Pentaho - The Fearless Approach!

Pentaho Business Analytics Cookbook

Publisher Link: http://bit.ly/1usjMmg

Pentaho is more a less a love hate relationship, I’ve reviewed a few of these publications to date and I’ve never seemed to fully understand how it all worked or functioned. Sure the examples were good and plentiful but I always felt like I had to resort to them for things that most found trivial. I’m pleased to say this book changed that for me, it was clear, concise, detailed, and organized in a fashion to which I was easily able to read and follow along. If you’re going to get into Pentaho you’d be very happy to have this book as your companion. This book walks you along from start to finish, I’d highly recommend this book to anyone starting out with Pentaho or even if you’re a seasoned vet looking for a refresher or reference book.

Pentesting - The Definitive Book!

Building Virtual Pentesting Labs for Advanced Penetration Testing

Publisher Link: http://bit.ly/1p9Wgtl

I really appreciate the use of Open Source Software, I’ve read quite a few pentesting books and this book goes right to the top of the list. Setting up the environments can be challenging at first, but I’d recommend building a few ISO images of the entire workbench you create so you can recover and damage it as many times as you like. Metasploit was probably one of my favorite exploitation software packages, building the payload is pretty cool but once you learn what the meanings of everything are, you get a false sense of security and then realize just how insecure you’re information (data) is.

The range of attacks in this book are pretty good, and each is covered even though I’d love to have an entire book on each of the topics this book did a wonderful job of covering each topic. One of the most important things you’ll take away from this book is not only what types of attacks exists, but how to avoid them and “UPDATE your system often.” I appreciate how everything is categorized and laid out in an easily digestible format. I highly recommend this book if you’re wanting to learn about security in the IT world, even if you’re a home user it’s important to protect your family from cyber crimes and attacks. This book delivered!

Practical Maya Programming with Python - Awesomeness

Practical Maya Programming with Python

Publisher Link: https://www.packtpub.com/hardware-and-creative/practical-maya-programming-python

This book was amazing, I’m by no means a Python expert and I’m just getting started, and this book exceeded my expectations. Right away I was put into creating a development area and getting familiar with the interpreter, and the author wasted little time with getting everything setup and going. PyMEL was new to me but this book made it approachable and easy to understand. I’m a huge fan of writing reusable code, it saves time, makes life easy, and once you gain enough experience it will show in your coding techniques. I’m very pleased the author spoke on refactoring code, again it’s something that comes with experience and time. Learning to look over your code and going “Ah, I can totally do it better this time around.” is a really awesome experience.

From performance to error handling this book kept me reading and wanting to do more, not only did I feel the examples were great, they gave me an excellent starting point and provided me with a solid foundation with Maya and PyMEL. The chapter on error handling is full of so much great information you’ll have to read it a few times, unless you’re a super computer capable of remembering everything. Overall this book is highly recommended from beginner to expert.

Apache Camel Developer’s Cookbook

Apache Camel Developer’s Cookbook

Wow! What an amazing book to get started with Apache Camel, I’ve never used this before and found this book immensely helpful. It was a practical read, very organized, and covered everything I expected to learn. The parallel processing was probably my favorite chapter, with error handling in a close 2nd place. The book was easily understood and well worth the $25, which if you catch a sale or one of the specials makes buying more than one book advantageous. 
Debugging and Security were on point and I’m always critical about these two areas, you need to find bugs and squash them along with maintaining the integrity of the application even on the security side. Overall I felt the book delivered and was not overdone, just enough to get me started while leaving room for growth which I would get into more advanced books for.

iOS Application Dev… get this like NOW!

Application Development in iOS 7
Publisher Link: https://www.packtpub.com/application-development/application-development-ios-7

I’ve not used any of the Apple SDK or anything Apple for that matter, and I found this book extremely helpful. Not only did it help me get started pretty quickly, it helped me get everything setup for development purposes. I found the code in the book to work the first time and I didn’t really have any issues with downloading the materials from the publishers website either. I’m not overly critical on finding grammar or other mistakes so long as the code works. I felt the book progressed nicely as it starts with setting up the working environment into creation of projects and then to working examples, which you should tinker with and try to build onto in order to continue your learning.

Overall I do agree with the publisher that this book is designed for the novice users, I don’t think you’d get much if you were an expert; however you would most likely gain from the updated SDK content offered in this book. I often find myself buying books on things I still don’t consider myself excellent with, just to see what changed! Excellent book, great price, .mobi version worked very well, and nothing to complain about here.

Getting Parallel with Python!

Parallel Programming with Python

Parallel Programming is a hot subject and for good reason, we are only getting faster. I’ve used C++ multi-thread architecture which is quite similar to python. Locking and unlocking threads can get confusing but you always have to keep things organized and you won’t get in too much trouble. I don’t mind some theory on what I’m getting ready to learn and eventually apply, this is expected for an entry level book. Which I felt others didn’t seem to keep in mind, not everything will be covered, this leaves room for more advanced books to be written. Shared state to messaging state were covered just enough for my taste but I could see how others would want a more elaborate explanation. Deadlock, Starvation, and Race Conditions were covered which are the most common issues faced when parallel programming. I remember when just the term alone would cause panic in the room, but now it’s nothing more then logically arranging your application to use workers to achieve a desired result, with concurrent operations which impact the overall speed of the application.

This is clearly shown when you get into the concurrent.futures section of the book, which I enjoyed very much. You have complete control over what occurs, until the system out grows your brain is now a full fledged API with a user manual! :) I really enjoyed Chapter 8, all of the re-factoring code to utilize a library was pretty cool to walk over and participate in. I’m still not an expert in Python but this book really gives you a reason to learn parallel programming in order to future-proof yourself and your code base.

Publisher Link: http://goo.gl/kHPLKZ

NetScaler - Excellent BOOK to guide you!

Implementing NetScaler VPXTM

NetScaler is about load balancing, in short many applications use some sort of load balancing to maintain steady connections and keep services running smooth for all of the users. NetScaler is also about gateway functionality and features, accessing secured connections, distributing the data along the pipeline and making sure everything works as expected. I’ve used other forms of software to do both of the above mentioned features and I have to say NetScaler performed rather well and over other alternatives (not mentioning any to avoid bashing) it seemed to outperform them. Lastly Compression and Caching, to leave these uncovered would have made this book all but useless as a cup holder for a leaky cup. If you are accessing a lot of data that will be frequently pulled you’d really want to be using a combination of both of these or just caching to please your demanding end users with their data needs. All in all I felt this book covered NetScaler very well and you will have a firm understanding of not only how to use features, you will also understand why they are important as well.

Publisher Link: http://goo.gl/VCuxh1

Awesome Node.js Book That DELIEVERED!

Node.js Blueprints

This book delivered. Node.js is very powerful, yet without the counterparts like AJAX and various other web technologies it is really limited, this book did an exceptional job of putting all of the pieces together. I would say from beginner to advanced web developer you will pull something from this book and go ah…. that’s how it works. I can see why Node became so popular, a lot of the monkey work is eliminated and processes that are repeated can be done quickly and efficiently, which is what we all strive for when writing web applications. I highly recommend this book!

Publisher Link: http://www.packtpub.com/nodejs-blueprints/book


Mastering CryENGINE

Starting out the book jumps right into setting up your work environment and flow, I use git and github. It was nice to see it placed in the book as a starting point because it is mandatory with professional projects where multiple parties are working on the project. I felt the book did an exceptional job of explaining the engine and using various parts, the chapters are laid out pretty good. I appreciate the logical flow the book used to approach working with CryENGINE. Starting with input it probably the easiest way to get your hands on the engine and see how things work. I’d highly recommend this book if you are looking to start developing with an established framework. I appreciated the use of LUA, and I felt everything was covered fairly well.

Publisher Link: http://www.packtpub.com/mastering-cryengine/book

Excellent Marketing Book by Packt!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Marketing Automation

     I have to agree with other reviews on this book, while I found it extremely helpful and rewarding it didn’t cover everything about MS D-CRM2013. The one pitfall mentioned was using HTML in outbound email communications and thankfully an addition was recommended that covered this gap. I’m completely new to this system and while I’ve done some other basic marketing activities through my career this really gave me a lot to talk about in our sit down sessions. One of my favorite things about the book was the step by step approach that always seems work well with my brain.

     The approach to the different marketing channels was nifty, and I now understand why there are so many drop down options in the software systems we use to “drill down” into each segment. I highly recommend this book if you want to start learning about marketing automation.