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Hacking Happy (hackinghappy.com)
22 points by whit537 1391 days ago | hide | past | web | 18 comments | favorite



OT: Does this title remind anyone of the "happy hackers handbook" or whatever it was called that was widely circulated online in the late 90s?

It taught the basics of stuff like telnet , traceroute and how you should choose an ISP that provided you with a "shell account".


man i loved that :) guide to mostly harmless hacking (GTMHH) :D


It's silly to provide a "read an excerpt" link that is just the generic intro-to-this-book copy that's approximately reproduced on the page that contains said link. "Hackers like to optimize things." Gee, thanks for that.

Excerpts should be meaty: show me what's going on in the third section of chapter 6. I may not understand all the prerequisites, but I can at least judge whether anything is actually happening in this book, before I give you money.


I would have bought the book if I could see what was in it. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about the entire book, even the chapter headlines would work. The exercept is not enough to make me want it. Pity, it sounded interesting...


You can have a look at the TOC here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AGOLLVC ("Click to LOOK INSIDE!")


This book is by a programmer, for programmers, to help them quantify their happiness and take action to improve it, instead of focusing on churning widgets (GTD) or whatever it is you focus on.


Yeah.. - but why read this over any one of hundreds other books/blogs/articles which make similar claims?

Phrases like 'quantifying their happiness' make me sad.


I'm not sure you actually understand my phrase 'quantifying their happiness'. It uses tests derived from The Feeling Good Handbook, Dr. David Burns and Beck Anxiety Inventory, Dr. Aaron Beck to track emotional well being over time.

It makes it possible to compare how you feel with various points in the past to track an overall improvement or regression.


You're right, I don't understand. And to be honest you're not making me want to very much either.


I thought the sidebar was clever:

> If you enjoyed a pirated copy of Hacking Happy, compliment the author by: GitTip, Flattr, e-mail, Review


To be honest that bit confused me a little because it's licensed under CC (albeit one of their less 'copyleft' licences).

Does CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca/deed.en_...) allow for people to 'pirate' and the eBook (et al) charges are more 'good will gestures' to the author? Or are unofficial downloads still against the licence and he was basically saying "I can't stop you from grabbing this for nothing, but if you do then at least spread the message in case others might choose to pay"?

Maybe I'm just over thinking things, but that 'piracy' comment of his did confuse me.


It's published creative commons, so the piracy is legal, even encouraged.


CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 says:

> You are free:

> to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work

I would not want to make the word "pirate" synonymous with "copy".


Isn't it already, though? From how the media uses it, pirating software/ebooks/etc. is copying without permission, right? So in this case, the use of the word "pirate" is a bit ironic, since it isn't really possible under the CC license, but I would think it is still basically valid.


Except the CC license is explicit permission to copy. So even under the media's definition of piracy, this is not it.


Again, the use of "piracy" here is ironic, sarcastic, facetious.... As such, it doesn't really equate "piracy" with "copying" in a general sense, only in the sense used the author of the website. In a general sense, everyone knows it isn't piracy if it's legal.


Anyone who's read it care to share their thoughts? I've got more queued up books than I can handle right now!


I helped edit the first 4 chapters. One benefit of the book is it's short. All the information you need is condensed into 150 pages.

It starts out being immediately applicable (Chapter 2: Write Tests First), giving you systematic methods to measure various happiness qualities. After that, it helps you define what would make your life happier. From there it talks about specific ways to address the types of problems people run into when trying to improve their happiness.

Throughout the whole book, it tries to relate the concepts to programming ideas (testing, specs, debugging, etc). This isn't a general public self-help book, it's specifically for people who program or are technically minded. That's what makes it unique.

If I had to knock the book, I'd say that some of the metaphors are stretched a little bit. Overall the concepts map well, but every so often you're kind of like, "huh... yeah, I guess those are the same things..."

Edit: Added something negative to say.




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