May 10th, 2004

lego me

BSOD at Cambridge Station, Picture

Last week I mentioned that I'd seen a BSOD at Cambridge Station. Having gone back to work now, where my card reader is I can now show you the photographic evidence. Unfortunately it's not clear enough to read the mystic BSOD runes...

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Also, I'm left wondering how a train Arrives from Stansted Airport via Peterborough.... (At Cambridge, which is between the two locations).
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    working catching up on work email
lego me

Books! (I)

Since I've been finding at least some of the posts by people about books they've been reading interesting, and it would be nice to know how many books I read in a year I've decided to start tracking myself, starting at 1/5/4. So, without further ado...

3) Jo Returns to the Chalet School -- Elinor M Brent-Dyer
4) The New Chalet School -- Elinor M Brent-Dyer
5) A United Chalet School -- Elinor M Brent-Dyer
6) The Chalet School in Exile -- Elinor M Brent-Dyer
7) The Chalet School at War -- Elinor M Brent-Dyer
8) The Highland Twins at the Chalet School -- Elinor M Brent-Dyer
9) Lavender Leigh at the Chalet School -- Elinor M Brent-Dyer
10) Gay Lambert at the Chalet School -- Elinor M Brent-Dyer

These eight books track the progress of the Chalet School from their founding girl (Josephine Bettany, the Jo of the title of the first of these) departing the school as a pupil (but returning at times to teach), through a fraught escape before the Nazis and the Anschluss to Guernsey, then a further flight as the war approaches, ending up in Wales.

By this point, the plots are getting a bit repetitive, but I was still finding them fun to read.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm

Books! (II)

0) Brightness Reef -- David Brin (completed before 1/5)
1) Infinity's Shore -- David Brin
11) Heaven's Reach -- David Brin

Rather inaccurately called the Second Uplift Trilogy, a name which I'd dispute on the basis that the so called First Uplift Trilogy isn't really a trilogy (just three very vaguely linked books).

Anyway, this set is a trilogy, and quite a good one. The trilogy starts off almost in what you might call Fantasy, on Jijo, a planet in which 6 once-galactic species live together. As the trilogy continues it sifts further and further into the slightly skewed hard SF that catagorised Sundiver and Startide Rising, a variety of hard SF which isn't afraid to laugh at itself, which is refreshing.

Brin does a very good job of portraying his aliens, and his plot has a twist around every corner. The fan of extreme hard-SF will find him insufficiently serious, and the fantasists might be complaining about there being too many phallic symbols spaceships, but most people between should enjoy them. Startide Rising is required prerequisite reading for them, but the other two Uplift books (Sundancer and The Uplift War aren't as essential).
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    Simon and Garfunkel -- Fakin' It