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mko "mko" (Poland)

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Concurrent Programming in Mac OS X and IOS: Unleash Multicore Performance with Grand Central Dispatch
Concurrent Programming in Mac OS X and IOS: Unleash Multicore Performance with Grand Central Dispatch
von Vandad Nahavandipoor
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 15,76

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4.0 von 5 Sternen good introduction to queues within Objective-C, 26. Juli 2011
This book is really short one. But don't be fooled by it's size. In fact it's very comprehensive. One remark here ' regarding title. It might be slightly misleading. Book is related to queue mechanics within Mac OS X and iOS rather than treads. But let's take a look at the content. At the very beginning Vandad leads you through the, so called, Block Objects. They have really awkward syntax, but Vandad does a good job here and explains how to construct them. He uses analogy to C and Objective-C related constructs. He also introduces Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) that is a heart of queues. After basis are laid he goes to the topics related to queues and ways of utilizing them. Here, he presents examples that show how to develop parts of code that will utilize queues. This way, you can easily get in touch with the paradigm. Great advantage is that you can easily download source codes from the book page. They work with the XCode 4 out of the box.

This book, in my opinion, is addressed to experienced users. You will definitely require Objective-C knowledge, and basics of Mac OS X or iOS programming. However, if you are a beginner, simply write the tittle down and come back for it later, when you are ready to go. Or, maybe, when your application will require task based development.


The Book of CSS3: A Developer's Guide to the Future of Web Design
The Book of CSS3: A Developer's Guide to the Future of Web Design

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4.0 von 5 Sternen CSS3 rules explained, 26. Juli 2011
Peter is perfectly right with his introduction to the book ' 'Let me tell you a little about who I think you are: You're a web professional who's been hand-coding HTML and CSS (')'. This sentence, probably, describes most of the home grown HTML developers around the world. If you are working with CSS and you want to know what to expect when it comes to CSS3 this book sound to be quite useful. Peter goes over the features of CSS3 while at the same time presenting them in a structured way. He discuses particular rule, shows examples of the usage, and, at the end of each chapter, summarizes their support within most commonly used web engines: WebKit, Firefox, Opera, and IE. You will find this list again within appendix ' this way you can easily check whether particular feature is missing or not within given Web browser.

When it comes to the content, it turned out that I am really a casual user of CSS. There are many rules that I was not aware of. This way, I was able to learn new stuff. On the other hand, I think that material is quite demanding for the reader. As Peter states at the beginning of the book: 'The Book of CSS3 helps you leverage the excellent knowledge you have of CSS2.1 in order to make learning CSS3 easier. I won't explain the fundamentals of CSS'. This is true indeed. You have to have the knowledge of basics in order to benefit from the book. I suggest getting some other position that will teach you CSS from the scratch before targeting this one. What I can definitely say about the book is it's style. It suits me. Peter simply focuses on the matter itself. However, keep it mind that book is not for a beginners.


Graphics and Animation on IOS: A Beginner's Guide to Core Graphics and Core Animation
Graphics and Animation on IOS: A Beginner's Guide to Core Graphics and Core Animation
von Vandad Nahavandipoor
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 13,61

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Graphics and Animation on iOS, 26. Juli 2011
Graphics and Animation on iOS is another book devoted to iOS written by Vandad Nahavandipoor. He has also written iOS 4 Programming Cookbook. Graphics and Animation on iOS seems to be a supplement for iOS 4 Programming Cookbook. You can find here topics that are not covered in previous book. These topics touch the issues related to graphics manipulation within iPhone applications. Even though the book is not a typical Cookbook, it has similar style.

Book itself is rather thin. It covers just few topics. You will find here basics that most of programmers face sooner or later and it is addressed to people who start their experience with iOS development. That means, issues explained within the book are not very sophisticated. You will find here answers to commonly asked questions like: how do I draw something on the screen, how do I draw a text, how can I scale the image (shape), how can I rotate the image (shape), etc.

Graphics and Animation on iOS is a typical 'learn by example' tutorial. Examples are very simple and supporting code makes running them as simple as copy-paste. One remark here. Copying examples from book into XCode doesn't preserve formatting which means you have to manually reformat code within IDE. In fact, you mostly work with _single_ UIView method ' drawRect throughout the book. Everything happens inside it. This is really nice.

Book has two drawbacks. First of all, title implies that both graphics and animation will be covered in, let's say, equal proportion. This is not quite true. Animation related topics are like 10% of the whole book. Another issue is that I miss clipping related section ' this is usually an issue when it comes to graphics related development.

In overall I think this book is really devoted to iOS beginners. On the other hand you can always use it as a handy snippets base with detailed explanation. What is really nice here is that code examples are really small and functional.


Learning Android
Learning Android
von Marko Gargenta
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 23,71

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Welcome to Android's world, 26. Juli 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Learning Android (Taschenbuch)
Developing Android based application is like any other development. You have to get tools, learn basics and explore the details of the API. Learning Android covers first two topics.

First of all, you can get the overview of Android, what it does, who develops it and so forth. You can call it an overview from 9K feet height. After that you are explained how Android is organized and how all the system layers are organized. This is quite useful part because you can get the feeling what to expect when it comes to the API. Then you will be guided through the initial setup that allows you to develop Android based applications. This part is quite useful, because it allows you to get all the information required for preparing development environment. You will be, literally, lead step by step how to configure everything (at this point you can tell that Marko has some experience when it comes to providing people with tutorials ' you are simply not able to go wrong here). One remark here. Marko doesn't mention that you have to set-up Android's SDK location before you proceed with 'Hello world' example. In order to do this, you have to go to: Eclipse -> Preferences -> Android -> SDL Location and set proper SDK location. He also forgets to mention that after setting up ADT you have to go to: and install all the packages that are required for Android development.

After you are ready to go with coding, there is a place for getting familiar with Android's API. Here, Marko provides you with information related to Various aspects of Android related development. In general, it's fine, but there is one drawback. Marko tries to provide you with the knowledge related to Android by conducting you basing on hypothetical application (Yamba). It means, that through out the book you will be hooked to this application and you will try to approach it from various perspectives: UI, database, services, etc. This kind of approach ha it's pros and cons. Pros are that you can get the feeling of real application being developed using technology you are interested in. Cons are: you are stick to example project through out whole book, you can't jump between topics without the overview of the example of application. I generally prefer 'Cookbook' series where you are presented a solution for particular issue.

What I have missed most in this book are: HTTP communication within Android apps, Web Service calls within Android based applications, description of Android Market.

In general, this book is OK, but definitely not perfect. I missed lots of topics to be covered here. On the other hand, it has quite well prepared introduction to Android, initial set up and Android's basics. This way, you are provided everything that allows you to start developing Android applications.

Stay tuned, I will update this post as soon as I read some other books on Android. I'll tell you then, whether this book can compete with others or not.


Programming iOS 4: Fundamentals of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Development
Programming iOS 4: Fundamentals of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Development

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4.0 von 5 Sternen iOS 4/XCode 4 explained, 26. Juli 2011
Programming iOS 4 is one of the publications available on market that are devoted to iOS related programming. And I was quite impressed when I was reading it. First of all, it is based not only on iOS 4 but on XCode 4 as well. This is huge advantage because you don't have to think about transition between XCode 3 and XCode 4 while reading the book. Not only book is based on the XCode, but Matt provides you with an introduction to the tool. This way you can get familiar with it fairly easy. You will find information regarding how to access documentation, how to deal with code snippets, how to deal with code completion (BTW ' if you are moving from any other IDE I suggest replacing Esc with Ctrl+space for code completion being invoked), static analysis of the code. It's a pity that this is another book where Instruments are not explained in greater details.

iOS development is based on Objective-C, which means that you have to get familiar with it when you move on from Java/C# world. Matt provides you with an introduction to the language. This section contain basic information related to C and Objective-C. Be warned here. I'd definitely suggest to buy some solid C guide ' like a classic 'C Language' by K&R. The same situation relates to Objective-C, go and buy something that is entirely devoted to language itself ' Programming in Objective-C by G. Kochan would be good idea. However, this is not mandatory. If you need just a brief overview of the language, Matt provides all you need here. However, there are small issues in C introduction. Matt refers to 'nil' which is not C standard ' it is introduced by Objective-C. The same refers to NSString object. As far as I recall, you can't use them in pure C.

After making you familiar with development environment Matt goes over features of iOS API and presents various aspects of iPhone programming. You won't get here complete solutions, instead he focuses on what's most important in each case. This way you can briefly go over the topics and focus on what's most important for you. At some point it might be irritating, because it looks like not much more than API description from the documentation, but in most cases it's something more than that.

In general, I find it quite useful. I have found few topics that I was not aware of after moving to XCode 4. I think the book is worth reading.


Data Mashups in R
Data Mashups in R
von Jeremy Leipzig
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,64

3.0 von 5 Sternen Data Mashups in R, 26. Juli 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Data Mashups in R (Taschenbuch)
Have you ever wondered whether R can utilize regular expressions? Have you been forced to download data from particular source before you start using it within R? Or maybe you were not quite sure how to deal with XML within R scripts. Well, thats what Data Mashups are all about. Jeremy and Xiao-Yi show you how to deal with all these aspects. They show it in very condense way, but still, you can get the feeling what's R and scripting is all about. You will find here regular expressions, XML parsing, how to use PBSmapping package and description of how to combine all of this within single project.

The book is quite interesting ' in terms of the topic. However, it looks little bit messy. I would expect that you get the idea of the problem we want to solve before you start solving it. Well, not this time. Jeremy and Xiao-Yi skip this part and jump straight into solution. It complicates the process of getting through the ideas presented in the book. I prefer to be offered problem before I start looking for a solution. Question here is ' maybe for this kind of topic, essay is really enough. I don't know. I am still getting through R and it's 'traps', and honestly, I choose other R related titles from O'Reilly over Data Mashups. If you start your adventure with R choose 'R Cookbook' or '25 Recipes for Getting Started with R'. If you are already familiar with R, and you want to go beyond what can be called standard, go ahead with Data Mashups.

Idea of the book is very good. The application, not the best one. I can value the solutions and the code snippets that are shown ' you can always reuse them at some point in your own projects, however, the way everything is bound and presented doesn't quite appeal to me.


Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
von Dave Gray
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 18,95

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4.0 von 5 Sternen have fun while creating great things, 26. Juli 2011
If you want to came up with something you usually have two options. Either you go with some kind of process (this way is usually good one if you want to have your back covered) or you go with unconventional methods (if you have enough money to cover your expenses in case of failure). The second approach is what Gamestorming is all about. First of all, you get the explanation of what playing game is all about. This is very important part, because it will give you arguments when it comes to convince other people to play a little bit instead of just 'inventing' things through regular process of 'thinking'. It might be hard work to convince your co-workers to use this way of solving issues. Many people find 'playing games' a perfect example of wasting the time. That's why it is very good idea to show how playing games makes your brain work different way. After explaining the concept of gamestorming authors go through various examples of games that might help you solve your problems. The collection of games is really impressive. There are almost 100 different games presented within the book. Games are divided into sections that help you solve particular issues. Opening games help you produce ideas quickly, exploring games help you go through the ideas you came up with, closing games help you to get into the end of the innovation process. Reading the book really is fun, however, mind one thing. Not everybody likes to play. If your colleagues do not like to play RPGs, they don't know what RTS is, and board games are just a mean of wasting time, gamestorming is probably not good for you. I agree that pushing people into 'another worlds', with different rules might be good way of finding what hasn't been found yet, however ' not everybody is ready for that. Not everybody likes to play. People simply feel very uncomfortable in this kind of situations. I think that book should be read by people who either have their own company or have team of really open minded co-workers ' people who like to explore alternative ways of finding solutions. I find this book very inspiring, but, you know, I have graduated from philosophy (among the others) and studying philosophy is by itself similar to playing with ideas and exploring new worlds


iOS 4 Programming Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Apps
iOS 4 Programming Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Apps
von Vandad Nahavandipoor
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 37,58

4.0 von 5 Sternen find solutions for typical iOS 4 related issues, 26. Juli 2011
iOS 4 Programming Cookbook was the first of cookbook series I have ever read. The idea of this series is to present recipes that will allow you to 'prepare' piece of code that does 'something'. Recipes are presented very consistent way through the description of the problem, answer for the particular problem and explanation of the given solution. Problems, that are discussed within the book, usually refer to issues that are elementary yet very commonly asked by introductory programmers. Book is divided into chapters that cover different aspects of iOS programming. You will find there answers to topics like view related issues, data management using Core Data, threading, multitasking, XML, and many other aspects of iOS 4 APIs. In general, I find this book interesting, however there are few drawbacks when it comes to details. First of all, you can't treat this book as the only source of knowledge when it comes to learning iOS programming. You should treat it as a reference for quite common problems that people encounter, but not as a complete guide to programming. I'd suggest here buying another book that describes topics in greater details (e.g. Learning iPhone Programming). Another issue here is that some topics may be very misleading. If you have never used Objective-C before you will probably find it difficult to understand it through 'Working with objects' chapter. I think that this section could be skipped at all. It doesn't cover the Objective-C programming related techniques deeply. Even more, most of the topics that are discussed in this section you will find in any 'programming in Objective-C' related title as well ' but better explained. I would recommend this book only to people who want to have a starting point for some of the common tasks that have to be performed while programming any complex application. As a starting point for learning iOS programming ' not really.


R Cookbook (O'Reilly Cookbooks)
R Cookbook (O'Reilly Cookbooks)
Preis: EUR 17,30

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Simple, yet powerful, 26. Juli 2011
Simply put, one of the best R starters around. What you get here are recipes for most common problems you will face while working with R. This book is an extended version of 25 Recipes for Getting Started with R. However, the coverage of material is different. While 25 Recipes focus on getting started with R, R Cookbook penetrates the subject in greater details and goes beyond simple usage of R. You will find here not only how to load data, manipulate it and plot some graphic. You can find description of various statistical analysis as well.

This book, is not for a reading in bed just before you go to sleep. It is too pragmatic. Simple definition of the problem and just after that, simple solution ' that's what you get when it comes to each issue covered within the book. This is the strength of R Cookbook. On the other hand, it's weakness. If you cant find the question within table of contents it might be hard to get the answer for what you ask about. As I like pragmatic approach, I like the book as well. For me it's just perfect. Well, maybe just too short.


25 Recipes for Getting Started with R
25 Recipes for Getting Started with R
von Paul Teetor
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 16,93

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5.0 von 5 Sternen start working with R ' gently way, 26. Juli 2011
Simple, straight to the point, and nicely composed introduction to R. This is the first impression after you go briefly through all the chapters. I am not regular R user ' I use R periodically when I have to perform server log analysis. However I remember my first experience with R. It was quite painful to do such simple tasks as loading data from input files, printing loaded data, plotting basic charts not to mention more complex data analysis. Paul guides you through R basics and provides you with gentle introduction to R ' powerful tool (or language if you want to be strict) for statistical analysis of data. What you get here is a description of tasks that every beginner will perform ' sooner or later. Book guides your through all the steps from the installation process to complex data analysis. After reading this book chapter by chapter you will most probably notice something ' it wasn't that hard to start working with R after all. What I really like in Paul's approach is that examples are really, really simple and straightforward. No messing around, just plain, clear, simple examples ' very often single liners. But don't think that this is all about. After each solution there is a time for a deeper analysis of the problem. This is the place, where you get detailed explanation of what really happens when you execute given example. Great benefit of the book is that it covers really basic issues related to R programing and it covers them at fairly small number of pages. This way, you get the knowledge, while at the same time you don't get bored. Must have for R beginners.


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