Hawk: Occupation Skateboarder

Although this book is unlikely to be read by anyone who has no interest in skateboarding, it’s still a great read. Tony Hawk is an almost household name – if the question was “Which one of these is a professional skateboarder?” on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, there’s every chance that a non-skateboarder would be able to pick him out!

The book begins with a short account of Hawk’s historic landing of a 900 at the X-Games in 1999. He could easily have waxed lyrical about the event, elevating it to dizzy heights in proportion to the rest of his career. That would have been missing the point, though, as the twenty odd years of his life before hand are just as colourful, if not more so, than that one night.

Somewhat nievely I had assumed before reading this that Tony Hawk had made it big in the 80’s and had been living it up ever since! Unsurprizingly this is far from the truth, as the highs and lows of skateboardings’ popularity led to Hawk’s own personal change in fortune. From luxury tour buses and decent hotels in the 80’s, to sleeping five to a room when skateboarding died in the early 90’s and back again, Tony’s story tells it how it was.

The book reads well, the only faults I could find was that he occasionally chops from one year to another and back which can be a little confusing. This is mostly Tony’s way of linking events in his life, and does not detract from a page-turning narrative. He also tends to reel off trick names like everyone knows what they are – sometimes he describes them, other times not, which could be a little frustrating for non-skateboarders.

To sum up, this is a worthwhile read whether you’re into skateboarding or not. It recounts the life of a man who became an ambassador for an often ill portrayed sport.

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Tom Clancy’s Net Force: Breaking Point

After the dreary Night Moves, the Net Force series moves back into top gear with this installment

This time the team are on the track of a professor who makes other people absent minded, using mind control.

As with all of the books in this series so far, there are several sub-plots running along in the background, with each coming to the fore when the need arises. Towards the end of the book, this is handled to great effect, with several concurrent events – leading to a gripping finale. Breaking Point is the most apt title so far!

However, unless you cant resist it, skip the sugary sweet epilogue. It dips back into Night Moves’ territory by shining the spotlight onto Alex and Toni. In defence, at least this time around Tyrone’s testosterone account is kept to a minimum!

Probably the best book in the series so far – if Night Moves put you off, jump back on the band waggon with Breaking Point.

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Professional PHP Programming

This is the book I’ve been using to put this site back together!

For anyone who’s gone as far as they can with HTML and JavaScript, PHP is probably the next step you should take. Unlike Cold Fusion from Allaire, it wont cost you thousands – it’s free and open source, and there are quite a few hosts out there who’ll provide it alongside a MySQL back end for you.

All you need is some basic SQL, of which the book contains plenty of examples, and you should be up and running in no time.

Wrox are starting to get quite a tidy range of manuals on the go to suit web professionals. I’mquite looking forward to their up coming WAP programming book. Until then the PHP should keep me busy and get this site working a bit better in addition!

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