I think we are done with our various Christmas celebrations and my friends and family over-did for me this year (as usual):
- Lego Imperial Star Destroyer – Star Wars Set 6211. My awesome wife got this for me. Many of the folks I work with at BlueTie have proudly decorated their cubicles with Legos and I am clearly behind in the Legos arms race. It is time to play catch up. I plan to post a build log on my photo blog site.
- Herbie the Mousebot Kit from the Make Magazine store, Maker SHED. It is a light seeking robot kit with just a PC board and some parts (soldering iron not included). The interesting thing about this kit is that it uses a simple LM386 audio amplifier IC as the “logic controller” instead of a PLC or micro-controller.
- Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent by Joel Spolsky. I previously have read Joel on Software (the book with the really long title/not the blog) and was interested in Joel’s take on hiring developers. Both books are mostly a rehash of content Joel has posted on his blog but in a convenient book format that can easily be read at my in-laws house over the holidays. It is a quick read and I finished it last weekend. I will post a review in a bit.
- Linux Application Development (paperback) (2nd Edition). Although I don’t have any allegiances to a particular platform, most of my recent development at work has been on Linux so I want to become more familiar with Linux system development.
- Java Phrasebook (Developer’s Library). I already have PHP Phrasebook (Developer’s Library) and found it pretty handy and now I have the Java version. Just a heads up though… it doesn’t have much Selvlet, JSP, or EJB stuff. All the examples can be done using J2SE.
- The Elements of Photography: Understanding and Creating Sophisticated Images. I have a photo blog in addition to this one and I am always looking for ways to improve my photography process beyond simple simple snap shots.
I also received some gift cards:
I bought a little something for myself. My soldering irons are getting a bit old and I wanted a nice solder station to build my Mousebot with: