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03 Nov 2002: Doing Kyoto



Five days in Kyoto was enough time to fill 136MB of compact flash memory. Perhaps I went a bit over the top as my previous visit was disappointing, an overnight stay in the spring of 2000 and not enough time to see anything.  This time I was determined to have a comprehensive Kyoto experience. I was a bit early for the beautiful Autumn rust that descends on Kyoto (kouyou) but there was still plenty to see: below, you'll find a small, representative selection of photos from the trip. It was nice to relax, get away from the job hunt and the Japanese study (actually that's a lie, I did a lot of Japanese practice on the trip).

Book corner! I have been busy, and then some. Completely finished Designing Web Usability, which proved to be hard work. Although I am a avid follower of usability techniques, the book covers everything - and I mean, everything - in web page design. I also finished off Peter Straub's collection of stories Magic Terror which has been on pause for over a year; although I didn't find myself wholly engaged by the stories, there are some excellent pieces in there, ending with the enjoyable and disturbing black comedy Mr.Clubb and Mr.Cuff.

I recently read Iain M. Banks' Feersum Endjinn, one of his science fiction set, although no Culture in this one. I had found Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games and Use of Weapons utterly absorbing but the others I'd read just didn't reach the same kind of epic heights. Feersum Endjinn, although unable to pack the same kind of punch as the first three, certainly kept me reading, laced with typical Iain Banks' black comedy and bizarre invention.

Douglas Copeland's Microserfs. Although the book synopsis merely talks about a group of Microsoft employees striking out with their own business, its more of an analysis of Nineties culture. It's witty, sharp and interesting. I felt at home with this book; the lives of these developers and what they get up to feels very real.

Right now, I'm looking at clearing the "backlog" of books I've acquired in the last couple of years, but currently I'm working my way through the intriguing A Random Walk Down Wall Street (Burton G. Malkiel). More on that when I get it finished.

Current Job Status! No job!