Friday, July 5, 2013

"Realm of Racket: Learn to Program, One Game at a Time!" By Matthias Felleisen, Conrad Barski M.D., David Van Horn and Eight Students Northeastern University, 1st Edition.

Fun programming with Racket

What exactly is Racket? Racket is a fairly new programming language that is derived from the Lisp family to be a platform for design and implementation. This book is written for those who want to launch their education in computer science or to those who want to expand their knowledge and experience in programming. It is recommended that you have some form of programming experience when reading through this book.

The authors’ tone is humorous and informative. The authors did a great job in using games and comics to keep the reader engaged and interested. The comics and pictures are refreshing to looking at and make the concepts easy to understand. Also, the source code of the games in the book are available with the code case of Racket in the collects/realm/ folder.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in exploring a unique world of programming.

"Functional JavaScript: Introducing Functional Programming with Underscore.js" By Michael Fogus, 1st Edition.

Functional JavaScript with Underscore

What is functional programming? Functional programming is when functions are used instead of objects or procedures to build a program. This book is meant to introduce functional programming in the context of what is and what is not possible with JavaScript. The intended audience is anyone who is looking to learn more about functional programming and is expected to have a base-level understanding of JavaScript, a working understanding of object oriented programming, and base-level understanding of underscore.

The chapters include introducing functional JavaScript, first-class functions and applicative programming, variable scope and closures, higher-order functions, function-building functions, recursions, purity, immutability, and policies for change, flow-based programming, and programming without class. The author's writing style is direct and informative. There are a lot of useful information concentrated into this book however there may be some chapters that may seem a bit dry to the audience. The author also gives the link to all the source codes from the book however typing out the source code instead of downloading the source code is recommended.

Overall, if you are interested in functional programming using JavaScript with Underscore, I would highly recommend this book.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

"The Modern Web: Multi-Device Web Development with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript" By Peter Gasston, 1st Edition.

Great book for modern coding methods and techniques in current web standards

In the past, people would only be able to browse the internet through a computer. But now, people use many other devices such as desktops, laptops, smart phones, tablets, televisions, and other devices to browse the internet. In this book, Peter teaches modern coding methods and techniques that you can use to build websites that work across multiple devices or to a single device class you are targeting.

Peter’s writing style is clear, informative, and fluid which made the content easy to follow and understand. The pictures and screenshots within the book are crisp and clear which makes them easy to see and read.

Peter does an excellent job in teaching the core techniques and technologies that you need to know to build web projects across the range of devices. This book is a must for any web developer who wants to be up to date on the current developments in web standards.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization" By Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiola, and Rand Fishkin, 2nd Edition.

An amazing book for any SEO practitioner

For those who are unfamiliar with SEO, SEO or search engine optimization is a practice of affecting web traffic to a particular website through web searches. The purpose of this book is to educate the audience on search engine optimization and is ideal for SEO practitioners of all levels or anyone who is interested in SEO. Some of the topics that are covered in the book are search engine basics, keyword research, developing an SEO-friendly website, creating a link-worthy content and link marketing, and many more.

The author’s writing style is serious, direct, and informative. There is a lot of useful information concentrated into this book however there may be some chapters that may seem a bit dry to the audience. The only real problem that I had with the book was the pictures. Some of the pictures are so small or blurry that you can barely read anything.

My final thought on this book is that this is the best SEO book that I have read so far. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in SEO.

"Absolute OpenBSD: Unix for the Practical Paranoid" By Michael W. Lucas, 2nd Edition.

An amazing book about OpenBSD

The main purpose of this book is to help the audience in getting started with OpenBSD from the ground up. OpenBSD is a Unix-like operating system that is derived from Berkeley Software Distribution and is free to download. The author covers many topics in the book such as the initial installation of OpenBSD, post installation setup, boot process, user management, using root, and many more.

The format of the book is organized and easy to follow. The author does well in getting his point across and explains them in great detail. The author has a good sense of humor which is refreshing from time to time when reading through the book.

This is an amazing book for anyone who uses OpenBSD whether you are a beginner or an expert. This book does not contain all the information there is to know about OpenBSD however it does cover a lot of topics. The author knows this and tells the audience ahead of time. In the first chapter of the book, the author generously created a chapter by itself that includes additional resources to help the audience in getting more information about OpenBSD. For everything this book covers, it is well worth the investment.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Blender Master Class: A Hands-On Guide to Modeling, Sculpting, Materials, and Rendering" By Ben Simonds, 1st Edition.

The amazing power of Blender

The purpose of this book is to teach you how to create models and environments in 3D by using Blender and GIMP. Blender is used for 3D design and animation and GIMP is used for 2D image editing. Both Blender and GIMP are free to download. The author teaches you how to approach and finish your own projects in Blender by using the author’s own projects and providing the narrative and examples of the tasks required. When finish the book, you will learn how to create your own projects from scratch from the methods and principles depicted in the book.

The book is printed off on quality paper and the images within the book are vibrant and appealing. The author’s writing style is serious, direct, and informative. There is a lot of information in the book and it can be a bit overwhelming at times. To get the most out of the book, follow along with the projects in the chapters by using the accompanying DVD that comes with the book. The DVD that comes with this book is amazing. It contains all the files for the projects used in the book and has separate .blend files for each project used in the chapters in the book.

If you are interested in 3D design and animation, this is the book for you.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything" By Olivier Lecarme and Karine Delvare, 1st Edition.

The beauty of GIMP

I use GIMP for some of my image editing but I never really knew the capabilities of the program. After working through this book, I was blown away by the tools and options GIMP had to offer. Needless to say, it may be better to just stick with GIMP and save my money than to buy Photoshop for hundreds of dollars.

The content was neat, informative, direct, organized, and easy to follow. The pictures are colored and I like how most of the pictures in the examples are reused throughout the book. I also like how they use examples on pictures of real people so you can actually see the effects of tools, details, and etc. There is a good balance of information and pictures so you can maneuver through the book without feeling overwhelmed.

The book covers many areas such as photograph retouching, colorizing/personalizing images, logo creation, composite photography, and much more. Has an amazing table of contents so you can easily find what you need and reference it when needed. Also, the appendices include a lot of extra helpful information such as tips and hints for exercises within the book, resources, frequently asked questions, and how to install GIMP in various Linux distributions.

Friday, March 1, 2013

"Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good!" By Fred Hebert, 1st Edition.

I didn’t know I could have fun learning a programming language

 I had never heard of Erlang before until a friend of mine told me that he loves using Erlang. I am a novice programmer so I got a little curious and got a copy of “Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good!” I started reading through the book and noticed that this was unlike any programming book that I have ever read. This is how a programming book should be.

The contents of the book were detailed, easy to follow, engaging, and surprisingly humorous. The thing I dislike about other programming books were that I would be bored and lose focus due to how dry the material was. However, “Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good!” has a good amount of humor to sustain you and grab your attention while also giving quality information and excellent examples. The little pictures you see occasionally are also hilarious and are a treat to see.

This book starts off simple so that a beginner can comprehend the material and then later on it goes more into advanced concepts. I would say that this book is aimed towards the beginner to intermediate audiences. Overall I have to say that this book is definitely worth it if you are looking to learn a new language or if you are interested in Erlang.