Sometimes, it's nice to "get away" without going away, and one long-standing way to do this is by reading a book. We all have our favorite genres; mine is the history of science and engineering, or broad scientific-exploration books.
Of course, being somewhat on the trailing edge of technology, I prefer old-fashioned paper (aka "dead tree") version, but the format isn't as important as the content. The books I have read recently, or are on my short "next" list, include:
Roving Mars: spirit, opportunity, and the exploration of the red planet, by Steven W. Squyres, the principal investigator on the Mars missions that landed the rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2004; great insight into the technical challenges and constraints, and how they were overcome.
Voyager: seeking newer worlds in the third great age of discovery, by Stephen J. Pyne, a lengthy but fascinating look at the 30+ year dual missions (launched in 1977, just concluded) to the edge of our solar system, and beyond
Makers of the Microchip: A Documentary History of Fairchild Semiconductor, Christophe Lecuyer and David C Brook; this book was a real treat and window into one of the companies and its brilliant, hard-working people that made our semiconductors real and manufacturable in volume; brief review here.
The 4% Universe, by Richard Panek, dark energy and dark matter explored and explained; I am reading it now; read a review here.
The Information, by James Gleick, explores at Shannon's information theory both technically and how it shades our perspectives; on my "to get to" list; a review is here.
The Tizard Mission, byStephen Phelps, (just published) about how the magnetron—the heart of radar system—"saved the day" for Britain in WWII, and how it went from a scientific device to a engineering project, and then on to a mass-manufactured component; it's next on my list; see a long, well-written review here.
Are there any nonfiction books—whether old classic or just published—that you are reading, or have on your "hope to get to" short list? ♦
I am curious about the new NookColour reader from Barnes and Noble.
Bill Schweber, what can you say about this ?
Does look good to me !
Will still retain my large book library, but is this a contender ??
I'm adding one more excellent book which I should have included in the original list above: "From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time" by Sean Carroll; a fascinating look at the meaning of time, why it only goes forward (we think), and what does that even mean. Really makes you think.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.