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mko "mko" (Poland)

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Learning Core Audio: A Hands-On Guide to Audio Programming for Mac and iOS
Learning Core Audio: A Hands-On Guide to Audio Programming for Mac and iOS
Price: CDN$ 17.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive, Feb. 3 2013
Thanks to this book I was able to write my small app (MuteMyMic). As my application is based on low level APIs for sound input/output in OS X, I had to find some sort of comprehensive guid related to the topic. And this is the book I have found the best on the market, so far. Of course you can find a loot of material, that is covered here covered here, somewhere in the web. But when it comes to a single source of the information related to the topic, this one is the best one. Highly recommended.

R Graphics Cookbook
R Graphics Cookbook
by Winston Chang
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 39.85
40 used & new from CDN$ 26.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for every R begginer, Jan. 16 2013
This review is from: R Graphics Cookbook (Paperback)
And now, the moment we all have been waiting for. R graphics cookbook is already on shelves – and I have missed it’s release! This is why I am putting my hands on it right now. The book is a very well composed and easy to browse plotting compendium for R users. Some sort of must have. In my opinion it goes well together with R Cookbook by Paul Teetor or with R in a Nutshell by Joseph Adler.

Just to the meritum. What I have found really helpful is that examples are based on data delivered via the package installed within R. So, you don’t have to download, install or browse anything outside R. All you have to do is type in:

install.packages("ggplot2")
install.packages("gcookbook")

and you are ready to go.

I know that Winston has his own page (Cookbook for R) where lots of plotting examples are available for browsing. However, here, in the book you get the same content with new layout, additional remarks and new content, everything packed in a form of typical cookbook. It is not that you pay for the copy-paste from the web page. You are getting better organised and better explained content. Another thing is that book contains topics you won’t be able to find at the web page (e.g. multiline legends, colouring negative and positive bars differently, extended scatter plots related content, and much much more). So, as I said, this is not a copy-paste like book. Of course, you can still live with the Cookbook for R materials online and you will probably be happy. But not as much as with this book in your hands.

In my opinion, suggested audience for this book are:

- people who start their adventure with R
- people who are looking for new inspirations with plots
- people who are not sure how data could be visualised and are bored with standard plots
- people who are willing to get familiar with ggplot2

If you are advanced R user and it happened so that you have gone into plotting routine and you are playing with the same plots all the time it might be refreshing to see what others have to offer.

Version Control with Git: Powerful tools and techniques for collaborative software development
Version Control with Git: Powerful tools and techniques for collaborative software development
by Jon Loeliger
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 24.42
42 used & new from CDN$ 24.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid introduction, well written, Jan. 15 2013
Have you heard about Git but not sure what is it? This book will give you nearly complete explanation of what Git is all about. In my personal opinion, one of the best introductions to Git. Ever. The book covers most common topics and does it right. In case you are complete beginner, it provides initial Git setup section. So, be afraid not. If you prefer to use Windows over Linux or OS X, you will be told how to setup things as well. What’s most important is that all the concepts are well illustrated and well explained with pictures and examples. However, sometimes you will have to focus on what you read to get the complete knowledge of the topic. It’s not just that you flip the pages and that’s it. When it comes to scientific jargon I’d say it’s on the moderate level. For readers, having knowledge of the terms related to source management systems would be a plus here, but is not necessary.

Just one warning, in case you are purely Windows user and you have got used to work with GUI only. You will have to go back to CLI while reading this book. I don’t say this is wrong, not at all, but it might be a challenge for some Windows users.

R in a Nutshell
R in a Nutshell
by Joseph Adler
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 49.88
35 used & new from CDN$ 36.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent introduction to R, Nov. 26 2012
This review is from: R in a Nutshell (Paperback)
I have bought R in a Nutshell some time ago (1-st edition) and I was pleased with it. It is very decent introduction to R. I am using R casually for doing server logs analysis, mostly. And from my point of view, a person who doesn’t speak R fluently, this book is very handy. I have requested 2-nd edition mostly from the mere curiosity. I wanted to know how book have changed.

You will find few minor shifts here, some chapters were moved and some of them were split or merged. However, the content remained quality remained at the same level. Book covers most recent release of R (at least when it comes to Mac OS, I can’t tell for the other systems). There are few new things I have learned. RStudio and ggplot2 are among them. As I said, I don’t follow all the recent news in the “R world” thus, reading about these two was a big surprise for me and big plus for my simple tasks done with R.

I would recommend this book for R newbies. If you have never ever worked with R but looking to start your journey with it this is a good start. Contrary, if you have already done some stuff with R and you are looking for straightforward solutions I’d suggest heading towards R Cookbook. Anyway, I think this book is a really decent introduction to R.

Oracle Jrockit: The Definitive Guide
Oracle Jrockit: The Definitive Guide
by Marcus Lagergren
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 78.21
16 used & new from CDN$ 78.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive, but demanding, Nov. 16 2012
This book has really impressed me. It goes into deep details of JVM and describes different approaches to various topics related to memory management, threads management, code analysis, subtle details within low level code that are the result of optimization. Authors really dive into details. What’s more important, this book could still surprise long time developer like me myself. I have found few, really interesting ideas in terms of memory optimization and threads management. Even though book covers JRockit, you can still get a loot of information related to JVMs in general.

Apart from JVM itself, book covers very comprehensively benchmarking, JRockit Mission Control, runtime analyzer and memory leak detector. And this is done really good. You get like 250 pages of knowledge related to code analysis, JRockit’s tools usage and useful ideas from the authors.

What’s important here is that JRockit is already one of the Oracle’s platforms and even more important is the fact it will be partially integrated into Java 1.8. That said, it’s worth to become more familiar with it if you consider yourself a serious Java developer.

Just one remark on the content. This book can be sometimes demanding as authors dive deep into assembler code level. So, it’s rather recommended for engineers or people who are familiar with this kind of details.

Highly recommended.

Accelerated Mac OS X Core Dump Analysis: Training Course Transcript and Gdb Practice Exercises
Accelerated Mac OS X Core Dump Analysis: Training Course Transcript and Gdb Practice Exercises
by Dmitry Vostokov
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 232.00
13 used & new from CDN$ 190.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the price, Nov. 9 2012
This book is definitely worth the price. It is costly, but still, worth the price. If you have a team of people who are descent to work with GDB but are not familiar with it yet, simply buy it. If you are an individual - this book is very pricy to afford. However, you can buy Safari Books Online subscription (~250$) and read the book itself, as well as many other books available there. So, make sure to decide whether it pays off. Of course this is an option only in case you don't need the book at your bookshelf.

That's about the price. As for the content, what you get here are practical examples (tutorial style) that show you how to deal with memory related issues in your code. Book (transcript) is very accurate. It covers most recent release of GDB at OS X. It is superbly up to date. Thanks to the tutorial style you will get your hands dirty through out the whole book. Samples are very well prepared and are ready to go just after downloading them.

One remark here. This book is not intended to entertain you with the text. What you get here are plain, bare, facts. You get list of steps to reproduce and very little explanation of what you do. Some engineering experience is required to fully benefit from it. As this book is a transcript form the training course you would probably benefit more by attending the course itself. On the other hand, if you know the basics of C, assembler and OS X you will find it very useful while studyingGDB and memory related issues in the code. It should pay off. When it comes to me, I haven't bought it even though it's a worthy stuff. I have found it accidentally at Safari Books and was really, really positively surprised with the content.

Introducing Regular Expressions
Introducing Regular Expressions
by Michael Fitzgerald
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 38.30
39 used & new from CDN$ 20.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Grab it, read it, learn it, Sept. 9 2012
Basically, if you have never ever used regular expressions before, this book is for you. It will guide you through the most basic and most common patterns used within regular expressions world. There are lots of examples and lots of tools presented inside the book.

It goes like this. Michael starts with setting reader a high target by introducing complex example just at the beginning. But this is just a means of setting finish line. Throughout the book he will show you how to reach this target by starting from most common, very basic examples and then by gradually increasing the complexity of presented expressions.

There are few tools presented that can make your life easier. In various flavors (web based, standalone) for various systems (Windows, Linux, Mac). This is a benefit, because by trying all of them (you will be forced to do it if you want to follow examples) you will be able to find one that fits you best.

One drawback of the book. There are no clear statements which expressions work for particular syntax (e.g. Perl, Java, Ruby, etc.). This may be a little stopper if you try given expression in slightly different environment than one presented in a book.

If you are looking for comprehensive list of various expressions in the context of various syntaxes take a look here instead: Regular Expressions Cookbook by Jan Goyvaerts and Steven Levithan.

Regular Expressions Cookbook
Regular Expressions Cookbook
by Jan Goyvaerts
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 32.92
36 used & new from CDN$ 32.92

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Small issues make it difficult for newcomers, Sept. 9 2012
When you read the book, you can definitelly tell that authors have experience when it comes to different flavors of the regular expressions. When you go over the different aspects of regular expressions you can track the differences between the standards thanks to clear specification what is allowed and what’s not in particular regular expressions convention. This is quite useful in case you work with different languages like Java, Perl, Python, etc. There are always small differences that can make a headache when all you need is a simple expression. Book starts with nice introduction into tools that will provide you with heavy support when it comes to regular expressions. It’s a shame, though, it doesn’t cover comprehensivelly Linux and Mac OS X. Both systems, comparing to Windows, have much more to do with regular expressions – I think. Linux and Mac OS X are the systems where you have an easy, out of the box, access to CLI and variety of languages. In fact, this part looks a little bit like an advertisement for a products developed by the authors. That’s fine in the sense you should not expect authors to advertise products created by the competition. But still, without this part the whole book would be still complete.

I always strive to get an access to simple, comprehensive, and well explained content related to development. That’s why I pretty much like cookbook style books. This one is such an example. I have found few examples that really cought my attention and were a surprise for me – even though I work with regular expression on day to day basis. However, there are two major issues with the book that may be stoppers for novice developers not familiar with the topic:
- lack of examples for download – if they were available, this would be a great benefit for newcomers. At least some basic examples how to use regular expressions in different languages would highly improve the perception of the content.
- typografic convention used throught the book – in more complex cases it is not possible to copy-paste the regular expressions right into editor. This is due to special characters used in the book to make it easier to read expressions. This can be really painful when you want to check particular recipe.

In my opinion, if you are new to regular expressions, take a look at somethig different. Look out for some sort of introduction to regular expressions instead. On the other hand, if you are working with regular expressions on day to day basis, if you mix various languages during development, this book might be quite handy (even though it is Windows oriented). Great benefit of it is that you get covered eight different standars of regular expressions.

Let me say politically correct – I leave the choice for your consideration.

Safe C++: How to avoid common mistakes
Safe C++: How to avoid common mistakes
by Vladimir Kushnir
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 26.99
29 used & new from CDN$ 1.88

3.0 out of 5 stars I have mixed feelings here …, Sept. 9 2012
Safe C++ is quite interesting book, however, after reading it I have mixed feelings. At some point it is targeted at begineers. If you don’t know how to avoid memory related mistakes, how to recover from the run-time errors, or how to hunt bugs you don’t know much about safe coding yet. In that case this book is definitelly for you. On the other hand, it requires quite good knowledge in C++ related area. I think, that knowing C++ well triggers some knowledge regarding topics covered in the book as well. Anyway, there are few nice topics there, and let me discuss them briefly.

Book itself is divided into three parts. First – describing what can be the source of issue, second – providing overview for some basic strategies that can save your time and effort, and third – telling you how to prepare the code for delivery. I think that last part is there just for the purpose of being there. It is short, condense and doesn’t teach you how to make things right. First part tells some obvious things regarding issues you can encounter during development. If you are real begginer this will be a good source of the information for you. If you are experienced developer, feel free to skip it. Most interesting part of the book can be found in second part. Here you will find the essence of the book. You will go over the sections covering different types of issues and you will be told how to overcome them. Each section contains brief summary that makes it much easier to learn things.

One thing that stroke me during the lecture was the strong assumption of the author that you will write self estime code from the scratch. Which is not quite a use-case in real life. Of course, following the rules proposed by Vladimir will definitelly help you develop better and safer applications, but sometimes this is not possible to develop in isolation. You will depend on external libraries, you will have to access external data sources, you will deal with the inherited code nobody remembers already. In these cases simple rules are not enough. What I would like to find in this book are the tools and methods for tracking the issues, memory leaks, code analysis etc. Let me explain by few examples. For example, Vladimir suggests using dedicated scpp::vector class instead of std::vector. This sounds fine, but he makes very strong assumption that you will never cast to std::vector even though you inherit from it. This is very strong assumption taking into account that most of the people use std::vector and you will have to cast sooner or later. Another example is to use smart pointers to track the allocations. But what about things allocated inside some legacy code? How to track memory leaks there? The same reffers to the section covering the code being easier to debug. The code might be better for debugging but definitelly not easier to read for developer. I know that you always have to make a tradeoff, but still, I think there are better ways to make debugger friendly code comparing to #ifdef DEBUG based inner fields of classes.

Overlally, I think this book will be very interesting for beginners who have already learned C++ but they lack the real life experience. When it comes to experienced developers, I am pretty sure you know most of the solutions presented in the book already. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to survive in the industry.

Android Database Programming
Android Database Programming
by Jason Wei
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 44.42
15 used & new from CDN$ 38.04

3.0 out of 5 stars Prior experience is required, Aug. 31 2012
This book is addressed to programmers who are supposed to get better understainding of how to use SQL and SQLite in Android applications. You will read few interesting things here, however, if you are not aware of SQLite, if you have never developed Android applications, and you have never worked with Apache Tomcat and Servlets you will be lost. That’s a fact. In my opionion this book is addressed to people who already know SQL, have developed for Android and want to combine both topics. There are few drawbacks in the book (at least from my point of view). First of all, introduction to SQL is to shallow. If you are not aware of SQL at all, it will not help you to understand the ods and end of SQL. Another thing that really cough my attention where programming practices that couldn’t be called proper ones. First one is related to the upgrade of databases in mobile application. I know this is just an example, but implying that you can remove all the data during upgrade is not a good pattern to follow. Another thing are the helper classes for the SQL access. In my opinion, teaching people to put everything in one place is not quite didactic.

I think this is a good sign that book like this appears on the market. It tries to synthesise various areas: SQLite, Servlets, SQL, Java and Androind in one place, however it seems to be too short and too condense to give 100% satisfaction to readers.

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