Posts Tagged ‘book’

non-intimidating guides

Chocolate brownieGoal: Non-intimidating guides for readers new to various topics. There are quite the few:

  1. For Dummies series… “A Reference for the rest of us” – wiki, site
  2. Teach Yourself series… – wiki – guides in a week have arrived – site
  3. Complete Idiot’s Guide series… – wiki, site

O’Reilly has the Annoyances, Hacks, Head First, and Missing Manual (wiki).

What are other guides that are non-intimidating, distilling topics for people to grok? 

Apress calls their guides “for professionals by professionals” (technically oriented). Packt has a huge amount of books on a variety of topics.

Travel is a whole other ballgame. I visited Kinokuniya recently and saw shelves of travel guides. I’m not sure if people buy these anymore considering the vast amount of information on the Internet that exists.

Year end tab sweep 2012 edition

Here are some things I think are well worth reading (also, I’m starting the year fresh with nothing in my tabs :P)

  • Wired has a great interview by Steven Levy on Tim O’Reilly’s Key to Creating the Next Big Thing. Tim taught me to work on stuff that matters (fond memories of an O’Reilly Moleskine Christmas gift), and now continues teaching everyone to create more value than they capture.
  • Blood Sugar or how the diabetes market is waiting to be disrupted. More needs to be done in terms of controlling this disease. We already have sensible trackers like Fitbit, etc. what more can we do to manage this?
  • Why Samsung’s Man in Silicon Valley uses Apple Devices – interesting take in the MIT Technology Review on Yong Sohn, President & Chief Strategy Officer for Samsung based in Silicon Valley. 
  • Another from MIT Technology Review is Installable Web Apps WIll Be the Next Tech Battleground. I see web apps as being important, and I’ve been thinking about this space a lot more lately.
  • Paul Buchheit wrote an amazing essay titled The Gift. It is a must read on unconditional love & living life to the fullest.
  • MIT Technology Review again, this time on disrupting college textbooks. Free Textbooks Spell Disruption for College Publishers profiling Ariel Diaz and his site Boundless Learning. I remember a time buying really expensive textbooks and realized that you only use them for a term, with very few that you plan to keep on your bookshelf forever. The second-hand market naturally thrives but they go out-of-date usually within a year. I know many in Malaysia that love to photocopy textbooks (which I abhor and would never encourage). Imagine free e-book textbooks that you can read on your tablet? Highlight? Have all your notes in one place based on the highlights? This will revolutionize education.
  • Marten Mickos asks: What is Innovation?
  • I’m always interested in new & innovation publishing mediums, and this summary post leaves a lot to think about: Frankfurt Book Fair 2012: Self-publishing, cell phones & startups.
  • Back to a nugget from Tim O’Reilly, a must read is It’s Not About You: The Truth about Social Media Marketing. There’s a money quote there:
  • Activism has been the core of our marketing ever since.  We tell big stories that matter to a community of users, and together we use those stories to amplify a message that we all care about. Framing ideas in such a way that they include and reinforce the identity of a group of people who might not previously have seen themselves as part of the same community allows everyone to tell their own story in a way that adds up to something bigger than any one of them might tell alone. And once they start telling their story as part of the bigger story, it suddenly looks like a parade. 
  • Keep it Real by Nalden. Branding is everything & it comes with good work.
  • Which one are you: Confident? Arrogant? Smug?

    Confidence is the honest belief that you’re highly capable of helping others. Arrogance is the honest belief you have nothing more to learn yourself. It’s a fine line, but walk right up to it. (Smugness is arrogance without the talent—these are the people “coaching” others who have never done what they’re coaching.)

    Quote from Alan Weiss. Totally read the book: Million Dollar Consulting.

    Why do Mac & Linux users pay more for things?

    I just purchased The Humble eBook Bundle. I primarily use a Mac OSX based laptop (my MacBook Pro), and secondarily use Linux in various flavours (a Lenovo ThinkPad runs Ubuntu, various boxes run a combination of that and Fedora & CentOS, and virtual machines are growing).

    It seems not only with regards to Orbitz showing better, more expensive, hotels to Mac users, even when it comes to the Humble Bundle, Mac and Linux users pay more. Are we just conditioned to pay more than Microsoft Windows users?

    I’m glad to support DRM-free e-books & great content. Who knows, I might discover something new.

    Book: MariaDB Crash Course

    Exciting news – MariaDB gets its first book!

    Many years ago I read Ben Forta’s MySQL Crash Course . It is a book targeted at beginners of MySQL. Ben has now written another book, titled: MariaDB Crash Course.

    Its still targeted at beginners, and covers many of the new features that are available in MariaDB up to version 5.2. I had the pleasure of pre-reading it, and did send in lots of comments to Ben, and if implemented we’ll see some stuff in there that is current even for MariaDB 5.3, like dynamic columns and more.

    You can pre-order the MariaDB Crash Course which goes on sale September 23 2011 for USD$29.99 (Amazon lets you save, its $19.59 now). I’m not sure if we’ll see a Kindle version or not.

    Reading on the iPad

    I’ve been carrying an iPad since the second day it got released in the United States… That makes me somewhat of an early adopter. I’ve been reading e-books on the iPad using iBooks (via O’Reilly’s Safari) and also via GoodReader when people release them as PDFs. I never did purchase an iBook or Kindle book until recently.

    Last week, right before a long flight back from San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur, I decided to purchase: The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of a Life Without Reservations by Paul Carr. I had enjoyed reading his previous book, Bringing Nothing To The Party: True Confessions Of A New Media Whore, which he at one stage even released as a free PDF.

    GoodReader has been my most popular application on the iPad. And I do a lot of reading using Instapaper. But for books? I bought an iBook using my US-based iTunes account, and I read the entire tome from Carr on the flight back. I was hooked.

    This weekend, while sitting down in a hotel in Seoul, I decided to try my luck with the Kindle. Lo and behold, I can do one-click purchasing using my Malaysian-issued credit card. Now you’ve got me hooked! First I used the Mac application — figuring out though I would not be reading too much on the Mac (I really only read technical books on my laptop, and that is served very nicely from the Safari bookshelf).

    Next I proceeded to download the iPad/iPhone application (they’ve made it universal). Enter my username and password, and I’m off to reading straight on my iPad. I paid for three books last night and have already made some headway in reading one.

    I can highlight bits of writing, which is a lot better than me dog-earing books and sometimes forgetting to come back to snippets. Now with Kindle? I have a webpage, in where I can see what I’ve highlighted, write notes, see my own highlights, see other people’s public notes, and lots more. I forsee that right after I’m done reading, I can just save my highlights in Evernote, and I’ll have a digitally searchable copy of everything.

    This changes the way I read. This changes the way I buy books (currently I bulk purchase them every couple of months, since I visit the United States pretty often). This also probably means I’ll have a lot less to carry in my travels.

    The Kindle experience so far beats the iBooks experience for me. Of course, to buy a book, I’ve got to do it via a web browser and not in-app (thanks Apple for making life a little more difficult for me). Makes me wonder how much longer my Audible subscription will stay alive…

    All that said, the iPad has become a whole lot more useful for me. And an iPad upgrade for myself to the iPad 2 has become a whole lot more appealing as well…