Book Review : Frontend Architecture for Design Systems

Being a backend developer my focus is usually on server side issues – languages, databases etc. However, as a web developer in general, a good knowledge of frontend design is also necessary as this enables one to work more effectively with the design and frontend development team. As for myself being a single freelance developer, I also need to be comfortable with frontend issues to work effectively with clients. Lately I have been focusing a disproportionate amount of time on server side programming and Internet of things, that I have somewhat lost touch with the changing landscape of frontend development. I needed to quickly update myself with the latest happenings in that area.
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The Code Book

the code bookJust finished reading ‘The Code Book’ by Simon Singh. I’d been waiting to read this book for a long time now, but I had been delaying it for reasons beyond me.

The book goes into excruciating details at explaining the details of various cryptographic systems; from the Vigenere ciper to Quantum cryptography, without being prosaic. The story of the German Enigma and the cracking of the same by the ‘Ultras’ at Bletchley Park has been wonderfully described. What sets this book apart from many other popular books on cryptography is the intermingling of stories and technical details in a harmonious proportion.

The book begins from the decipherment of the ciper of Mary, the queen of Scots and concludes with a fine discussion of PGP and quantum cryptography; on the way covering such important and interesting topics including the Enigma Machine, Linear B and other ancient writings, public key cryptography and much more. What I found particularly interesting and new was the use of the Navajo people as code-talkers during World War II.

hasta la vista MIR

Yesterday while rummaging through my library I came across a little gem – On the way to Super Elements by G.N. Flerov, A.S .Ilynov – Mir Publishers Moscow. A wonderful book by the now defunct Mir publishers. This is one of the several books from Mir that I have treasured in my library. These books were responsible, in no small part, for my intellectual growth and my affaire d’amour with science books.

But these excellent books however have become an unfortunate casualty of the fall of the former Soviet Union. Not only were the books excellent in themselves but the prices were ridiculously cheap, especially during my college years, when a limited amount of money was fated to satisfy my various youthful desires – at about USD 0.25 you could get a hardcover book of 100 pages with multi-colored graphics.
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