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Tech Book Face Off: The Seasoned Schemer Vs. The Reasoned Schemer

Years ago I was led to the Schemer books by some of Steve Yegge's blog posts. It's been over two years since I've read The Little Schemer, but I enjoyed it so much that I always planned to read the sequel, The Seasoned Schemer. I recently made the time to do just that, along with working through another Schemer book, The Reasoned Schemer, that's not so much a continuation of the other two Schemer books as it is a tangential book written in the same endearing style as the others. Daniel P. Friedman and Matthias Felleisen wrote The Seasoned Schemer in the style of a Socratic dialogue, but in a much more whimsical way. A host of authors, including Daniel P. Friedman again, as well as William E. Byrd, Oleg Kiselyov, and Jason Hemann put together the questions, answers, and Scheme-based reasoning language used in The Reasoned Schemer. The real question is, are these two books as good as the original?

The Seasoned Schemer front coverVS.The Reasoned Schemer front cover

Tech Book Face Off: Breaking Windows Vs. Showstopper!

For this Tech Book Face Off, I felt like expanding my horizons a bit. Instead of reading about programming languages or software development or computer science and engineering, I thought I would take a look at some computer history from the business perspective. There are plenty of reading options out there in this space, but I settled on a couple of books about Microsoft. The first, Breaking Windows: How Bill Gates Fumbled the Future of Microsoft by David Bank, is about Bill Gate's hardball business tactics that won him a monopoly in the PC desktop market, but then nearly destroyed the company in that fateful confrontation with the US Justice Department and caused him to miss the Internet and, later, the mobile revolution. The second, Showstopper! The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft by G. Pascal Zachary, has an even longer subtitle that neatly describes the book on its own. Both of these books were written quite a while ago, so let's see how their stories hold up today.

Breaking Windows front coverVS.Showstopper! front cover