Sunday, 22 June 2008

2 x Book Reviews

I’ve been reading books at a rate of knots recently and the two most recent are:

High Stakes No Prisoners - A Winners Tale of the Internet Wars


Showstopper! - The Race to Create NT

Showstopper is a book about how Bill Gates recruited Dave Cutler from Digital and asked him to head development of the next Windows Operating System, Windows NT. This book is very well written, exciting and moves at a good pace. Although the subject matter (NT) is old, the lessons learned are still applicable today. Dave Cutler was an old school coder, a macho tough guy who made things happen and pushed NT through to release over 5 years and $150 million dollars. Deadlines, politics, bugs and in-fighting - it’s all here. This is for anybody interested in Microsoft, Software or just likes to read about a huge struggle and a triumphant ending. Recommended.

High Stakes No Prisoners is a different kind of book. It chronicles the story of Vermeer, the company that created Frontage and went on to sell to Microsoft within two years for $140 Million dollars. Written by Charles Ferguson (founder of Vermeer), he pulls no punches in his descriptions of the people and the events that surrounded his successful startup. Sometimes it seems to me that Mr Ferguson and his ego got in the way of a good story a bit, but overall it’s reasonably well written and entertaining enough to be read over a weekend. Interesting and detailed but maybe not that relevant anymore.

"If you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit; give it nothing which may tend to its increase." - Epictetus

No comments: