Book Review

November 19, 2007

Another time spent reading during the weekend with its gray-cast sky and perpetual rain were the order of the day. Though I wasn’t able to finish reading them, it turned out they were pretty much a damn good reading material.

The first book is Marketing Metrics, basically a book about units and quantities expressed in math notations. The authors assume the readers are from the typical big business, having access to an information system from which they pull all data to serve as input to a vast array of formulas serving as metrics.

A quantitive approach to measuring could be the right word in describing the book. Though I would not put myself as one of the target reader since I do not have the IT structure needed to play around. What is real value in this book as a reader and student is simply the methodology presented, the techniques for arriving at a number needed to make a solid decision, based on some quantifiable fact.

I paid for this book, quite expensive to be exact since these types of books don’t come natural to community libraries, they must be paid to be owned. (Shutup cheapskate and quit complaining.)

Browsing the pages, I was blown away by the sheer number of complexity. Chapter one alone started off with a bang, Marching Cubes? Voxels? What are you talking about! You better start talking layman’s or else.

Anyway, I still have up to the end of December to buddy-up with the book, since I’ll be attending an informal class about 3D Graphics.

Programming

Been warming-up to the Flex community recently, engaging them in chats and forums. I asked some of them to create a demo of something cool that Flex can do. I already have one demo on the works now and I showed it to some who were online.

Proving Money Grows On Trees

I had a good time with my old man about brute-forcing a reasoning in order to convince a third party (jury or judge). We had a good laugh, though frivolous in a way to spend the time trying to arrange a set of statements leading to the conclusion that indeed, Money Grows On Trees.

Advertisements

e-loyalty book

November 17, 2007

The book e-loyalty was about (1) setting up a website designed around the Most Valuable Customer, (2) that having a rewards system has a positive impact on revenue, (3) defining a category for relationships bring order by segmenting communication into categories.

The insight was of course nothing too profound. What iI found interesting was managing MVCs was not a function of internal business processes, but a response to an ever-changing behavior. 


Strapped

November 15, 2007

In the book Strapped, the author showed a landscape where going to college has become the norm. It’s the new High School, you can’t get ahead and live a life the way your ancestors lived, and high school doesn’t cut it anymore. There is no guarantee high school will get you that edge when you get out there and apply for a decent paying job. In this new world, it’s not about simply going to any college, it has to be the one accepted and respected by the industry. This pressure to undertake a financial responsibility at a very young age eventually lead to several outcomes, with only one of them considered to be the desired outcome–graduation. 

The result of this new mentality is the stratification of society by educational class.  

Though it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’ve chatted with my friend about this asked him why he took the loan to get in the Computer Science program. The answer I got agree to the statement made by the author, that is a diploma is a credential for better employment with the accompanying higher income, though saddled with a loan incurred during the four-year CS program. 

Another observation I made was the reality that college life may be suitable to only those who see value getting higher education, that high school does not really extend to college in a straight easy way. And you can’t traipse your way to graduation either.

I really do understand the predicament of professors in this kind of liberal education environment. I   mentioned this sentiment to my dad that this new environment I am in now is liberal, and the professor can’t do a thing to make it worse or improve the situation. 

Whether you will graduate from college or simply drop-out with a loan on your back rests entirely on your decision. And making that decision should be taken seriously.


Books

November 14, 2007

Books borrowed from the library:

  1. Seduced By Success, Robert Herbold – “…gets to the heart of why successfull organizations and individuals often go into a tailspin, and how this can be avoided. His thorough reviews of specific companies we all know make this a very useful book…–Indra K Nooyi, CEO Pepsico.”
  2. Common Sense Direct & Digital Marketing, Drayton Bird – A book about the internet, direct individual targetting, testing, keeping customers, etc.
  3. Affluent Consumer, Michman and Mazze – It’s about the emerging affluent consumers.
  4. Marketing Metrics: 50+ Metrics Every Executive Should Master,  Farris Bendel Pfeifer Reibstein – It’s where marketing meets formulas and charts, with a hefty doze of Accounting.
  5. Game Production Handbook, Heather Chandler – A detailed exposition of the major components and its processes. Procedures are discussed in detail along with best practices.
  6. Secrets of The Game Business, Laramie – “Find out how the game business realy works. Explore all areas and find tips for starting your own. Covers middleware, licensing, designs, consumer profiling.”
  7. Ultimate Game Design, Tom Meigs – Old book, published in ’03.
  8. Game Design: The Art & Business of Creating Games, laMothe – Another old book published in ’01.
  9. e-loyalty, Ellen Smith.
  10. The New Direct Marketing, David Shepard Associates.
  11. Relationship Marketing, Roger Parker.

Books Bought:

  1. Divine Proportion
  2. Beginning Math And Physics
  3. Fast Forward MBA In Business Math

Stumbled Into:

  1. CLE
  2. Rajiv’s

Student Life:

  1. The last test did not go well. My worksheet’s Income Statement and Balance Sheet control total for Net/Loss Income did not match. It turned out an unknown account showed-up, incorrectly classified under revenue, which should have been under liabilities. Oh well.
  2. The acctg prof pointed one student in my direction, thinking I could help catch-up with prev lessons.
  3. Java, java, java. Wrote some Java code in Eclipse recently. Java is now the first choice language of the college where a friend of mine goes to.

Optimization:

  1. By carefully matching table indices to a specific code in a stored procedure, you can achieve fast scans and walks using cursors. Simply look into the where clause and figure out the columns, then index those columns. Though this technique does not apply across the board. You still have to profile each stored procedure you write against a gigabyte logfile to be sure. In my case, the size of the test logfile is now at 30 gig. Awesome!

Flex:

  1. Been rifling-through the targets, trying to get as many as possible. The last code I wrote was about item renderers, repeaters and components. I still have a lot of stuff to cover, though.

Books

May 31, 2007

Two books read during the weekend turned-out to be pretty good.

The Great Depression

I’ve always wondered about this period of American history when markets collapsed and a period of economic hardships set-in. This book laid out the story how it happened, who were involved and what actions they took to turn the economy around.

the Social Security Act seemed like the poorman’s solution for the poor, to the exclusion of the employers (rich) who were holding much of the economy. A grim reminder that markets left unchecked will lead to this situation. It’s like a universal behavior common to every man, “let’s kick the man while he’s down.”

More proof that markets do not and cannot deal with pessimism, and is not resilient to attacks from speculators or manipulators who wish to gain by any means. Moreover, markets do not have the ability to self-correct using crude tools like supply-and-demand.

The US may have tipped to becoming Red were it not for the methods employed by Roosevelt. The reforms instituted during his first 100 days were socialist in idealogy, except that it had to be re-branded to fit the American mind.

A Global History of Architecture

I’ve never thought human history can be told through the eyes of architecture.

I’m simply led to conclude that man’s belief translate very well to man-made structures, resonating to every piece that is made. The architecture of a civilization clearly show patterns upon which beliefs resonated so well. I found the early history to be entirely dominated by the female goddess, with the exception of Egypt who went with their own brand of theology.