Tag: book review

Grokking Algorithms, book review

Grokking_Algorithms-Book_Cover

Published on: 01.07.2017

Number of pages: 256
Written by: Aditya Bhargava
Publish by: Manning

Conclusion
Interesting book, visualizations are very helpful.

Review
When I saw this book first time I was not interested.
Book cover was too childish for me.

But after listening podcast about it, I changed my mind.

Illustrations in book are used to explain concepts, and they are very useful.
All code is in python, that was bonus point for me.

Here is video example of illustration:

I do recommend this book for reading, you can understand Big O notation from it and algorithms.

Ethernet Switches, book review

ethernet_switches-Book_Cover

Published on: 01.06.2017

Number of pages: 80
Written by: Charles E. Spurgeon and Joann Zimmerman
Publish by: O’Reilly Media

Conclusion
Useful to read.

Review
This is small book and I like small books.

Although it is small there is no shortage of information in book.

Book explains: what is Ethernet switch, for what is used, how it is working, VLAN (virtual LAN), STP (Spanning Tree Protocol), network design, different special purpose switches (like: multi-layer, access, industrial, wireless access point switch, ISP switch, data center switch) and advanced switch features (PoE, traffic flow monitoring).

Good read for getting advanced understanding of Ethernet switches.

How Machines Learn: An Illustrated Guide to Machine Learning, book review

How_Machines_Learn-Book_Cover

Published on: 01.04.2017

Number of pages: 63
Written by: Helen Edwards
Publish by: Self-publish

Conclusion
Best book for high-level understanding how today (in 2016/2017) machine learning is working.

Review
Illustrations in book are very helpful.
Without them it is much harder to understand machine learning concepts.
This book covers all topics in machine learning, it is not specializing on one aspect.

More thoughts on machine learning

This is my understanding of how machine learning is BIG change in software.
I would even say that machine learning is biggest change in software so far, it is a game changer.

Till last few yeas/decades, all computer programs (all work that was done by computers) had two important characteristics:
– Humans where making exact rules (algorithms) how computer will make decisions
– Everything that computer did, human could do it also

I maybe wrong, but AFAIK with machine learning, this is not true anymore.

Humans where making exact rules (algorithms) how computer will make decisions

Human was one who was designing and implementing algorithm.
If there was some BUG, person could understand what was the reason for the BUG.

But, for example, with neural networks and their weight there is no way to understand why some input have particular weight.
It is not possible to understand “computer” reasoning behind it.
This is BIG change in how algorithms work.
Because computer is fine tuning algorithm, a human can not understand how or why in details.

Everything that computer did, human could do it also

Argument is: computer can calculate average of 1000 number in less the second.
Human can do it also, but it need more time, much more time.
So computer are used for this kind of work because it is more profitable, but still human can do it.

In this argument I am exempting robots that work in conditions that are harmful for human, like high temperature, radiation, etc.
I am just talking about software/calculations.

In unsupervised learning goal is to find patterns that humans do not know about.
Humans can find some patterns across few dimensions, but even after 10 dimensions, what to speak of 100 or more it is not possible for human.

What will be result I do not know, but problems will arise

I do not see big problem when neural network is used to do OCR, eg. you write some numbers on you touch screen, or when it classifies pictures of dogs and cats.
If there is some error human can recognize error and cost of error is not important.
Not important in contexts, that result of error do not have huge impact on person life.
You got number 5 instead of 3, or it showed you a dog instead of cat.

But what if neural networks starts to be used for much more important decision ?

For example: visa acceptance, medical diagnostics, bank credit approval, decision if person is terrorist or not.

I would not be surprise that in future, there will be neural network making decisions, without anybody understanding what is the reason behind decision.

How can you even debug neural network when you have no idea how it decided on its input weights ?

How to know is it false negative or false positive ?

It will be interesting to see where machine learning will be in 10 years.

Essential Copying and Pasting From Stack Overflow, book review

essential_copying_and_pasting_from_stack_overflow-Book_Cover

Published on: 01.04.2017

Number of pages: n/a
Written by: Stack Overflow
Publish by: O’Reilly Media

Conclusion
Best book to make you better coder.
Most important book for every professional developer.
Most important book for any professional developer.
Most important book for all professional developer.

Review
I can not overexert importance of this book.
This book should be read from cover to cover at least every second day before noon.

Forget about algorithms, data structures, CPU/memory trade-off, Big O notation, copy/pasting from Stack Overflow is what gets thing done, apps build and make you billionaire.

But not everybody can be super developer just with internet connection and access to Stack Overflow.
To beat professional developer you need to learn how to effectively copy/paste.

Few tips are:

Real men use keyboard shortcuts.
Their little finger is always on CTRL and index finger ready for C.
Or Command, if their Linux is broken.

Recognizing good code from bad code (code planted from NSA to make backdoor in your software).
Although to let NSA backdoor in your software is not so bad, then they can fix it when it stops working, because you will not know how after successful career in copy/pasting.

Advanced tips:

How to written interesting code questions, so that other people write your code for free.

Fell free to share your effective copying and pasting from Stack Overflow in comments.

Learning Selenium Testing Tools with Python, book review

Learning_Selenium_Testing_Tools_with_Python-Book_Cover

Published on: 01.03.2017

Number of pages: 216
Written by: Unmesh Gundecha
Publish by: Packt Publishing

Conclusion
Book about Selenium with Python examples.

Review
Only book about Selenium with Python examples that I have found so far.
I found much more books with Java examples, alto it is not difficult to translate syntax from Java to Python, because Selenium API is similar, I prefer to read code in Python.

Usually I read programing books for two reasons:
– when I do not know anything about topic, so that I get basic understanding
– when I have already used technology, even did some project, but want to see what I do not know about it

With Selenium is second reason.

Book is good, it have lot of code examples how to use Selenium API.
Good to have as reference.

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, book review

automate-the-boring-stuff-with-python-Book_Cover

Published on: 01.02.2017

Number of pages: 504
Written by: Al Sweigart
Publish by: No Starch Press

Conclusion
Best book for learning programming.

Review
I am very impress with this book.
I am recommending it to anybody who want to learn programming.

Book is available for free online.
Book is also available as video tutorial and first 15 videos are on YouTube for free.

This book is going to teach you how to use programming knowledge to automate tasks on computer.
Some examples are: send emails, automate web page interaction, automate GUI interaction.
All other books on programing for beginners just teach you basic programming, but after that people have no idea how to use it in everyday life.
This book is different because it will show you real examples how to use it in everyday life.

Encyclopedia of Electronic Components Volume 1, book review

Encyclopedia_Of_Electronic_Components_Volume_1-Book_Cover

Published on: 01.10.2016

Number of pages: 296
Written by: Charles Platt
Publish by: Maker Media (O’Reilly)

Conclusion
Gives good explanation of electronic components.
Useful to have as source of reference.

Review
This is encyclopaedia that comes in 3 volumes.

Volume 1 is describing:

  1. battery
  2. jumper
  3. fuse
  4. pushbutton
  5. switch
  6. rotary switch
  7. rotational encoder
  8. relay
  9. resistor
  10. potentiometer
  11. capacitor
  12. variable capacitor
  13. inductor
  14. AC-AC transformer
  15. AD-DC power supply
  16. DC-DC converter
  17. DC-AC inverter
  18. voltage regulator
  19. electromagnet
  20. solenoid
  21. DC motor
  22. AC motor
  23. servo motor
  24. stepper motor
  25. diode
  26. unijunction transistor
  27. bipolar transistor
  28. field effect transistor

For each components it give following informations:

  • what it does
  • how it works
  • variants
  • values
  • how to use it
  • what can go wrong