Book Review: Roo’d

Given the title, how could I not read this book?

I came across this book while browsing feedbooks using Stanza.  For the past couple of months I’ve been reading (free) eBooks almost exclusively.  At first I was using my NDS, and now my iPod Touch.  Primarily I’ve been reading material from the Baen Free Library, but lately I’ve moved over to feedbooks as they have a nice recommendation system which is how I found Roo’d.

I was hooked within the first few pages.  It was a fun and easy read, with plenty of actual technical jargon thrown in and for the most part the jargon was used in a way that made technical sense.  You do need to suspend disbelief a little with this story, and there are clearly areas where concepts from the Matrix and other popular sci-fi has been re-used and adapted.  It has a very similar feel to Little Brother, which is another eBook I’d highly recommend.

You can also purchase a hard copy of this book (paperback) from  I’m a little surprised by the somewhat hefty price tag on this, considering it is downloadable for free.  Still, it is nice to know you can get a ‘real book’ version of this – while I’ve been reading lots of eBooks, I still like real books.

For more information, check out the author’s website.

Roo Demesne


One of my coworkers sent me the picture above.  It was taken on their vacation in Ireland.  I particularly like the cows in the background.

According to wikipedia the word Demesne describes all the land that was retained by a lord for his own use.  Apparently “Roo” is an anglicization of some unspellable/unpronouncable Irish name.  I was told the photo was taken while driving around Co. Clare, Ireland.

Ireland is somewhere I’d like to visit one day, seems like a place that a Roo would fit in.

iPod Touch 3.0 Upgrade

IMG_1909Apple provides the 3.0 upgrade “free” for iPhone owners, but those folk have either paid a premium for their devices or are locked into multi-year service agreements.  If you have an iTouch, the upgrade is basically $10.  While I would prefer that it was a free upgrade, I feel  obligated as a software professional to pay for the software I use (I like it when people who use my software pay for it).

The 3.0 upgrade adds a bunch of features.  In the brief time I’ve had the update, I haven’t used many of the new features but cut & paste is a welcome addition.  Push notifications look like they will possibly fix the ‘no background apps’ issue, I’m looking forward to trying out some apps that make use of the feature.  I didn’t notice that the web browser was slow, but I’m all about faster browsing.

I wish they had gone further with the bluetooth enhancement – ideally if they had managed to allow me to use my existing bluetooth enabled phone via an iTouch based interface I would have had a budget iPhone.  Imagine being able to dial your current non-Apple phone via the touch and then have it route the headset audio through the touch.  I suspect you’d soon get sick of carrying two devices and would drop the money on a real iPhone.  Oh well, today all that is offered is stereo headset support.

Read on for details on my upgrade difficulties, and how I resolved them.

Continue reading “iPod Touch 3.0 Upgrade”