The Books of 2018

Books by Oinam (2018)

I have a fascination with the novel by Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things. It is that one novel which I remember while starting to read serious fiction. Of course, I went through the usual teen-romance, teen-detectives, et al before I outgrew them soon enough in my early days. This year, I decided to re-read her book and it took me a really long time to finish it.

For quite a while, I’ve been practicing minimalism. Sometime last year, I decided to experiment with the idea of “essentialism” instead of just plain minimalism — stick to the essentials but pick the best possibilities in it. I like to consider minimalism as one of many ways to essentialism. I re-read Joshua Becker’s book – Simplify. If you’re into minimalism and want to explore more, you should also watch, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.

My target for 2018 was to read about 50 books but ended up short at about 40. Some were re-reads and it was a good decision. Going forward, instead of trying to read more, I’ll experiment with re-reading good ones and going deep into them — less but more quality time with each book.

I also continued with the habit of including physical versions of the books that I read. That is one way to make my daughters learn and practice “reading books”. Reading on a Kindle makes them feel like I’m just looking at another screen.

I have lined quite a list of interesting books for this year.

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Hello Ruby – Programming Book for Children

Hello Ruby is a children’s book that teaches programming fundamentals through stories and kid-friendly activities.

An interesting initiative by Linda Liukas, who teaches programming and makes the world of technology more approachable through a non-profit called Rails Girls.

She is on a journey to combine software with storytelling. She is writing and illustrating a book for young children about the magical world of technology – Hello Ruby.

She is raising $10,000 on Kickstarter for Hello Ruby (already over-subscribed).

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Free Apple Developer Guides for X’mas

Apple iBooks

For all those Mac or iOS developers hard at work coding ceaselessly, lest Santa thinks you’ve been naughty here’s some good news! Santa’s coming early, bringing with him Apple’s latest offering of a bunch of iOS and Mac development books in the iBookstore for Free!

The six developer guides may not appeal to non-coders, but for those hard-core, full blown coders, choose between titles like iOS Human Interface Guidelines, Object Oriented Programming With Objective-C, or Cocoa Fundamentals Guide. Wait a minute, you don’t have to choose, they are all gratis. The other three titles are The Objective-C Programming Language, iOS Technology Overview, and its thrilling sequel iOS Application Programming Guide.

You’ll need to fire up iBooks on your iPad or iPhone to get these books since Santa only climbs down these chimneys to drop off your presents. Apple says that these free books work best with the recently-released iBooks 1.2.

Getting started with Flex 3

Getting started with Flex 3Jack D. Herrington is an engineer, author and presenter whose mission is to expose his fellow engineers to new technologies. That covers a broad spectrum, from demonstrating programs that write other programs in the book Code Generation in Action. Providing techniques for building customer centered web sites in PHP Hacks. All the way writing a how-to on audio blogging called Podcasting Hacks. All of which make great holiday gifts and are available online here, and at your local bookstore. Jack also writes articles for O’Reilly, DevX and IBM Developerworks.

Emily Kim, President, Trilemtry, Inc., has co-authored and contributed to a number of books including a college-level workbook about the Internet and various ColdFusion books. Besides being a writer, Emily is also a programmer, designer and a Abobe Master Instructor.

Adobe sent me 10 books — Getting started with Flex 3 and I’m giving away all of them to 10 developers who are willing to comment or contact with their name and mailing address.

Getting started with Flex 3

Discover how easy RIA development can be with this one-of-a-kind handbook from the Adobe Developer Library. Several clear, step-by-step mini-tutorials teach you about web services, event handling, designing user interfaces with reusable components, and more. After finishing this guide, you’ll be able to build Flash applications ranging from widgets to full-featured RIAs using the Flex SDK and Flex Builder 3.0.

The book have a quick introduction to the Flex Builer 3 IDE, how to install it and start working with it. Besides the many other small and nifty examples on widgets, plugins, dashboards, desktop apps, there is also a nice Flickr Viewer example which is worth looking if you want to try out some Flickr API and AS3 codes. The book also touches on some of the generic containers — Application, Canvas, Form, Panel, etc.

I would not really rate this as a must-have book but is a good primer for those starting out with Flex 3 or those jumping to Flex 3 from prior version of Flex.

So, comment here or contact me for your free copy. Don’t forget to mention your full name and mailing address. You can ‘optionally’ donate a small amount for the shipping charge via paypal or fund transfer to my bank account but again, that is optional as I’m ready to bear the shipping charges for you anywhere in India.

Open Source RIA books site – toString

Mike Chambers of Adobe have announced a new site that he’ve been working on called tostring.org, which in addition to containing the entire Adobe AIR for JavaScript Developers Pocketguide online, also provides an infrastructure for the community to contribute to the books, both through hosting translated versions of the books, as well as allowing comments on individual chapters.

If you’re into Adobe AIR, RIAs or the Flash Platform, the site tries to make it easier to reference / search the book content online. If you find an issue, or something isn’t clear, Mike encourages its visitors/users to leave a comment on the chapter to clarify or get clarification.

All content on the site is released under Creative Commons licenses, which in essence means that this is the community’s site, and the books are the community’s books.

Visit tostring.org.

Download Free book: The Photoshop Anthology

The Photoshop Anthology: 101 Web Design Tips, Tricks & TechniquesSitepoint is giving away an entire 278 page Photoshop book for free (pdf). It will only be up for grabs for 30 days. The entire 278 page book, yours to keep, forever! The Photoshop Anthology: 101 Web Design Tips, Tricks & Techniques is the ultimate Photoshop compendium for web designers.

It’s brimming with tried and tested real-world Photoshop solutions that will add impact to your next web design project. If you’ve ever been stuck for inspiration, have puzzled over just how to create a shiny aqua-style button, or wanted to create that seamlessly tiling background image you saw on a site recently, you need download this book.
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