Still Life With Crows. 5 stars! (by Preston & Child)

Wow

That’s pretty much all I have to say. 

Naaa really, this was a great book – and man what an ending.  Seriously, the ending just left me thinking some pretty deep things about humanity… how just maybe a twist and a turn somewhere in our all of past could have sent us all down a much much much  “different” path.  I never expect any deep thoughts when reading adventure, suspense etc fiction, so finding it within these pages was an added bonus.

So again, we have the same subterannean theme that I’ve found in Reliquary, Cabinet of Curiosities… but it’s not really presented to the reader until maybe 80% of the way through the book.  And when it does, it comes hard and fast and you feel like you are in the claustrophic and terrifying darkness.  Most of the book is spent in the endless seas of corn and ultra small-town-go-nowhere middle America (complete with a turkey packing plant).  Preston & Child do a knockup job of transporting you there and it’s not as dull a setting as you would think – I personally had very low expectations as I grabbed it from the store shelf, and found myself proved wrong.

Agent Pendergast is back and shows some more human aspects than in the other books, which for me was welcome.  I’ve got nothing against the Pendergast character, he just seems a little too distant and aristocratic at times for me to fully embrace and relate to him.   He’s paired with a new sidekick – a goth teenager that compliments nicely, I found her a great way to put myself in the scene. Again, reading the jacket cover I didn’t know how they could pull off mixing those two character types together, but they did.

By far, my favorite of the Preston and Child novels.  Interestingly, this wasn’t carried at my local library and (reader be warned) it very well may because of some intensely gruesome and spooky passages.

 

Still Life with Crows, by Preston and Child

Winhost.com web hosting review

My experience with Winhost.com was a short three months, but they impressed me.  I used the monthly ASP.Net hosting plan – $4.95 for 1 domain name until I tried out M6.Net and gave it a good side by side review.  Ultimately, I chose M6.net because for about $3 a month (paid over 2 years) they let you host 2 domains on your account.  It really just came down to a frugal matter of costs for this site, which in essence is just a hobby for me.  The way I looked at it, over a 2 year period I could host two sites for about $90 on M6.Net vs $240 on Winhost.com.

That said almost everything else I found about Winhost was better – the servers were faster, Blogengine.net installed dirt simple (even in MSSQL mode), heck they even let you hook up IIS7 manager to administer your site!  Winhost also has MSSQL 2008 support, which you can hook up SQL manager (or management studio express) too… sooo much more user-friendly than the typical web interfaces a lot of these hosting providers give you.

If I was setting up a site for a business, hands down I would’ve chosen Winhost over M6, and I am a little sad to let them go.  Look for a review of M6.Net when I have a chance to let this blog settle in on their servers.

For the record, here were the specs I had on my Winhost account;











Windows 2008 Hosting
WinHost BASIC Windows Hosting Plan

Web Hosting Fees

 
Windows Hosting Monthly Fee
$4.95
Hosting Plan Billing Cycle
Month to Month
Web Hosting Setup Fee
None
Long Term Contracts
None
New Domain Name (.com, .net, .org, .biz, .info)
$10.00/yr
Domain Whois Privacy
$5.00/yr

General Windows Hosting Features

 
Website Disk Space
1000 MB
Monthly Bandwidth/Data Transfer
50 GB









Windows 2008 hosting
windows 2008 hosting
IIS7 Hosting (Internet Information Services 7.0)
iis7 hosting
IIS7 Manager Access Allowed
manage hosting with iis manager access
Remote Delegation Supported
remote feature delegation support
Switch Between Full Trust and Medium Trust
full trust and medium trust support
Switch Between Integrated and Classic Mode
asp.net integrated and classic pipeline mode support
URL Rewrite Module
microsoft url rewrite module support
Site Memory Allocation
100 MB
Isolated Application Pool
each site hosted in isolated application pool












Microsoft SQL 2008 Hosting
free sql 2008 hosting
SQL Data Hosting on Separate Servers
sql 2008 hosting on separate server cluster
SQL 2008 Database Hosting Disk Space
100 MB
No. of SQL 2008 Databases
1
SQL DBO Rights
dbo rights for sql hosting
Stored Procedures
sql stored procedure support
Full Text Search
sql full text search enabled
SQL Management Studio Access Allowed
manage with sql management studio
ASP.NET ReportViewer Control
asp.net report viewer control
SQL DSN
Unlimited
Microsoft Access Database Hosting
Unlimited
Access DSN
Unlimited



















ASP.NET 3.5 Hosting SP1
asp.net 3.5 sp1 hosting
ASP.NET 2.0 Hosting
asp.net 2.0s hosting
Run Multiple .NET Applications
multiple asp.net application hosting
ASP.NET MVC Hosting
asp.net mvc hosting
Silverlight Hosting
silverlight hosting
ASP.NET AJAX Hosting
asp.net ajax hosting
Entity Framework Hosting
entity framework hosting
LINQ Enabled Hosting
linq hosting
/bin, codebehind
codebehind and bin folder support
XML Web Services
xml web services support
Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)
wcf hosting
Microsoft Charting Controls Compatible
microsoft charting control support
Classic ASP Hosting
classic asp hosting support
PHP5 Hosting
php5 hosting
WAP Enabled Hosting
wap hosting
Flash Enabled Hosting
flash hosting
HTTP Streaming Enabled Hosting
http streaming enabled
Dedicated SSL Support
No
Shared SSL
No