Kanji Dictionary Kanji Dictionary
The Kanji Dictionary Kanji Dictionary
von Wolfgang Hadamitzky
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 65,55

3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen top knotch, even for a beginner, 27. Juni 2000
I'd used a Kanji dictionary twice in my life before buying this, but I had to do a few translations and after playing with this book, there was no looking back.
To be fair, I don't read Japanese fluently, nor do I speak Japanese fluently, far from it. However, when you need to translate a Japanese name or two, kanji will always come up. From me personally, it's for karate history.
I find this book excellent, especially when compared to the others of its type, especially when it comes to numbering the kanji. The indices into the kanji characters are intelligent, that is, they contain information about the kanji itself. As an example, character SHIN, meaning "mind", "soul" has the index 4e5.1: 4 strokes for the radical (radical 4e), 5 strokes for the rest of the character. The Nelson just numbers sequentially and for the same character, you have #3245. This isn't to say that the Nelson is bad, but I feel that this dictionary is better thought out and more useful.

Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
von Herman Melville

1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Many too many words, but boil it down and..., 27. Juni 2000
I read this book a few years ago when I was really into whales and whale watching and wanted a little historical perspective. I did get that and more, and less, depending on how you look at it.
The book is long and difficult to get through. There are many chapters and parts of chapters that don't have to be included. As an example, there is a chapter on the identification of various species of whale, what they look like and where they range etc... From my previous whale knowledge, I knew that in several descriptions, multiple species were crammed into one and sometimes one whale was split into more than once species. Interesting, but hardly important to the story.
If I were going to edit the book, and keep only the pieces that are of masterpiece quality, I'd have somewhere around 50 pages (the book is about 500 pages). At its best, the book is lyrical, suspenceful, the characters are deeply developed and their actions are believable. The story is exciting, crazy, tragic and frustrating all at the same time.
At its worst, the book is pedantic, wordy, much too complex and down right boring. Truly, this book is combination of the best and the worst, sometimes right beside each other.
In the end though, I have to agree with the critics over time, and that the classic pieces are what I took with me in the end. The plight of Ahab, the fanaticism, the tragedy and idea of an unobtainable goal all stay with me.
The material that remains part of popular culture is there for a reason. The whole idea of a "white whale" as the unobtained goal. "Thar she blows!", Captain Ahab himself, "Call me Ishmael" and many more make the book worth everyone's effort to read at least once.

Zen Speaks: Shouts of Nothingness
Zen Speaks: Shouts of Nothingness
von Tsai Chih Chung

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A joy of a book, 14. Juni 2000
Truthfully, I don't know how well this book introduces Zen, but I do know that I really enjoyed it. All the Zen stories that I've heard over the years plus tons more are all presented here in cartoon form with short explanations by someone (a cartoon zen master I presume) who is explaining the story to a westerner.
One point that I have to make is how much more of an impact this book had on me after I watched Joseph Campbell's video series "The Power of Myth" . I read this book both before and after I watched the videos and realized how much more they meant to me afterwards and how great this book really is.
If you want to get even more out of this book, check out the Campbell videos, you won't be sorry that you did.

Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts Volume 1
Ancient Okinawan Martial Arts Volume 1
von Patrick McCarthy
Preis: EUR 14,51

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen A Mixed bag of good and bad, 12. Juni 2000
I'm not sure what to think of this one, it's a bit confusing for me considering who wrote it and his track record in the past.
There is useful information included in the book, a lot of biographical information about Shinken Taira that I honestly didn't know previously and quite a few kobujutsu kata described in it. There is also some information about old kobujutsu masters like Aragaki, Matsumura, Sakugawa and others.
Unfortunately, except for the cover, there isn't one old photograph of Shinken Taira himself. Why not? What possible reason could there be to not have ONE?
The writing is a little stiff, almost like a transliteration rather than a translation and much of the information included is just lists of members of Taira's organizations at various points and their teaching ranks.
The old history of past masters is limited, un-verified anecdotes mostly, and all very cursory information, not much useful detail with any sort of verification of where the information may have come from. The translator certainly didn't add any of this to the mix, which would have been nice.
Overall, the more I think about it, even as I write this review, I realize that there's more bad than good, which is why I give it a 2 star rating rather than a 3.
I would only buy this book if you are a big kobudo practitioner or you are a die hard karate and kobudo history nut. It came as a surprise to me that this book was so unsatisfying, especially after reading "Bubishi" which is an excellent book well worth your time.

Classical Kata of Okinawan Karate (Japanese Arts)
Classical Kata of Okinawan Karate (Japanese Arts)
von Mike Lee

7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen You should probably look elsewhere, 24. Mai 2000
At the time it was published, there were very few good references on karate and karate history. Since then however, there have been many excellent texts and articles, including some from the same author.
While the kara descriptions are excellent, with good photography showing the movements and how they should be done, the kata themselves are not classical versions. They are rather versions taught by Richard Kim, which don't always agree with the originals taught in Okinawa.
Also, there are a fair number of incorrect historical references and incorrect translations of kata names (and the kanji is not included either), making most other current history books much more desireable.
This would only be a "must have" book is you are in the lineage of Richard Kim and want a kata reference, for which it would serve nicely.

Bible of Karate: The Bubishi (Tuttle Martial Arts)
Bible of Karate: The Bubishi (Tuttle Martial Arts)
von P Mccarthy

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4.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent, high quality book, 24. Mai 2000
I bought this book mainly for the first 40 pages or so. It is basically a history of the bubishi itself, but also gives an excellent overview of karate history in general, even though it is mostly previously known information.
It goes further than most karate history texts, including a good set of references about where the author found some of his information.
This, along with "Unante" by John Sells is the most read karate book in my library.
As for the actual Bubishi translation, I have it on good authority that it is an excellent translation from people who can read the original Japanese translation from which this is taken.
I personally didn't find the Bubishi sections on fighting and grappling particularly useful, but they do serve for good historical perspective.
Some very useful sections from the book include a glossary of terms with their kanji equivalents, something that I've found very useful for translating lists of people's names, names of kata etc...
The quality of the books is excellent, with very crisp, sharp photos liberally distributed through the text and an excellent index.
I do feel that this should probably rank high on most people's list of books to buy, especially if you are starting out and are interested in karate history.

Karate-Do Nyumon: The Master Introductory Text
Karate-Do Nyumon: The Master Introductory Text
von Gichin Funakoshi

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3.0 von 5 Sternen A fun overview but nothing deep, 23. Mai 2000
All of us who study karate are lucky that Funakoshi wrote all he did. Except for a very few others, Funakoshi is the only early written information about karate and the earliest material that was translated into English.
Unfortunately for myself and many others who study karate history, Funakoshi never goes into much detail about much of anything. He almost never gives a date and he rarely, if ever says where he learned any of his kata or other practices.
The material on his teachers (Itosu and Azato primarily) is in summary form, never mentioning more than anecdotes. There are no dates, mentions of other students they had, what they taught etc...
Over all, this kind of book is about real karate, certainly enough to get a young mind going in the right direction about karate. It is well written, we can probably thank the translator for that. It contains some interesting material that is fun to read. Beyond that, it lacks detail to keep you interested for long.
Most of Funakoshi's books are like this for history. For the real meat of Funakoshi's karate (rather than this introduction), take a look at "Karate-do Kyohan", which contains much more technical information.

Essential System Requirements: A Practical Guide to Event-driven Methods (Addison-Wesley Information Technology Series)
Essential System Requirements: A Practical Guide to Event-driven Methods (Addison-Wesley Information Technology Series)
von Bill Wiley

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Some excellent content, but bad style, 19. Mai 2000
This is a good book. It has all the information in it to facilitate gathering software requirements for pretty much any IT project.
My problem with the book is the author's style, he just isn't very readable. There is a lot of passive voice and not very many examples of the ideas he presents. If there are examples, they tend to be collected at the back in an appendix where they are much less useful than they would be directly with the idea that needs an example.
I feel that the author settled for a less than his best in this book, and frequently stops partway along a direction that would have been much better if it were carried through more fully.
There is a little bit of covereage of Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD), but he gives only a handful of examples and then immediately give a diagram in a section with symbols that aren't covered in any of the previous examples.
I was really looking forward to the function point covereage, but function points are covered only marginally well in the book, something that the author pretty much says himself in the first few paragraphs of the chapter on function points.
The real strength of the book is in the ideas, which I found very useful. The business event approach is quite powerful and allows the breakdown of projects into independant pieces. Also, the author gives "tips" on project management on how to apply his methods. There are a number of tables and diagrams for representing requirements that were also helpful.
A good effort, but I feel that it could have been much better. All the ideas where there, the author mentions them regularly, but just doesn't go all the way.

Great Love Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)
Great Love Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)
von Shane Weller

4.0 von 5 Sternen As good as a collection of Love Poems gets, 19. Mai 2000
I got this as a stocking stuffer for my girlfriend a few years ago. There are some excellent poems, especially Browning and Shakespeare.
I did find out by reading this poetry collection that I'm just not a big fan of love poetry. All the best is here, but except for four or five poems, it just doesn't move me.
If you are a lover of romantic poetry however, you can scarcely go wrong with this collection. It contains all the classics and many more. The price is just right too, obviously not published by someone out to make money, but by someone who wanted to share the poetry.

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