Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Packt Publishing for 10 yrs

Time to go stock up on Packt books again!

Packt Publishing is celebrating 10 years of publishing by offering a deal for 10 days (ending July 5th) where you can get any eBook/video for $10 each. If you haven't stocked up from the previous deals, now's your chance to get some good technical books and videos!


Monday, May 5, 2014

May 6th is the "International Day Against DRM"

Packt Publishing is celebrating the May 6th International Day Against DRM.

On May 6th they are offering all eBooks and Videos at $10 each for the day.
“Our top priority at Packt has always been to meet the evolving needs of developers in the most practical way possible, while at the same time protecting the hard work of our authors. DRM-free content continues to be instrumental in making that happen, providing the flexibility and freedom that is essential for an efficient and enhanced learning experience. That’s why we’ve been DRM-free from the beginning – we’ll never put limits on the innovation of our users.”
Dave Maclean, Managing Director at Packt Publishing
As we can see by the success of Packt and other DRM-free outlets, DRM isn't necessary to be successful (and in some cases it is harmful).
You can also learn more about the Internal Day Against DRM at https://www.defectivebydesign.org/.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pakt Publishing 2000th Book Promotion

Pakt Publishing is celebrating their 2000th book title "Learning Dart" and is having a "Buy One Get one Free" promotion across all of their eBook titles.
The promotion started March 18th and continuing at least through this week.

Now, what sort of books does Pakt Publishing offer? The objective is to release quality pragmatic IT eBooks. With titles on HTML5, CSS3, AngularJS, Dart, Unity, and many others - you can get a jump on newer technologies to see how it can be part of your solutions.

Some interesting books that I'll be taking a look at that Pakt has published are Google App Engine Java and GWT Application Development and NMap 6: Network Exploration and Security Auditing Cookbook to expand my horizons on making the most of NMap 6 and seeing what Google App Engine has to offer me. With luck I'll find time to read and review these books!

Return to Blogging and Projects

Just posting a quick blog entry to let everyone know that I plan on kicking up my blogging activity as well as squeezing in bits of time to take care of project laundry lists.
I had been working on a project that came up out of the blue and had my free time squeezed out of the day. With that closed project coming to a close I should have more time to invest in open projects with some more knowledge and skills at the ready :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Review of "Programing Android" by Zigurd Mednieks

Programming AndroidProgramming Android by Zigurd Mednieks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Want to get into Android programming? What better than a book called Programming Android from O'Reilly! :) This is a GREAT resource! The book is well-organized into sections, giving you information on how to setup your environment all the way up to handling more recent topics like NFC.

I find that the style of the book works well as a reference to look up roughly how you would do something, like setup NFC P2P or setup some OpenGL graphics, as well as a running tutorial to read through to learn how things work. The book is full of code examples (available online too) and valuable information on how to properly implement your applications (see Chapter 10 - A Framework for a Well-Behaved Application).

Reading this book enlightened me to a great way to implement one of my projects without worrying about certain runtime issues. Originally I had considered putting logic in a run loop in the application and shutdown when it left... but that wouldn't work out right when I needed information live, but cached information would be good. The book enlightened me to "Content Providers" which using a service could provide the necessary cache I needed. Later on I discovered that the service by itself would solve my problem, but without the reading, I wouldn't have stumbled upon the path as quickly!

The author, Zigurd Mednieks, has done a great job in writing a strong book on Android to compliment the vast amount of information available through Google's documentation. I suggest you get this book, especially the eBook form - you can easily search through and find references / copy code-bits.

The eBook format of this book was provided free through O'Reilly's Blogger Review program, you can purchase the book from the O'Reilly book store at: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920023005.do
You can support this blog by purchasing the book through Amazon at: Programming Android
View all my reviews

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review of "The Manga Guide to Relativity" by Masafumi Yamamoto, Keita Takatsu, and Hideo Nitta

The Manga Guide to RelativityThe Manga Guide to Relativity

If you have a curiosity about physics, this is a fun way to sate it. "The Manga Guide to Relativity" by Masafumi Yamamoto, Keita Takatsu, and Hideo Nitta is a beautiful blend of manga, humor and science.

I had this book for quite some time and decided to try to get through it... little did I know that I would finish it in only a few hours of reading! While I understood some of the concepts at a very high level, some of the paradoxes and details typically got me. This guide's illustrations make the complex issues easier to grasp, while the chapter reviews help explore the topics in a little more depth.

Even though the manga was constructed with the intent of explaining the complex concepts of Special and General Relativity, it did not deviate from the tried-and-true manga recipe: bizarre scenarios, extreme characters, and strange character appearances.

The ebook format was well-implemented and worked beautifully on my Touchpad. While some PDFs choke due to overly complex layouts, this manga was smooth to navigate and rendered beautifully. Anybody used to reading mangas using "Perfect Viewer" on Android should install the PDF plugin to read this, it works great in two-page mode.

This ebook is a great read and its quality entices me to check out the other books in the "Manga guide to ..." series. If you're a high-school student just getting into physics or a manga fan looking for some intellectual fun, this book is a perfect addition to your collection.

The eBook format of this book was provided free through O'Reilly's Blogger Review program, you can purchase the book from the O'Reilly book store at: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9781593272722.do

You can support this blog by purchasing the book through Amazon at:The Manga Guide to Relativity

View all my GoodReads reviews

Friday, October 5, 2012

LuaJSON 1.3.1 Released

LuaJSON 1.3.1 released! If you use luarocks, just use luarocks install luajson since it should soon be in the repository.

This release's changes include:

  • Documented and tested compatibility with Lua 5.1, 5.2, and LuaJIT-2.0-beta10.
  • Documented and tested compatibility with the 'classic' strict module on Lua 5.1 and LuaJIT-2.0-beta10 as provided by the LuaJIT-2.0-beta10 package.
  • Tested after-the-fact compatibility with Penlight's 'pl.strict' module for all supported Lua versions.
  • Fixes supplied by Fran├žois Perrad included to address problems found in 'strict' library handling.
  • Users of the direct 'json' module will have a polluted global environment with the 'json' module populated unconditionally.

If there are any other Lua environments that you would like added to my test matrix, please let me know. I am always open to suggestions and improvements. I host the project on github at https://github.com/harningt/luajson, so feel free to fork and submit merge-requests :)

A note on the 'json' module pollution: if there is a general consensus among users of the library (wherever they may be), I'll happily remove this pollution. I much prefer Lua 5.2's way of handling modules and don't mind the fact that creating a Lua module without the 'module' function has the side effect that Lua 5.1 doesn't even have the global pollution.