From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love Book Cover
First Edition cover

As part of my one-person celebration of all things Bond, in honour of the 50th anniversary of Bond films and leading up to the (scandalously delayed) Australian release of Skyfall, I’ve not only been rewatching all the films on Bluray, but I’ve finally started reading the novels.

The books are quite good and seem to get better written with each one.  One surprise from the books is that Bond is far less cynical about bedding women than in the films – he actually falls in love more than once, even if he seems to think that relationships are doomed to eventual failure.

I’m up to From Russia with Love, and it’s definitely the most assured so far. It has an interesting structure too – I was over a third into the book before Bond appeared. Hard to imagine a film doing that, though the Connery film did delay Bond’s appearance a bit compared to the other films.

Most reviewers claim FRWL is the best Bond novel, and so after this one I guess it’s all downhill, but so far so good.

Hard Drive Relationships


While working on my godson’s laptop, backing up his data (just in time, his hard drive clicked loudly a few times then died) I noticed that the cradles on my external hard drive dock are labeled “mother disc” and “son disc”.
Why not match the genders and label them “father disc” and “son disc” or “mother disc” and “daughter disc”? Or just “parent disc” and “child disc”?
Still, I guess it’s more PC than the hard drive terms I grew up with – “master” and “slave”.

Ouya – Programming Begins at Home


I’m cautiously optimistic about the proposed new gaming console, the Ouya. I like big budget AAA games, but I also like smaller indie games, and the current consoles don’t really seem to support indie developers very well.

The Ouya, built on Android and with decent specs, is promising a more open and accessible approach to developers.

Well after backing the Ouya’s kickstarter campaign early on, I got to watch it shoot past its goal in it’s first day, so either it’s a brilliant scam or the console is on its way.

The makers of the Ouya foolishly asked for advice and suggestions from backers. Most advice seems to be hardware related (more RAM! More ports! More/better controllers! etc) or game related (ship with this game!). Here’s what I sent them, based on what made me fall in love with computing so many years ago:


Congratulations on your kickstarter success!

I realise you’re probably inundated with ideas for your console, but since you asked, and as one of the first 1000 kickstarter backers, here’s mine! 😛

I’d like to see it ship with a really simple development environment built in, sort of an updated version of the BASIC that shipped with the Commodore64 (showing my age now). Perhaps you could use a customized version of this successful (and open source I think) android version of BASIC:

The idea of being able to create and distribute apps on the device itself (after plugging in a keyboard and mouse) just appeals to me somehow.

It might lead to younger kids getting into programming, or at least allow them to appreciate it more.

Plus there’s just something magical about plugging a device into your TV and making software with it (wipes nostalgic tear from eye).

That’s all for now!

Skevos Mavros


One of my favorite short short stories. Meat. If you search youtube, you’ll find at least two film adaptations too, though they all seem to make the same mistake of using human “meat” actors for the aliens. I would like to see what an animator could do with the story.