O'Reilly Book Reviewer

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Monday, April 16, 2012

Video Review: Strata Conference Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation

Video Review: Strata Conference Santa Clara 2012: Complete Video Compilation
The Business of Data
Alasdair Allan

This is an excellent video compilation by all measurable standards. I had absolutely just a little idea was Hadoop was and very little knowledge about the challenges facing today's world in "Big Data" terms that traditional databases (SQL!) were not able to meet. I absolutely loved watching all of the Hadoop videos. I admit I was totally biased towards Hadoop as that is the next big thing at my work place and everyone wants to jump in. This video series has made me quite competent and confident in speaking about Hadoop, discussing ideas with my superior and peers, and earning tremendous respect with other virtual teams at my work place. I didn't miss being at the conference at all. This video takes you right there. Anyway, I wouldn't have had the time to be at all the sessions unless I cloned myself. This entire compilation let's me watch videos on my time.

I will be watching videos on the other topics like Geo Data visualization, Apache Cassandra, etc, when I am a little bit over the Hadoop fever. This is a priceless collection!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review: 20 Recipes for Programming PhoneGap: Cross-Platform Mobile Development for Android and iPhone by Jamie Munro

This is a small, concise book of about 76 pages containing a variety of recipes using PhoneGap to build device agnostic applications using GPS location, maps, media, accelerometers, and much more. This book assumes you already know the basics of PhoneGap and will point you to the "Getting Started" link if you are not already familiar with using PhoneGap. You will also need to download jQuery and jQuery mobile library and setup your system before trying any of the recipes. It's not that difficult though and you should be doing that before picking this recipe book.

Each of the 20 recipe provides a systematic Problem/Solution/Discussion/Code format. From simple recipes to detect if the device is ready, detecting network status changes, retrieving device information, the book advances to more complicated recipes like using the GPS and displaying a position on a map, using the compass for navigation, using the accelerometer, etc. It also has recipes on saving data to a remote server, capturing audio and video, and extending PhoneGap with plug-ins.

The nice thing about this book is that it is easy to read and recipes can be quickly tried out. I finished reading this book in about an hour. It has found a place in my reference shelf to reach out to when needed.