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Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Here is the books I read for January.

image BlackBerry Planet: The Story of Research in Motion and the Little Device that Took the World by Storm

Available in National Library


This book chronicles the history and rise of BlackBerry devices and the company RIM. RIM shows that the secret to the company’s success is to develop core competency, sustainable innovation and entrepreneurial culture.  A substantial part of the book also highlights on how BlackBerry is used as a effective and indispensable tool in Obama campaigning for president-ship.
image After the Software Wars

Free download at http://www.lulu.com/content/4964815 


This is must read for those who want to get excellent insight into the changing world of Information Technology. A wide range of interesting topics are covered, including Linux, open-source movement, DRM, Google and Java. Basically, all the important things you ever want to know about computer world is covered in this book. Do not miss it especially when it’s free.
image  Programming Clojure

Available in National Library


Functional programming and concurrency are all the rage now as multi-core CPU becomes commodity and trend of the future. Clojure, a derivative of the venerable LISP language running under the powerful Java Virtual Machine, has caught the computing world by storm due to its elegance and uniqueness, combined with unmatched performance. By merging the flexibility and power of LISP with Java, Clojure provides a attractive language for those Java veterans who want to take their skill to another level. And for that, one will need Programming Clojure, the only book currently available for the language. This book provides a great reference and tutorial for those who want to come to speed in learning and using Clojure.
image  iPhone User Interface Design Projects


How does one create a world class attractive iPhone application that is easy-to-use ? What is the thought process in designing and building iPhone application ? What better way to learn about building iPhone application than by learning through actual experience of those who been there.  This book is for those who will want to get valuable insight in creating beautiful GUI for iPhone.
image  Beginning Java Google App Engine


Google App Engine is a disruptive cloud platform not only because of its power. scalability, reliability and ease of use, but also because one can deploy and use application for free compare to other cloud vendors like Amazon. This book will provides a excellent introduction to those Java developers using Google App Engine and explain the concept and technology behind the engine.
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Time really flies fast. The end of 2009 is coming soon and soon we have a new year ahead. And with this, I like to end the year with this last post for the year about the books I read from October till December. Sound pretty lame and dry post to end the year though.

image This book chronicles the history of software programming languages (eg C++, Basic, Java) which contribute to innovation and advancement of software and internet industry. By studying the history of programming language, one can come to appreciate the amount of thinking and work involve in developing a programming language.
http://www.amazon.com/Go-Superheroes-Software-Programming-Internet/dp/1861972431/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262243005&sr=1-1
image This is a excellent book on business case study of various technological companies competing in the volatile, unpredictable and fast-growing internet-based Information Technology industry. Many disruptive companies like Netscape and AOL are profiled and critically analyzed for their strategies and business models.
http://www.amazon.com/Winners-Losers-Creators-Casualties-Internet/dp/1590202759/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262242627&sr=1-4
Available in National Library
imageFor those who strive to be better passionate programmer should read this book. The pragmatic and practical advises given by the author is shared by his own experience, which make this book a valuable companion throughout the course of programming career.
http://www.amazon.com/Passionate-Programmer-Remarkable-Development-Pragmatic/dp/1934356344/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262242328&sr=1-1
imageGoogle has to be the most popular technology company apart from Microsoft to garner the interest of book publishers. Almost every year, you bound to see a new book written on the company, its founders and business. Still, this book provides interesting read on Google and distinguish itself by placing more focus on the founders themselves. For those who are fascinate with Google and its rise to power, this book will not disappoint.
http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Larry-Sergeys-Richard-Brandt/dp/B002XULXWO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262240741&sr=1-1
Available in National Library
image JavaFX is still relatively a new RIA technology which differentiates itself by using a unique and easy-to-learn scripting language, and by leveraging on the  Java platform. However, the technology and language are still evolving. A book by Manning, a book publisher with reputation for delivering high-quality technology book, therefore comes at the right time. Simon’s concise and cohesive style of writing does make JavaFX learning a very positive experience. This is a must-have book for those who want to learn the in-and-out of this promising technology.
http://www.amazon.com/JavaFX-Action-Simon-Morris/dp/1933988991/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262241763&sr=1-1

Last but not least,

Goodbye 2009. Welcome to 2010

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Geezer: A whiter shade of pale (S2)

image  image

A Whiter Shade of Pale is a popular classic song by Procol Harum.  It has a haunting melody and very “nostalgic” feel to it.

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Geezer: Reality (S2)

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 Richard Sanderson sang this song back in 1983 and since then it remains a classic timeless love song. He is best known for his song "Reality", which was the title theme to the soundtrack to the 1980 film La Boum. The song became a hit in Europe in 1982, reaching #1 in 15 countries, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and selling more than eight million copies worldwide.

Site: http://www.richard-sanderson.com/

 

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I’m not affiliated with the product but some products are just too great that it is a disservice not to review it.

imageimage is the reputable producer of wide range of dental products for both consumers and practitioners. Just for toothbrush alone, it produces myriad of innovative toothbrushes that make purchasing one a very difficult choice as majority of them have such a great “marketing” feature that sound technologically superior (eg Dual Clean, Precision Clean) and you wonder if you left out something if you purchase one over another.

Luckily the choice selection to purchase a electric toothbrush is less involving for me since the NTUC store only carries 3 types of electric toothbrush from Oral-B. Among the attractive offerings, I purchased the beautifully named battery-operated toothbrush, Oral-B CrossAction Power Whitening Battery Toothbrush because it is the cheapest but yet provides the most value for money due to its 2 brushes.

For a list of power toothbrush, take a look at

http://dentalcare.com/soap/whatsnew/index.htm or

http://www.oralb.com

 

Manual or Electric toothbrush ?

Even in this age of electric product, it is surprising many still shun electric toothbrush thinking that it is just gimmick amidst of proven scientific research of its effectiveness. Many still prefer to use manual toothbrush thinking that it is lot safer and simpler to use and control. A major disadvantage of manual toothbrush is that it is less effective in cleansing the teeth due to constraint movement of the brush in the mouth and tiresome straining of hand that result in inconsistent effort. No matter how innovative the manual toothbrush is, it is still dependent on the effort of the hand which can tire easily. Not so for the electric toothbrush as it make cleansing look effortless. Because the brush is control electrically rather than by hand movement, the brush cleanses consistently in any reachable part of teeth. In fact the high speed movement of the brush whether running in circular or vertically motion is more effective in clearing debris from the teeth than manual movement since the teeth is clean multiple times by the rotating brush.

My own experience of using electric toothbrush is that the first time I use it, I wonder why I never try it earlier. Since then, it has become indispensable part of my life. Initially it can be painful experience as the hard brush injure the gum causing it to bleed. However after few days, the brush will soften and brushing become second nature.

The major advantage of manual toothbrush is its cheap cost. One can get it very cheaply as he want it to be by foregoing effectiveness and brand. Even the cheapest battery-powered toothbrush easily cost more than $10 and the brush replacement is even more costly. Moreover the loud electric sound generated by rotating motor sound may even be irritated enough to drive off potential users.

Nonetheless, the advantages of electric toothbrush certainly outweigh its disadvantages, and for those who yet to try it should at least try it. Using it might just be life-changing for you (just like wearing contact len versus eye-glasses).

Tips in using electric toothbrush

  • imageInvest in rechargeable battery because battery consumption is quite high as battery need to change every month from my experience (depend on individual’s brushing pattern)
  • imageWhen not in used, always place the toothbrush with the brush facing downward to prevent water from slipping into the motor mechanism. Commonsense prevails that the toothbrush should have been water-tight since all toothbrush always been show with brush facing up with even toothbrush holder designed for such position. However in reality, water from the brush does enter gradually into the motor compartment due to gravity which will shorten the toothbrush’s lifespan. I should known since I have been placing toothbrush in different position. With the brush on top, the electric toothbrush last around a year and when face downward, it lasts three years.

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Geezer: (NM2) for all music | Wind Of Time | Wind A Time | Love | Lovely Choice | Forbidden Love | Flying

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S.E.N.S (“Sound, Earth, Nature, and Spirit”) was formed in 1988 and comprised of very talented Japanese duo, Yukari Katsuki and Akihiko Fukaura. Their composition is generally soothing and relaxing with some of their best-known compositions been melancholic type. They maintain their site http://www.sens-company.com/eg/index.html 

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After two months of absence, I’m back with new posting. What better way to resume blogging then to start reviewing about the book I read this month. All the following books are borrowed from Singapore National Library.

The Last Lecture

imageSo what is this thing called “The Last Lecture” ?  Traditionally,  some universities has this practice of asking professors to deliver their last lecture over the the question of “What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance ? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy.”

imageRandy Pausch, a professor in Carnegie Mellon University, has his chance to deliver his last lecture in the midst of a critical cancer which render him 3-6 months to live, and in the course of doing so, live behind a legacy that will be remembered for generation to come. Randy unfortunately passed away in July08 but not before meticulously chronicles his life, childhood dream, family, the important events and reflection and even his secrets in his book and video in the hope that his three kids, will grow up to understand and remember him and learn from his wisdom and experience of life.

For those who aspire to find the true meaning of life, perhaps they could find their answer in Randy’s book.
imagehttp://www.thelastlecture.com/

 

Source: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Lecture-Randy-Pausch/dp/1401323251/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230273914&sr=8-1

If you dislike reading book, at least watch the video Open-mouthed. Randy’s energetic style and enthusiasm will surely inspire you too.

Hour-long Lecture

Lecture condensed in 10 mins

 

Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0

image This book documents the rise of the Web 2.0 of some of the most popular sites and personality that define and shape the web we know today.

A lot is covered on particular companies and founders. These include FaceBook, Digg, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Andreessen etc.
What distinguish this book is that it goes into hard detail of the founder’s life, and how their life and personality actually shape the company they found.

Another interesting read is that using real deal of rising star company, it debunks the myths of millions dollars company sellout and remind one that if a business deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Apparently, it is just too easy to be tempted and hyped by the figures of sellout, but on closer inspection of the deal, these impressive figures may hardly represent feasible deal. That to say that it is hard to evaluate a financial value of sites that is popular and generate traffic but without sustainable and concrete revenue, and that business has to considered the risk of such investment.

Sarah’s experience as a journalist show in her excellent and simplistic writing style that easily captivate the reader. This book is addictive to read and I do find it hard to put down the book.

This is a must read book for those who want to know the in and out of the Web 2.0 movement and what it means to do a startup.

image Sarah Lacy maintains her site at http://www.sarahlacy.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Youre-Lucky-Twice-Good/dp/1592403824/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230274107&sr=8-1

 

Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft Plans to Stay Relevant in the Post-Gates Era

image Is Microsoft still relevant today as yesterday in the Web era ? What will happen to Microsoft when Bill Gates’ era is over ? What strategies, products , technology and visions underpin Microsoft to compete against the nimble and innovative incumbents that leverage on the open-source and Web 2.0 movement ? How do Microsoft transform itself and its business revenue model to adapt and embrace the Web without threatening its Windows and Office cash cows ?
In this book, Mary Jo Foley, a popular long-time Windows Veteran, tries to find the answer from her meticulous research using Microsoft “secret” insiders, public information and analytical insight. Mary augments her thought and insight by referencing public quotes (with URL) from Microsoft officials and management. By doing so, she hope to find ways and evidences that Microsoft has what it takes to compete in the intensified business environment.

image Mary-Jo Foley blogs at http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/

Another interesting Microsoft Watch site
http://www.microsoft-watch.com/

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