The silver lining to being crushed by Microsoft's illegal tactics where Apple survived: 20+ years later, we don't have to justify the design decisions that went into the now-forgotten GoC. Some parts of Apple's Objective-C have not aged well, and I find myself smirking at the ancient voices echoing through its documentation.
Objective-C uses long names for things. Where most languages that needed to append strings together might name a string method "append", the Objective-C equivalent is "stringByAppendingString". They were proud of these long names. "This is one of the features that helps make Objective-C such a readable language," the documentation proudly states. And yet, you know they don't still believe this. A few years back, Apple designed a new programming language, Swift. Rather than re-write all of their interfaces from scratch, they wrote a tool to do some automatic translation. But this tool didn't just translate the code-ish parts. It also translated the names: it looked for some common wordy idioms in Objective-C names and shorted them for Swift.
(Though some parts of Objective-C remind me of GoC, over-long names weren't part of that… Probably because GeoWorks was a company of assembly-language hackers who were used to to keeping track of things called ax and bx.)
Anyhow, it's been a nostalgic time, thinking about messages and properties and such. I feel like the old town native talking to new arrivals. "You kids today have no idea what this place was like back then. I remember when those properties were just fields."
We ride along with an LA police helicopter patrol. If someone's on the ground, perhaps fleeing a crime scene, and a helicopter starts following them, they probably won't have much luck hiding. The helicopter cops might not have much luck telling ground-based police where to find the flee-er, though. If this is happening in nice streets laid out in a grid, especially if institutions in the neighborhood have written their addresses on their roofs in big numbers, the helicopter folks can probably describe the location. In tangly streets, maybe not.
A few master burglars have written and spoken about how they move through urban space. Part of this is a matter of seeing things differently. Instead of looking at a building and saying "oh that balcony looks pleasant for standing on" or "what a pretty ornament", you should instead think "oh I can see how I could scale that building from the outside; and with my knowledge of fire codes, the fire escapes tell me where people and stairways are within." The book exhorts us readers to look at neighborhood buildings and think in terms of footholds and escaping observation. I looked around, but didn't really know enough to figure those out.
Criminals discovered the "Stop and Rob," Los Angeles banks so handy to highways that criminals could breeze in and make getaways. Skilled criminal construction workers or miners or someone tunneled into banks, making professional tunnels.
A criminal lived in a mall's "dead space" while planning crimes. He set up a hideaway under some stairs in an empty store. He used baby monitors from a nearby toy store to keep track of those who might find him.
So yeah, there are some interesting nuggets here.
There's also a lot of hand-wavy philosophizing about what it means that these folks use buildings in cities in unintended ways. And an aside about locksport which goes on too long. And an aside about the laws behind "burglary" that weren't what I wanted to read about either. So… a few good nuggets suspended in some yadda yadda and a couple of asides that should have been left out, but then the book probably would have been too short to be considered by paper-publishers. All in all, I call it a fun read if you let yourself skim when you think "I bet this is one of the parts to skim."
The book assumes that you're already good enough at investing to know a good opportunity when you spot it. This was disappointing, and not just because I'm not a skilled investor. You see, I didn't buy this book to become a great investor. I bought it because I play boardgames about twice a year, and this book's author is usually there. And if he's there, he probably wins whatever boardgame we're playing. I was hoping that, by learning how the author thinks about strategy, maybe next time we play I could anticipate some of his thinking.
But this book points out that it's important to understand the fundamentals. And I only play boardgames once or twice a year. I can expect to lose at boardgames as long as I insist on playing against people who are better than I am.
Though many "big names" were in Vienna during this time, the different groups didn't interact with each other much. If you were hoping for some Hitler-Stalin fistfight, you're out of luck. Freud didn't psychoanalyze the archduke. But there's definitely a theme of squabbling. These "big names" didn't tend to get along with others, and dragged others into their fights.
The survivors were rescued by the fishing boat Isla Camila. Yay for the Isla Camila. Rescuing folks from collapsing lifeboats during an arctic storm wasn't easy.
Don't want to read a whole book, just want a quick article? Here's something from The Telegraph