jPod by Douglas Coupland

Posted 2007-08-22 by Paul Balogh.

I enjoyed reading my last book so much, that I went and bought another!

This time, I opted for a fictional depiction of a group of software developers working for a video game design company in Vancouver. The book is actually pretty damn funny! I literally found myself LOL'ing and getting strange looks from my wife as I tried to explain the joke behind the text. I mean really, who wastes 15 pages of print to list 8,363 prime numbers between 10,000 and 100,000 anyway?!

Geek humor is throughout this book...contests to see who can woo Ronald McDonald from his sad, lonely, a-sexual existence; characters writing their bios as if they were items in an eBay auction; finding the one incorrect digit in pi taken to the first 100,000 places! Especially funny are the ridiculous demands of marketing...I know some marketing people (I should probably be one), several of whom read this blog...WHACK-O! ;-)

Coupland's writing seems twisted, manic, and scattered...just the way I think! I'm planning on picking up another of his books very soon.

Once again, another good read available from Amazon. Check it out!

Also, check out the official book website...hours of entertainment!

The Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll

Posted 2007-08-02 by Paul Balogh.

I hadn't read an actual book in a while, so I picked up this offering. I recommend it as a decent read for those who are interested in the discovery and pursuit of a hacker.

The book is about an actual incident circa 1986. The author was a System Administrator with a university in Berkely, CA. While investigating an accounting issue for network usage charges, he discovered that a hacker had obtained root access to his systems using a security hole in GNU Emacs. From there, the hacker was able to use the school's network as a gateway to hack into other systems, including military networks. The book also shows how, at the time, laws and jurisdictions for cyber crimes weren't really in place.

You can find the book on