Bitwise: A Life In Code

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US hardcover, first edition.

Bitwise: A Life In Code is the memoirs of software engineer David Auerbach published on 2018-08-28. It discusses his initial interest in computers, he work at Microsoft on the Messenger client, and his work at Google. He also describes how topic that have nothing to do with computers can be represented by computers.

I saw this book in the new hardcover releases in Barnes and Noble while looking for a new book to read. The title struck me, and, after seeing various computer diagrams littered throughout the book, I was pretty confident I would like it. I almost never buy books for their actual price, but, I had just finished a book and I needed a new one, and, not wanting to give Jeff Bezos more money, I bought it at full price. I finished the book on 2018-10-26. Overall, it was enjoyable, but not a good as I was hoping.

Status

I own a hardcover first edition and have read it.

Review

Good

  • Auerbach tells some interesting stories like his rivalry between AOL Instant Messenger and the Microsoft Messenger Service.
  • Several interesting areas of computer science are discussed like recursion in Logo and using Poke and Peek to do interesting stuff in BASIC languages.
  • I like how he applies the useful things he's learned from programming to other areas of his life like relationships and child-rearing.
  • I like how the hard cover is chartreuse.

Bad

  • Auerbach often goes on long tangents about things completely unrelated to computers like an entire chapter on personality tests and another on the DSM. While both are interesting topics, I'd rather read about what an expert has to say on them.
  • A lot of the book has very little to do with computers and seems more like personal opinions.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

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