Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Applications = Code + Markup

In Programming on 9 September, 2006 at 1:30 pm

Charles Petzold is at it again.  I have just finished Chapter 2 and I am hook!  After playing around with Windows Presentation Foundation for nearly a year, he still managed to give me a whole new perspective on WPF programming.  With just 2 chapters under my belt, I have already learn much more about the Window class.  LinearGradientBrush class is also now much more clearer to me.  I believe I have made a good investment on this book and it will definitely help me on my way to WPF nirvana!


The rise to Power

In Books on 9 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

As I have recently completed re-reading the book “Magician by Raymond E. Feist”, the last chapter talks about the crowning of a new King and the new King in turn confers titles to personage who had given much to the rift war.  It is always very satisfying reading about all those who deserve to be rewarded are finally rewarded.  Thus the last few chapters brought me to the wee hour of the night.

Spoilers and long winded account ahead.

As the mad King was killed by the Tsurani enemies and the next in line of ascension, the Prince of Krondor, was also killed unfortunately, it was left to the 3 sons of the late Prince of Krondor to claim the right as King.  Since the eldest will get the right prior to the younger brother and that the late Prince of Krondor had acknowledged his illegitimate son, Martin, on his death bed, Martin being the eldest was offered the crown first.  He abdicated his rights so as to avoid a possible civil war as other dukes might not agree to his claim.  Lyam, the second son (supposedly the original eldest son) lay claim to the crown and was pronounced the King.

After the coronation, Lyam summon all those who had exceptional contribution in the rift war.  As the Kingdom is vast and is further divided into the west and the east for easy governance, the King rules the east exclusively and the Prince of Krondor will help govern the west.  Lyam name Arutha, his younger brother as the Prince of Krondor, since he is well honored by all in the west.  Kasumi, the tsurani who aided in creating peace for the Kingdom and friend of the main character Pug, was name Earl of LaMut for his great service.  To his eldest brother, the King name him the Duke of Crydee, Crydee is the homeland of all the brothers who laid claim to the crown and it is a place of great importance in the west, second only to Krondor.

As for Pug, the main character of the story, the keep boy, after becoming the apprentice of the Lesser Path magician Kulgan, he has come a long way.  He wasn’t suited to be a lesser path magician as he can’t control the magic properly and because his world does not produce any magician of Greater Path, he was left perplexed.  He was later captured by the Tsurani (a world that is on another planet, connected through a magical portal) and later on recognized as a potential “Great One” -a magician of the Greater Path and a rank outside the law in Tsurani who only bow down to the Emperor of Tsurani.  Pug passed the test and became a Great One.  With study and experience he was able to realize his full potential and became a Greater Path Magician with immense power unsurpass by even those in Tsurani.  A turn of event brought him back to his own world and at the death bed of the late Prince of Krondor, he was being adopted by the late Prince, bearing the royal family name conDoin.

Lyam called Pug forward and announced to the world that he has been adopted as one of the royal family.  From now on Pug will be known as Prince of the Realm, Pug conDoin.

Of Duke, Earl and Baron

In Books on 8 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

As my favorite type of books is often of the fantasy genre, I have always wondered about the ranking order of the various nobility titles, which were used frequently in books about socerey, dragons and what not.  This is what I have gathered:

  • King (Royal family)
  • Prince (Royal family)
  • Duke
  • Marquess
  • Earl/Count
  • Viscount
  • Baron
  • Baronet

These are ranks of  the civilian:

  • Knight
  • Squire
  • Page

Harry Potter is going to die?

In Books on 27 June, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Joanne Kathleen Rowling, 40, author of the Harry Potter series of books had hinted in a recent television interview.  In the final installment (7th book) of the boy wizard series, 2 main characters will perish.

I wrote the final chapter in something like 1990, so I’ve known exactly how the series is going to end,’ she told a chat show on Monday.

The final chapter is hidden away although it’s now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve. But I have to say two die that I didn’t intend to die

However when asked whether Harry Potter would be one of them to perish, J.K. Rowling said that she had never been tempted to kill off the boy wizard before the finale.

Isn’t it interesting how writer actually can create a character, a world and some interaction.  Add a bit of magic (I think) and the story will come alive and unfold itself in the mind of the writer?  Stephen King also admitted that his characters run the story themselves once he created them.  It a wonder how a mind works.

Talking about books

In Books on 20 June, 2006 at 3:00 pm

I am recently without a decent book to read again.  However, I hope it won’t be long since I am ordering the latest Dark Disciple series from Magaret Weis.  In the mean time I have been re-reading some of the books that have been collecting dust on my book shelf.  And why not to start with my all time favourite.  The Magician by Raymond E. Feist.  This is actually 2 books in 1.  Raymond E. Feist started with The Magician: Apprentice and then followed it by The Magician: Master.  If you consider Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien to be the Fantasy novel then The Magician by Raymond E. Feist in my opinion should stood side by side.  In fact, I find The Magician more of my type rather than Lord of the Rings, I can’t finish reading Lord of the Rings, I can’t get past the middle part of the 2nd book.  Raymond E. Feist book is fascinating from start to the end.

Following the path of the kitchen boy Pug who grew to become the greatest magician of Midkemia was simply enjoyment to the extent of ecstasy (OK, I am a bit exaggerating here, but you get what I mean).  Thus reading the book again after so many years is still a sheer enjoyment.  I sure hope that one day someone like Peter Jackson will make this novel into an excellent movie.

A blunder

In Books on 16 June, 2006 at 3:00 pm

It is amazing how one’s mind remember something so vividly and forgot about other related things.  Recently I was feeling bored and decided to visit Borders to buy some books to read.  While I was there I clearly remember that I have one book that is the ending of a trilogy that I missed.  The trilogy is by Magaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and is called the Soverign Stone Trilogy and the last book name is Journey into the Void.  I have clearly remember that because the first book of the trilogy I have bought is one of a special package, thus wanting to make sure that all 3 look the same, I did not buy the last book when it came out because the type was different.  At that time when the last book was launched I wasn’t actively searching for the book with the correct type as my first book.  Then it happened, the last book went out of stock, it seems that either this trilogy is very popular or that the publisher had only printed limited copies of the book.

Thus later on I was searching frantically for the last book as I don’t want to miss the ending of such a well done trilogy by the masters (Magaret Weis and Tracy Hickman is the original author of the Dragonlance Chronicles).  I even wanted to order it on line.  Some how or rather, it wasn’t burnt into my mind that I have finally got it (it is of the same type some more).  Thus upon seeing the paperback version of the book on Border’s shelf, I bought it immediately.

When I reach home, I was eager to read it (imagine that I was still full of anticipation of the book).  After reading the first chapter, I have this feeling of De Javu.  After a few more, I have decided that I need to check my study room and see whether I have this book already or not.  It turns out that the last book of the trilogy is sitting snugly on my book shelf, looking innocently at me (for I’ve forgotten it).  However, since I have started reading the book, I can’t stop, it was calling out to me.  Thus I have read the book again even though I have read it already.  This prove how nice the story really is.

Thus I will recommend the Soverign Stone Trilogy by Magaret Weis and Tracy Hickman to any devotees of the fantasy world.  Read it, it is a very good story.

The Da Vinci Code

In Gaming on 21 April, 2006 at 3:00 am

So they are really making a Da Vinci Code game, Dan Brown is just getting richer and richer.

It sounds like fun and it will actually be release before the movie starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou is release.

Audrey Tautou really didn’t know that she will actually be starring in the movie.  She went for an interview thinking that she will not be selected.  Not until Ron Howard became serious about choosing her, that she realized that she might be really playing along side Tom Hanks.

OK, back to the game.  I hope that it will be a good one, so that it can tide me over until the big thing that is going to happen in June.  Yes, FIFA Worldcup 2006.