FreeBSD. I'm using again FreeBSD at home. I already use Debian at work, and i really like it, but, somehow, FreeBSD appeals my hacker side. It's true that Debian is better when it comes to administration via apt/dpkg/dselect, but i thought that fighting against the nitty-gritty details of installing and configuring sofware in a Unix system once in a while gives you the opportunity of learning a lot of things. In addition, FreeBSD has, imho, a better writen kernel than linux (just look at the recent linux vm chores).
Books. Lots of them. I' ve finished:
- The pragmatic programmer. Good, but not that good. It is a good collection of pointers, but i've found that when you don't already know about what they're talking about, the book does not provide detail enough to learn it: you must go to the urls.
- Software architecture in practice from the SEI people. Very good. Serious software engineering for practitioners.
- Rapid development by S. McConnell. Very good and comprenhensive. It's been of great help for guiding the development of our products in scytl.
- Software project survival guide by S. McConnell. Also good. A complement to Rapid Development. Or maybe a sort of abstract.
- Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture: Patterns for Concurrent and Networked Objects, also known as POSA2. Simply superb. The patterns in this book are extremely elegant and powerful, and the ACE framework gives you the oportunity of using them out of the box and in a portable manner.