REVIEW: "The Devil's Code", John Sandford (John Camp)
- BKDVLSCD.RVW 20030425
"The Devil's Code", John Sandford (John Camp), 2000, 0-425-17988-5,
%A John Sandford (John Camp)
%C 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
%O U$7.99/C$10.99 http://www.berkley.com/berkley online@...
%P 354 p.
%T "The Devil's Code"
John Sandford is actually John Camp, so, given the quality of the
technical material in "The Fool's Run" (cf BKFLSRUN.RVW), it is no
particular surprise to find that this book also demonstrates a solid
grasp of computer technology. It is, though, always a pleasant
discovery to find an author who really does know what actually happens
in the technical world.
The technology involved is not particularly detailed, and often is
only tangential to the story. Still, it is nice to see that someone
understands that a cluster of cheap computers can outperform a single
expensive one, that Clipper (and any similar idea) was pointless, and
that outsourcing leaves you at the mercy of the people actually doing
the work. The computer industry is portrayed in a very real manner:
not everyone likes the same type of mass storage systems, and the
company that makes "cow" boxes is easily identifiable to those who do
buy computers. The one cavil I might make is that I can't see why a
not-particularly-high resolution photograph creates a 500 megabyte
While some specific aspects of the group of high tech thieves and
industrial espionage agents stretches the bounds of credulity, in
general the behaviour and characterizations are good. The network of
friend-of-a-friend type contacts does tend to be the way that high end
work in any technical area gets done. Attitudes towards, and on the
part of, government agencies are quite realistic. The behaviour of
various law enforcement and intelligence groups is all too authentic
(although, in the real world, there are hopeful signs that improvement
may be coming in some areas).
For those tired of non-viral viruses, hardware destroying software,
and instant access to unconnected machines, this makes a refreshing
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKDVLSCD.RVW 20030425
====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
Open source should be about giving away things voluntarily. When
you force someone to give you something, it's no longer giving,
it's stealing. Persons of leisurely moral growth often confuse
giving with taking. - Larry Wall
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade