Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Wow, what can I say about this book? I’ve heard from so many people that it is a laugh out loud book, written very well and all about a guy bouncing round the universe. I was sold from that moment but what I didn’t expect was how good it was to read as an adult.

The book is one of the first books that I’ve absolutely enjoyed start to finish and struggled to put down in a long time. Douglas Adams writes random very well, which I can imagine is no easy task. The idea of improbability drive is absolutely marvellous! It brings such funny circumstances throughout the book and I absolutely loved it.

I remember after getting about a third of the way through the book, I thought, if there’s a movie adaptation of this, Martin Freeman has to play Arthur Dent. To my surprise, after checking the movie online he is in fact the man who plays Arthur Dent. Maybe it was just knocking about in my subconscious but maybe me and the casting manager just have great minds!

I’d never want to spoil this book for anyone, I’ll certainly continue to read books by Douglas Adams as well. I was recommended this by so many people and it didn’t disappoint. The humour is absolutely incredible. One of my favourite lines in the whole book is when Marvin the Paranoid Android says to a human “It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level”. Incredible!

Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Khaneman

This book, was the book that marked the end of my commitment to non-fiction books. I decided a while ago that if I was going to read, I wanted to learn from it but this book, whilst interesting throughout, was excruciatingly boring in some parts. Particularly the middle.

I won’t argue against the fact the book does exactly what it intends in teaching you about the irrationality of the human mind. I found it particularly interesting at the point where Khaneman describes that a film is ruined by a bad ending isn’t particularly true because the chances are you thoroughly enjoyed yourself throughout the majority of it. Most interesting.

The reason I’m no longer committed to this method of only reading through fiction is that it’s taxing on the mind and not a way to wind down. I think this book is probably fantastic for people in the workplace, I was recommended it by lawyers and company directors. I just don’t think it’s a leisurely read. In the words of the author, your system 2 will be fully engaged throughout the book.

I studied Psychology at AS Level and whilst I found it a fascinating subject, I never was passionate about it. The brief time I did spend studying it though, changed the way I thought about things for ever. It put me in a much more scientific mind frame and I enjoyed reading about research that has occurred in the field.

I found the economic theory application of the book the most enjoyable. Some of the stuff about the stock market was eye opening and I’d like to read a book entirely on the psychology of traders because I find the field all in all very interesting.

I gave this book 4*s on Amazon because the content of the book is great. It’s just it may take you a while to get through, the reason it didn’t make 5 is because as I’ve said some parts are just boring. It’s not a page turner, maybe something you should read a chapter a day of over a few weeks and if you find a particular part that interesting you should read another. Not the most interesting non-fiction I’ve read of late but worth a read if it’s your scene.

Microsoft’s Next CEO Won’t Kill Xbox.

I can’t believe how much traction this article has actually gained. Elop, the ex-Nokia CEO who has in some ways successfully made the rather grim prospect of a late entry operating system into the mobile market successful in the form of Windows Phone would kill off an already profitable aspect of Microsoft is ludicrous.

Microsoft began it’s transition to a device and services business under Ballmer and it will continue to head in that direction under any CEO. A CEO has influence, but so do board members and they are not going to go back on years of work in developing a decent and solid hardware manufacturing department which can now take on both Xbox and Surface.

Microsoft also know the importance of a living room when it comes to services. My PS3 became less of a gaming device and more of a home media device. Something that made me hold back on buying a Home Theatre PC. It’s iPlayer, 4OD and Netflix kept my mother happy in a simple device and ensured we maintained a subscription.If Microsoft is going to hold on to it’s services business they know for a fact that the living room is key to gain subscriptions.

We also know that Microsoft Office prints money. It’s industry leader, and having it on iOS and Android does in fact make sense although that said, whilst I enjoy having functioning excel spreadsheets on my Windows Phone, screen size makes it’s almost entirely useless for someone wanting to use excel for anything more than a simple calculator. That modelling report you made for work? Yeah, you won’t be modifying that spreadsheet on your 4 inch touch screen. That’s where surface makes sense, iPad makes sense and Android tablets. I’d be interested to see iPhone versions beforehand. That said, OneNote is fantastic on all iOS devices.

With Bing, I’m not sure. I’ve been waiting for some big announcements with Bing since the day it launched and they never came. It works on my Windows Phone but it’s still not Google. Whilst people argue that Bing has superior intelligence algorithms for data, I only ever use it as second choice because the way I search and the way most people search is tailored to Google. We type our searches in a way we expect Google to produce the results we want. Depending on the actual funding going into Bing, I wouldn’t be surprised if a radical overhaul was carried out by the new CEO.

I honestly think that the Bloomberg article that mentions the selling off of Xbox is just a load of hot air. Something that will get people talking about Microsoft for a while. It seems highly unlikely as Microsoft can afford to focus on both Xbox, Windows, Office and Windows Phone without making any significant cuts.