Category: Recent picks

New popular non-fiction books on Comput*

November’s round up of new Computing books features several books with a design focus, including books on responsive web design, game design, and even social media design!

Syndetics book coverNo kidding! : why our kids know more about technology than us and what we can do about it / Yvette Adams.
“Your kids know way more about technology than you, and it’s time you did something about it. Today’s kids are intuitively able to use every device, app, game and social network handed to them. Just give a tablet or a smartphone to a toddler and watch what happens. But as life speeds up, and we are busier than ever being good parents the technological gap between parents and kids seems to grow exponentially. …kids desperately need their parents to understand the technology they are using and to embrace the technology themselves.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLearning responsive web design : a beginner’s guide / Clarissa Peterson.
“Deliver an optimal user experience to all devices-including tablets, smartphones, feature phones, laptops, and large screens-by learning the basics of responsive web design. In this hands-on guide, UX designer Clarissa Peterson explains how responsive web design works, and takes you through a responsive workflow from project kickoff to site launch. Ideal for anyone involved in the process of creating websites–not just developers–this book teaches you fundamental strategies and techniques for using HTML and CSS to design websites that not only adapt to any screen size, but also use progressive enhancement to provide a better user experience based on device capabilities such as touchscreens and retina displays.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOffice 2013 for seniors : in easy steps / Michael Price.
Office 2013 for Seniors in easy steps concentrates on the most useful elements of Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365 (the subscription version). Written with older citizens in mind, it uses larger type for easy reading and it’ll get you up to speed with Office 2013 features in easy steps. It will help you to: Install Office 2013 on your computer, write stylish documents using Word, use Excel to manage your finances and much more. Find all the key extras such as OneNote, Office Tools, MapPoint and more! Packed with extra tips, this guide will help you get more from your Office 2013, Office 365 and Office Web apps.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIntroduction to game design, prototyping, and development : from concept to playable game-with Unity® and C# / Jeremy Gibson.
“Learn Game Design, Prototyping, and Programming with Today’s Leading Tools: Unity(tm) and C# Award-winning game designer and professor Jeremy Gibson has spent the last decade teaching game design and working as an independent game developer. Over the years, his most successful students have always been those who effectively combined game design theory, concrete rapid-prototyping practices, and programming skills. Introduction to Game Design, Prototyping, and Development is the first time that all three of these disciplines have been brought together into a single book.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSocial media design for dummies / by Janine Warner and David LaFontaine.
“Learn to design professional and effective social media profiles! Whether you’re trying to attract a new employer or get new fans to notice your brand, your social media profiles need to distinguish you from the masses. Packed with the secrets behind the hottest Facebook timelines, Twitter backgrounds, and LinkedIn profiles, this fun-but-straightforward guide shows you how to create eye-catching social media profiles with a professional, cohesive design. Includes online resources and downloadable templates that allow you to make your own profiles quick and easy…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe innovators : how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution / Walter Isaacson.
“Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSocial networking using a tablet for all ages / Jim Gatenby.
“Social networking is no longer the province of only young people. In fact it is now one of the most popular uses for a tablet computer. This book covers both Facebook and Twitter on tablets using the Android, iPad and Windows operating systems.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow apps are changing the world / Stephen Molloy.
“There are 7 billion people in the world, 6 billion cell phone subscriptions and 1 App bible. So why isn’t everyone bored? Why are some companies focusing everything on mobile devices and making millions? In this book we explore the ideas, theories, strategies and technologies behind apps, with interviews and insights from the very best in the industry. Armed with this information, you will be able to improve your clients’ apps, your company’s apps, your own personal app project, and the app idea you’ve always wanted to make a reality.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMobile and web messaging / Jeff Mesnil.
“Messaging protocols are not only simple to use, but also conserve network bandwidth, device memory, and batteries. Using this book’s step-by-step format, author Jeff Mesnil helps you work with Objective-C and JavaScript libraries, as well as the protocols. All you need to get started are basic programming skills. Understand basic messaging concepts and composition. Learn two common messaging models: point-to-point and publish/subscribe. Use STOMP to write an iOS application that sends GPS data, and a web app that consumes the data. Build an iOS app with MQTT that tracks and broadcasts device motion data, and a web app that displays the data and sends alerts. Extend STOMP to filter, prioritize, persist, and expire messages. Take a complete tour of STOMP and MQTT, including features not used in the book’s sample apps.” (Syndetics summary)

New books on Computing in October

There are some fairly weighty computing topics this month, including Eye Tracking for User Experience Design, a book on configuration management, and The 4th revolution: how the infosphere is reshaping human reality.

Syndetics book coverMy Samsung Galaxy S III / Steve Schwartz.
“The friendly, full-color, task-based guide to the Samsung Galaxy S II – the year’s hottest new Android smartphone! Organized and formatted for easy, quick reference. Covers everything Samsung Galaxy S II users need to know and do: TouchWiz, phone, web, social networks, contacts, calendars, email, music, video, photos, HD video capture, sync, apps, troubleshooting, and more. Packed with tips for making the Galaxy S II fit your life. Perfect for every user, regardless of experience. Friendly, quick, and 100% practical, My Samsung Galaxy S III is the must-have companion for every Samsung Galaxy S III user.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe 4th revolution : how the infosphere is reshaping human reality / Luciano Floridi.
“Floridi (philosophy & ethics of information, Oxford Univ.; The Ethics of Information) argues that advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs) are repositioning or removing the boundaries between “real” and online environments. ICTs are no longer mere tools of interaction but constitute the infosphere, the environment in which we live. The philosophical and ethical frameworks that are relevant in this new environment are explored, especially in the realms of how we think about time, place, the self, society, and the (physical) environment…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWordPress SEO success : search engine optimization for your WordPress website or blog / Jacob Aull.
“WordPress gives you amazingly powerful SEO tools: this hands-on guide will help you make the most of them! Written specifically for WordPress users, this guide covers all you need: built-in WordPress capabilities, third-party plugins, well-integrated web resources, and more. Whether you manage a large-scale site or a personal blog, Jacob Aull will help you integrate SEO into all you do, from strategy through optimization of existing content. New to SEO? Already do it for a living? Either way, WordPress SEO Success will help you drive the traffic you want–and the value you need!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverConfiguration management : expert guidance for IT service managers and practitioners / Shirley Lacy and David Norfolk.
“Configuration management is the tracking, recording and monitoring of the elements of a business IT system and any changes and developments. Its outcome should be a container for the details of the organisation’s infrastructure and the processes that are used in the provision and management of IT services. This book provides expertise from practitioners who have implemented configuration management in a wide range of environments. It will prove invaluable to IT professionals who are implementing configuration management and also to technology-savvy business managers who need to use automated business services.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverProfessional issues in information technology / Frank Bott.
“To be effective at a senior level, IT professionals need not only appropriate technical skills and experience, but also a broad understanding of the context in which they operate. Relevant to both small and large companies, this book addresses the social, legal, financial, organisational and ethical issues faced by IT professionals such as intellectual property rights in software, computer misuse, codes of conduct, starting a company and internet law. It is designed to accompany the BCS HEQ ‘Diploma in IT’ core module: Professional Issues in Information Systems Practice. This new edition takes into account the social and legal implications of the substantial changes to legislation and technology over recent years, for example cloud computing, the Digital Economy Act and the Equality Act.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThinking with data / Max Shron.
“Many analysts are too concerned with tools and techniques for cleansing, modeling, and visualizing datasets and not concerned enough with asking the right questions. In this practical guide, data strategy consultant Max Shron shows you how to put the why before the how, through an often-overlooked set of analytical skills. Thinking with Data helps you learn techniques for turning data into knowledge you can use. You’ll learn a framework for defining your project, including the data you want to collect, and how you intend to approach, organize, and analyze the results. You’ll also learn patterns of reasoning that will help you unveil the real problem that needs to be solved…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInterface design : an introduction to visual communication in UI design / Dave Wood.
“If you want to design successful user interfaces then you need clear and effective visual communication. Interface Design will help you achieve this using a range of incisive case studies, interviews with professional designers and clear hands-on advice to help you produce user-focused front-end designs for a range of digital media interfaces. This book introduces the major elements of graphic design for digital media – layout, colour, iconography, imagery and typography, and shows how these visual communication basics can combine to produce positive interactive user experiences.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEye tracking in user experience design / [edited by] Jennifer Romano Bergstrom, PhD, Andrew Jonathan Schall.
Eye Tracking for User Experience Design explores the many applications of eye tracking to better understand how users view and interact with technology. Ten leading experts in eye tracking discuss how they have taken advantage of this new technology to understand, design, and evaluate user experience. They also explore recent advances in the technology which tracks how users interact with mobile devices, large-screen displays and video game consoles. This is an invaluable resource to those who want to learn how eye tracking can be used to better understand and design for their users.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIt began with Babbage : the genesis of computer science / Subrata Dasgupta.
“Dasgupta (Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette) provides a comprehensive, enlightening history of the emergence of computer science as a new scientific paradigm from the time of Charles Babbage’s 19th-century machine designs through the 1960s, when many of the major subdisciplines of the field had been established. This is much more than a history of computers or even of automated computation. Rather, the author makes the case that computer science is a special type of science: different from natural science, where the object of study exists independent of human activity…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Computing recent picks for September

New books on computing, including Google Glass for dummies and an absolute beginner’s guide to fixing your own computer.

Syndetics book coverDivining a digital future : mess and mythology in ubiquitous computing / Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell.
“Mark Weiser first articulated a vision of ubiquitous computing (“ubicomp”) in 1991. Having moved beyond the age of mainframes into the era of personal computing and the dawn of the “information age,” Weiser argued that in the next era of computing, resources would be embedded in the world around us (clothes, structures, everyday items), a simultaneously practical and extraordinary ubiquity. Dourish (Univ. of California, Irvine) and Bell (Intel) contend this “technomyth” has provided a road map of sorts for academia, government, and industry worldwide for 20-plus years, and they explore the complex process of “divining” future events.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDon’t make me think, revisited : a common sense approach to Web usability / Steve Krug.
“Since Don’t Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug’s guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject. Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don’t Make Me Think a classic-with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it’s still short, profusely illustrated…and best of all-fun to read.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe end of big : how the digital revolution makes David the new Goliath / Nicco Mele.
“Mele (public policy, Harvard) focuses his first book on how today’s “radical connectivity” has empowered individuals and undermined traditional power structures. In chapters focusing on government, journalism, entertainment, and the military, Mele argues that, for better or worse, lone actors can now rival the strength of traditional institutions. Mele explains and evaluates these shifts in each area and recommends policies for the future…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to cheat in Adobe Flash CC : the art of design and animation / Chris Georgenes.
“Whether you are creating an animated short, catchy and fun mobile game, or an innovative application, save time and money with expert cheats by renowned Flash Expert, Chris Georgenes with all new content for the Adobe Flash Creative Cloud revision. Solve problems quickly and develop creative projects, practical applications, and step-by-step tutorials. Chris Georgenes shows you how to work from the problem to the solution – from the viewpoint of an animator who has been commissioned to create a job and is working on a deadline and to a budget.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCompeting with high data quality : concepts, tools, and techniques for building a successful approach to data quality / Rajesh Jugulum.
Competing with Data Quality provides a road map for corporations to improve data quality and meet Dodd-Frank, BASEL III, Solvency II, and other pervasive regulatory oversight programs. This book outlines a holistic data quality (DQ) approach that businesses can adopt to energize their DQ innovation processes, perfect their data gathering and usage practices, and ensure robust and reliable data is available to make judicious decisions. It also addresses the end-to-end DQ deployment process: Define, Assess, Improve and Control. Numerous cases and “lessons learned” facilitate understanding” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReal world print production with Adobe Creative Cloud : industrial-strength production techniques / Claudia McCue.
“Sharpen your print production skills with this definitive resource created specifically for design professionals who need to create files using the Adobe Creative Cloud, including InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat and output for printing. The previous edition was steady seller, helping designers who have no training in print get up and running quickly and not make expensive mistakes on their projects. Completely updated for CS6 and the CC, this book also helps designers with some print experience tackle more complex projects.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFixing your computer : absolute beginner’s guide / Paul McFedries.
“Fix your own computer – without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to save money on computer repairs, avoid unnecessary frustration, and keep using perfectly good equipment instead of throwing it away! Even if you’re completely non-technical, you’ll learn how to get the job done, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe UX five-second rules : guidelines for user experience design’s simplest testing technique / Paul Doncaster.
“The five-second test is one of the most convenient rapid UX testing methods available. The Five-Second Rules uses detailed examples from a collection of more than 300 tests to describe the strengths and weaknesses of this rapid testing method. Readers will learn about the “five-second rules” for getting useful data, and will explore what types of design issues can be resolved by using the method. A five-second test (also known as “timeout test” and “exposure test”) involves displaying a visual or informational design for five seconds, removing it from view, then asking what aspects were recalled most easily or vividly. The goal is to understand what stands out most about a design or product, and the impact on the viewer’s perception of it.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFull stack web development with Backbone.js / Patrick Mulder.
“Building great web interfaces requires that developers need to understand both client and server side perspectives. Using BackboneJS for providing frontend components and Ruby on Rails for the backend, this book will teach readers how interactions influence the design of client- and server-side interfaces.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGoogle Glass for dummies / by Eric Butow and Robert Stepisnik.
Google Glass For Dummies is the only guide you’ll need to control this extraordinary technology that includes a camera, display, touchpad, battery, and microphone all built into the frames of the glasses. Not only do they allow you to access the display in your field of vision–so you can access the time, date, and weather–they also give you the ability to film videos, take and share photos, search the web, and translate languages–all on the go. Tap into the power of Google Glass voice controls and the bone-induction technology that vibrates to create sound.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New books on computers and computing for August

Our collection this month begins with two books on online marketing. The current hot topic of IT professionals developing their analytic skills is presented in another.

Syndetics book coverCreate your own online store (using WordPress) in a weekend / Alannah Moore.
“The internet offers small-business owners and would-be entrepreneurs a level playing field. As long as you have a product or service that people want to buy, you can be up and running, and in business, 24 hours a day if you’re online. This book demystifies the intimidating world of web design, breaking the process down into easy chunks so that anyone can start work on their store on Saturday morning and be trading by Sunday night. Experienced expert Alannah Moore shows the reader where to find the best online tools for the job, how to create a secure and trustworthy site, how to turn browsers into customers and customers into repeat business. Richly illustrated with diagrams and examples of real-life success stories, this book will let the reader sell more online than they ever thought was possible.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe creative person’s website builder : how to make a pro website yourself using WordPress and other easy tools / Alannah Moore.
“Whether it is used as an online shop, a marketing tool, or a portfolio, a good website is an essential for artists, photographers, designers and makers from all creative backgrounds and disciplines. This community of people, in particular, needs
the design and function of their sites to reflect their individuality and style.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverProgramming : principles and practice using C++ / Bjarne Stroustrup.Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++
“…The book assumes that you aim eventually to write non-trivial programs, whether for work in software development or in some other technical field. …The book explains fundamental concepts and techniques in greater depth than traditional introductions. This approach will give you a solid foundation for writing useful, correct, maintainable, and efficient code. …The book is an introduction to programming in general, including object-oriented programming and generic programming. It is also a solid introduction to the C++ programming language, one of the most widely used languages for real-world software.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeveloping analytic talent : becoming a data scientist / Vincent Granville, Ph.D.
“Learn the skills needed for the most in-demand tech job.
Harvard Business Review calls it the sexiest tech job of the 21st century. Data scientists are in demand, and this unique book shows you exactly what employers want and the skill set that separates the quality data scientist from other talented IT professionals. Data science involves extracting, creating, and processing data to turn it into business value. This guide discusses the essential skills, such as statistics and visualization techniques, and covers everything from analytical recipes and data science tricks to common job interview questions, sample resumes, and source code… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverExcel dashboards & reports for dummies / by Michael Alexander.
“No matter what business you’re in, reports have become a staple of the workplace, but what good is a report if no reads it, or even worse, understands it? This all new edition of Excel Dashboards & Reports For Dummies is here to help you make meaning of all your data and turn it into clear and actionable visualizations. Fully updated for the latest business intelligence and spreadsheet tools in Excel 2013, this book shows you how to analyze large amounts of data, quickly slice data into various views on the fly, automate redundant reporting, create eye-catching visualizations, and more…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAndroid phones for dummies / by Dan Gookin.
“An updated edition of the bestselling guide to Android phones. From setup and configuration to taking advantage of the latest features, this friendly guide helps you get the most out of your Android smartphone. It walks you through the basics of making calls, sending e-mails and texts, browsing the Internet, using the camera, staying in touch through social media, making the most of Android apps and more” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe essential guide to game audio : the theory and practice of sound for games / Steve Horowitz and Scott Looney.
The Essential Guide to Game Audio:… is a first of its kind textbook and must-have reference guide for everything you ever wanted to know about sound for games. This book provides a basic overview of game audio, how it has developed over time, and how you can make a career in this industry. Each chapter gives you the background and context you will need to understand the unique workflow associated with interactive media. The practical, easy to understand interactive examples provide hands-on experience applying the concepts in real world situations. ” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHTML & CSS : design and build websites / Jon Duckett.
“Every day, more and more people want to learn some HTML and CSS. Joining the professional web designers and programmers are new audiences who need to know a little bit of code at work (update a content management system or e-commerce store) and those who want to make their personal blogs more attractive. …Introduces HTML and CSS in a way that makes them accessible to everyone–hobbyists, students, and professionals–and it’s full-color throughout.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUX for dummies / by Donald Chesnut and Kevin Nichols.
“If you want to learn the tools and techniques necessary for effective user experience (UX) design, this guide will help you apply strategies that align with your business goals.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding web apps with WordPress / Brian Messenlehner and Jason Coleman.
“While WordPress has certainly made it big in the blogging world, this book starts with the premise that its also possible to build any web application using WordPress as a framework. If you have some WordPress experience, you have the skills you need to pursue app development with this popular tool. Use ecommerce and membership plugins to collect payments. Create a single sign in process, such as using Facebook to log into WordPress Build mobile apps and other native apps with WordPress. Learn how to secure your WordPress app. Make WordPress plugins work together and customize them to do your bidding. Hide the fact that your site was built with WordPress.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Sega vs Nintendo in the ’80s & ’90s, Minecraft, JavaScript, Xcode & more – new computing books

Minecraft books are always incredibly popular at our libraries — and we have a new one this month, with “Learn to program with Minecraft plugins : create flying creepers and flaming cows in Java”. Plus, a book about the console wars between Nintendo and Sega in the ’80s and ’90s, and lots of new programming books. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverConsole wars : Sega, Nintendo, and the battle that defined a generation / Blake J. Harris ; foreword by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg.
“Anyone who grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s and had an interest in video games has likely some awareness of the console wars, which author and filmmaker Harris (12 Dates of Christmas) briefly covers here with verve. What such readers may not be as familiar with are the details of the business dealings, risky maneuvers, and all-out corporate warfare underlying so many staples of childhood. …While the book will appeal most strongly to those who cut their teeth on the classics of the 8- and 16-bit era of video games, Harris’s robust discussions of the origins of such pop culture icons as Mario and Sonic-and the complex theater of business machinations-make for equally captivating reading… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLearn to program with Minecraft plugins : create flying creepers and flaming cows in Java / Andy Hunt.
“Programming doesn’t have to be boring! Write your own Minecraft plugins and watch your code come to life with flaming cows, flying creepers, teleportation, and interactivity. Follow along with the book and add your own features to the Minecraft game by developing Java code that “plugs in” to the server. You’ll manipulate and control elements in the 3D graphical game environment without having to write tons of code or learn huge frameworks. You don’t need programming experience to get started—this book will teach you everything you need to know!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOpenGL ES 3.0 programming guide / Dan Ginsburg, Budirijanto Purnomo ; with earlier contributions from Dave Shreiner, Aaftab Munshi.
“OpenGL(R) ES is the industry’s leading software interface and graphics library for rendering sophisticated 3D graphics on handheld and embedded devices. The newest version, OpenGL ES 3.0, makes it possible to create stunning visuals for new games and apps, without compromising device performance or battery life. In the “OpenGL(R) ES 3.0 Programming Guide,” Second Edition, the authors cover the entire API and Shading Language. They carefully introduce OpenGL ES 3.0 features such as shadow mapping, instancing, multiple render targets, uniform buffer objects, texture compression, program binaries, and transform feedback.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLearn OpenGL ES : for mobile game and graphics development / Prateek Mehta.
“Want to create sophisticated games and graphics-intensive apps? …After mastering the basics of OpenGL ES itself, you will quickly find yourself writing and building game apps, without having to learn about object oriented programming techniques. This book demonstrates the use of a powerful open-source modeling tool, Blender. You will be guided, step by step, through the development of Tank Fence, a dynamic, interactive 3D game. Along the way you’ll gain skills in building apps with Eclipse and the Android SDK or NDK, rendering graphics using hardware acceleration, and multithreading for performance and responsiveness. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeginning iOS programming : building and deploying iOS applications / Nick Harris.
“iOS 7 is a major shift in the look and feel of apps, the first major sea change since the iPhone was first introduced. For apps to blend in with the new UI, each needs a complete redesign. Beginning iOS Programming: Building and Deploying iOS Applications starts at the beginning, including an introduction to Objective C, and gives you the skills you need to get your apps up and running. Author Nick Harris has extensive experience developing for iOS and provides a solid background for teaching the building blocks app development.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpeaking JavaScript / Axel Rauschmayer.
“This concise book starts with a quick-start guide that teaches you just enough of the language to help you be productive right away. More experienced JavaScript programmers will find a complete and easy-to-read reference that covers each language feature in depth.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMicrosoft big data solutions / Adam Jorgensen, James Rowland-Jones, John Welch, Dan Clark, Christopher Price, Brian Mitchell.
“Microsoft’s powerful big data platform – Windows Azure HDinsight and Hortonworks Data Platform for Windows – can transform the way your organization processes stores and manages enterprise data. Designed to work seamlessly with your company’s existing data infrastructure and with products like SQL Server and Hadoop.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverGoogle Maps : power tools for maximizing the API / Evangelos Petroutsos.
“Google Maps: Power Tools for Maximizing the API explains techniques for visualizing masses of data and animating multiple items on the map. You’ll also find out how to embed Google maps in desktop applications to combine the richness of the Windows interface with the unique features of the API. You can use the numerous samples included throughout this hands-on guide as your starting point for building customized applications.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEthernet : the definitive guide / Charles E. Spurgeon and Joann Zimmerman.
“This practical book covers a wide range of Ethernet technology, from basic Ethernet operation to network management, based on the authors’ years of experience in the field. You’ll learn the answers to common questions such as: What can I do to make sure that my Ethernet network works as well as possible? When do I need to upgrade to higher speed Ethernet and how do I do that? How do Ethernet switches work, and how can I use them to build larger networks? How can I manage the network, what problems should I be looking for, and how can I troubleshoot the system when problems arise?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesigning apps for success : developing consistent app design practices / Matthew David and Chris Murman.
“Because mobile apps drive sales, efficiencies, and communication between people, you understand that your business or client needs an app designed. It’s important to your client’s success or your business’s growth. But, there are few best practices out there, and the guidelines to designing a successful app are even fewer. Designing Apps for Success is here to help, covering application lifecycle management used by designers and developers when creating successful, capable apps… This guide shows you how to develop apps for iOS, Android, and Windows. (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverXcode 5 start to finish : iOS and OS X development / Fritz Anderson.
“Use Xcode 5 to Write Great iOS and OS X Apps!
Xcode 5 Start to Finish will help you use the tools in Apple’s Xcode 5 to improve productivity, write great code, and leverage the newest iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks features.
Drawing on thirty years of experience developing for Apple platforms and helping others do so, Fritz Anderson shows you a complete best-practice Xcode workflow. Through three full sample projects, you’ll learn to integrate testing, source control, and other key skills into a high-efficiency process that works.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverHadoop for dummies / by Dirk deRoos, Paul C. Zikopoulos, Bruce Brown, Rafael Coss, and Roman B. Melnyk.
“Let Hadoop For Dummies help harness the power of your data and rein in the information overload. Big data has become big business, and companies and organizations of all sizes are struggling to find ways to retrieve valuable information from their massive data sets with becoming overwhelmed. Enter Hadoop and this easy-to-understand For Dummies guide. Hadoop For Dummies helps readers understand the value of big data, make a business case for using Hadoop, navigate the Hadoop ecosystem, and build and manage Hadoop applications and clusters.” (Syndetics summary)

New Computing Books for June

Our selection for June includes a book that proposes that “the Internet reflects real-world inequalities as much as it reduces them,” another that shows you “how to create game levels using the free Unreal Development Kit,” and others on how to Blog, beyond the Blog, and the usual manuals for your computing software and hardware.

Syndetics book coverThe people’s platform : taking back power and culture in the digital age / Astra Taylor.
The People’s Platform argues that for all our ‘sharing’, ‘up-voting’, and ‘liking’, the Internet reflects real-world inequalities as much as it reduces them… …Employing a mixture of reportage, research and her own experiences working in a creative field, Astra Taylor not only offers an audacious rebuttal to the current Internet orthodoxy, she also presents viable solutions to our predicament. If we want the Internet to be a people’s platform, we will have to make it so.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe Unreal game engine : a comprehensive guide to creating playable levels / Andrew Finch.
“The Unreal game engine is a versatile system that has been used to power a variety of best-selling video games. In The Unreal Game Engine, environment artist Andrew Finch looks at how to create game levels using the free Unreal Development Kit, from modeling the environment and building objects to adding those objects to the scene, texturing, and lighting. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a level designer, then look no further! Andrew Finch works for Codemasters games studio as an environment artist and his credits include F1 2012 and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coveriPads in the library : using tablet technology to enhance programs for all ages / Joel A. Nichols.
“Written for librarians and other library staff, this title provides a wide variety of iPad-based program ideas. Following an explanation for developing and using this type of technology in the library, the introduction further explains the organization of the book and includes suggestions for substituting other tablet devices if iPads are not available.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to blog made easy / Richard N. Williams.
“This is the essential guide for all those who want to make sense of the hows and whys of this incredible new platform. Both for writers, artists, musicians and anyone aiming to make money online, it covers software, content management systems, ‘when is the best time to blog?’, how to increase your audience and much, much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coveriPhone all-in-one for dummies / by Joe Hutsko and Barbara Boyd.
“Want to get the most out of your iPhone? You’ve come to the right place. You’ll be up and running in no time with easy coverage of iPhone basics, how to use the built-in iPhone apps, setting up security, texting, and more. And of course, it explains all the fun stuff too, like how to use Siri, your voice-activated personal assistant, video-chat with FaceTime, find your way with the Maps and driving directions, and much more. Whether this is your first iPhone or an upgrade to the latest version, get ready to outsmart the smartest smartphone in town with iPhone All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd edition, fully updated to cover the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iOS 7!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe iPhone app design manual : create perfect designs for effortless coding and & app store success / Dave Brown with Vicky Roberts.
“The creation of apps for Apple’s iPhone is now a huge, and global, business, with hundreds of thousands of developers, entrepreneurs and companies attracted by the potential rewards. But games, functional apps, and promotional apps alike depend on attractive, intuitive design for their appeal, and most fail to find a significant audience. With this book, you’ll be able to turn your great app idea into a functioning design that it is ready for coding, or apply graphic design skills to this exciting and lucrative marketplace. You will have a clearly visualised concept and a focused sales plan – and your app will stand out in an app store that is worth well over a billion pounds every year.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coveriPad mini for dummies / by Edward C. Baig and Bob “Dr. Mac.” LeVitus.
“The perfect companion for discovering how to get the most out of your iPad mini! Apple′s latest iPad may be small, but it′s one mighty mini. This fun-and-friendly full-color guide gets you started with your iPad mini, walking you through using the multitouch interface, getting connected, browsing the web, adding tons of cool content, and much, much more. From sending and receiving e-mail to texting with iMessage, downloading apps from the App Store, managing your calendar, making video calls with FaceTime, and working with Siri, expert authors and Mac gurus Ed Baig and Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus will have you making your way through your iPad mini in no time at all. Shows you how to unveil the iPod in your iPad mini, take control of your tunes, import photos, create a slideshow, and capture photos and videos…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMastering Perl / Brian D. Foy.
“Take the next step toward Perl mastery with advanced concepts that make coding easier, maintenance simpler, and execution faster. Mastering Perl isn’t a collection of clever tricks, but a way of thinking about Perl programming for solving debugging, configuration, and many other real-world problems you’ll encounter as a working programmer. The third in O’Reilly’s series of landmark Perl tutorials (after Learning Perl and Intermediate Perl), this fully updated edition pulls everything together and helps you bend Perl to your will.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHead first JavaScript programming / Eric T. Freeman, Elisabeth Robson.
“If you know HTML & CSS then you know all about web page style and structure; now it’s time to give those pages some behavior, some interactivity. Want to understand that code you’ve been copying and pasting into your web pages? And do it in a way that wont put you to sleep? Then “Head First JavaScript Programming” is for you.
Learning a programming language is no easy task, but “Head First JavaScript Programming” uses puzzles, visuals, mysteries, interviews, and fun examples to make learning JavaScript fast, fun, and effective.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmashing WordPress : beyond the blog / Thord Daniel Hedengren.
“With this new edition of a perennially popular WordPress resource, Smashing Magazine offers you the information you need so you can maximize the potential and power of WordPress. Takes you through the anatomy of a WordPress installation and shows you how WordPress actually works behind the scenes. Walks you through custom post types and details how they work, what they can be used for, and how you can make them appear in your regular content flow.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New books on Computing for May

Our first book this month is about Computer Business Systems (CBS) and how the use of these systems results in dysfunctional transactions between humans; while the second is about “Privacy in the age of big data”. The other books are more ‘how to’, including developing apps for iPads and iPhones, using Android tablets, Raspberry Pi hacks, using jQuery and JavaScript, and Windows 8 for seniors.

Syndetics book coverMindless : why smarter machines are making dumber humans / Simon Head.
“We live in the age of Computer Business Systems (CBSs)-the highly complex, computer-intensive management programs on which large organizations increasingly rely. In Mindless, Simon Head argues that these systems have come to trump human expertise, dictating the goals and strategies of a wide array of businesses, and de-skilling the jobs of middle class workers in the process. CBSs are especially dysfunctional, Head argues, when they apply their disembodied expertise to transactions between humans, as in health care, education, customer relations, and human resources management. And yet there are industries with more human approaches, as Head illustrates with specific examples, whose lead we must follow and extend to the mainstream American economy…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrivacy in the age of big data : recognizing threats, defending your rights, and protecting your family / Theresa M. Payton and Theodore Claypoole ; foreword by the Honorable Howard A. Schmidt.
“Former White House Chief Information Officer Payton and lawyer Claypoole, authors of “Protecting Your Internet Identity”, team up again to produce this quick and easy overview of data collection and its relevance in our everyday lives. The authors guide readers through the many ways our personal information is collected and used in today’s society. They are quick to point out the beneficial aspects of technological advancements in commercial, private, and government settings. However any collection of personal data is susceptible to malicious use…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSams teach yourself iOS 7 application development in 24 hours / John Ray.
“Learn how to build powerful applications for the iPhone and iPad in just 24 sessions of 1 hour each. Master every skill and technology you need, from setting up your iOS development environment to building great user interfaces, sensing motion to writing multitasking applications.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRaspberry Pi hacks : tips & tools for making things with the inexpensive Linux computer / Ruth Suehle and Tom Calloway
“With more than 80 hacks, this book helps you turn the low-cost Raspberry Pi into the centerpiece of some cool electronics projects. The Pi’s custom Linux distribution, Raspbian, has many alternative configurations that you can advantage of. Want to create a controller for a camera or a robot? Or set up alternative Linux distributions for media centers or PBX phone systems? That’s just the beginning of what you’ll find inside Raspberry Pi Hacks.
This single-board computer was originally developed to help young people learn programming, but-predictably-the first adopters have been ingenious hardware hackers and hobbyists who are discovering new capabilities all the time.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHead first iPhone and iPad development / Tracey Pilone, Dan Pilone, with Paul Pilone & Brett McLaughlin.
“What will you learn from this book? Let’s say you have an idea for a killer iPhone or iPad app. Where do you begin? Head first iPhone and iPad development will help you get your first application up and running in no time. You’ll quickly learn to use iOS 7 tools and Xcode 5, while mastering Objective-C programming principles that will make your apps stand out. It’s a complete learning experience for creating eye-catching, top-selling iOS applications.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coveriPad all-in-one for dummies / by Nancy Muir.
“For iPad users who want more information than the basics of the iPad, iPad All-in-One For Dummies provides the goods Based on Apples new iOS software, which includes Siri for iPad, new and improved maps with turn by turn directions, shared photo streams, Facebook integration, Passbook, FaceTime video calls over cellular, new calling features such as instant text reply and callback reminders, improved email with a VIP inbox, iCloud browsing tabs, and much more.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMore Windows 8 for seniors : get more out of your computer.
“Geared toward the senior with basic PC skills, this illustrated reference introduces users to many of the more advanced components of the Windows 8 operating system. With the aid of easy-to-read large print and the generous use of screenshots, seniors will quickly master such practical skills as managing user accounts, burning CDs and DVDs, performing system backup, and PC or laptop configuration. Thoroughly tested by seniors and based in real world experience, this step-by-step guide will help the older PC user achieve optimum results from their computer.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSams teach yourself jQuery and JavaScript in 24 hours / Brad Dayley.
“More than 30% of the world’s largest web sites already use jQuery, and since it’s supported in all major browsers, any web professional can use it to supercharge their own sites. Now, in just 24 lessons of one hour or less, you can learn how to leverage jQuery’s power in tasks ranging from simple effects to complex forms. Each short, easy lesson builds on all that’s come before, teaching jQuery’s features and add-ons from the ground up, in the context of delivering real solutions. Sams Teach Yourself jQuery and JavaScript in 24 Hours covers all this, and much more…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy iPhoto / Michael Grothaus.
“The full-color guide to organizing, editing, and sharing all your photos with iPhoto: perfect for millions of new Mac users! Organized and formatted for easy, quick reference: step-by-step tasks with numbered full-color screenshots that show exactly what to do. Covers photo import, search, navigating, organizing, editing, and sharing photos. Full chapter of advanced tips and tricks. Designed for the 3 million people who buy their first Mac each quarter, plus millions of upgraders to iPhoto. Friendly, quick, and 100% practical, My iPhoto is the must-have companion for every Apple iPhoto user using iPhoto on the Mac.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAndriod tablets explained for all ages / Jim Gatenby.
“This book is especially written for new users of Android tablets, as it uses plain English and avoids technical jargon wherever possible. Tablets using the android operating system generally function in a similar manner. However different manufacturers or retailers may add ‘tweeks’ to the operating system to promote their own brand and the sale of ‘Apps’ from their applications store.” (Book jacket)

Computing for April

This month’s computing picks include Dogfight, Fred Vogelstein’s profiling of the very public business war between Apple and Microsoft. With the recent end of XP it seems appropriate that we increase our Windows 8.1 collection and two books on Windows 8.1 feature in this month’s computer books picks.

Syndetics book coverDogfight : How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution
“The smartphone and tablet computer have revolutionized personal computing to such an extent that they have caused waves of disruptions across numerous industries, decimating sales of laptops and giving consumers more choices than ever to have TV, movies, and the Internet on their own terms. The PC platform wars of the 1990s between Apple and Microsoft Windows may mirror the current fight for dominance over the smartphone market between Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, but today the stakes are higher and the battle more personal, to the extent where the fight has become one of the nastiest, longest, and most public business battles in a generation.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSams teach yourself beginning programming in 24 hours.
Sams Teach Yourself Beginning Programming in 24 Hours starts from the absolute beginning, explains everything you need to know before you start programming, and then presents simple programming techniques you can use wherever your interests or career take you.
Greg Perry teaches you JavaScript, one of the world’s easiest languages – and the #1 programming language used on modern web sites. Once you’ve learned how to code the right way in JavaScript, Perry shows how to apply those techniques in several of today’s other leading programming environments…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWindows 8.1 for seniors in easy steps / Michael Price.
Windows 8.1 for Seniors in easy steps introduces the features of the most current Windows operating system, presented with the over-50′s in mind. It uses larger type for easy reading and discusses the topics in a clear and concise manner. It concentrates on the activities you’ll want to carry out, whether you’re completely new to computers, or you’re upgrading from a previous version of Windows.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUncharted : big data as a lens on human culture / Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel.
“In late 2010, Google released an intriguing new tool, the Ngram Viewer, allowing users to search the site’s archive of five-million digitized books (now there are more than 30 million) for common words and phrases and graph their usage frequency along a timeline. While at first glance the application appears a tad gimmicky, its usefulness in tracking cultural trends across decades and centuries is mind-boggling. In this user-friendly demonstration of Ngram’s versatility, Rice University computer science professor Aiden and Quantified Labs founder Michel showcase the results of their explorations using the statistical search engine.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDreamweaver CCl / David Sawyer McFarland with Chris Grover.
“Dreamweaver CC comes packed with features and a new, online-only home, but it still doesn’t include a printed guide to working in the cloud or tapping the program’s amazing features. That’s where this Missing Manual comes in. With its jargon-free explanations and hands-on tutorials, you’ll learn how to create every kind of website, from single-purpose static sites to interactive, multimedia-driven web dynamos.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLooking after your PC made easy / Roger Laing.
“The computer still sits at the centre of many people’s lives. Fitting it in and around the multitude of other devices (smartphones, tablets, bluetooth connections, music and TV servers) makes it all the more important to know how to manage your computer. This straightforward new book helps answer those awkward questions — “why is my computer so slow?”, “How do I set up wi-fi in my home?” — and covers other essential tasks such as backing up, checking for viruses and dealing with child-protection measures.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverData visualization for dummies / by Mico Yuk, Stephanie Diamond.
“A straightforward, full-color guide to showcasing data so your audience can see what you mean, not just read about it. Data visualization software enables different industries to present information in ways that are memorable and relevant to their mission. This full-color guide introduces you to a variety of ways to handle and synthesize data in much more interesting ways than mere columns and rows of numbers… Effective data analysis involves learning how to synthesize data, especially big data, into a story and present that story in a way that resonates with the audience.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMastering Windows Server 2012 R2 / Mark Minasi… [et al.].
“Your One-Stop Resource on Windows Server 2012 R2. Check out the new Hyper-V, find new and easier ways to remotely connect back into the office, or learn all about Storage Spaces – these are just a few of the features in Windows Server 2012 R2 that are explained in this updated edition form Windows authority Mark Minasi and a team of Windows server experts. This book gets you up to speed on all of the new features and functions of Windows Server and includes real-world scenarios to put them in perspective.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverLearning Python with Raspberry Pi / Alex Bradbury & Ben Everard.
“The must-have companion guide to the Raspberry Pi User Guide.
Raspberry Pi chose Python as its teaching language of choice to encourage a new generation of programmers to learn how to program. This approachable book serves as an ideal resource for anyone wanting to use Raspberry Pi to learn to program and helps you get started with the Python programming language. Aimed at first-time developers with no prior programming language assumed, this beginner book gets you up and running. Covers variables, loops, and functions. Addresses 3D graphics programming. Walks you through programming Minecraft. Zeroes in on Python for scripting.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWindows 8.1 all-in-one for dummies / by Woody Leonhard.
“With new improvements and changes, Windows 8.1 offers a refreshed user interface, better integration between the new and traditional Windows interfaces, and more. Nine minibooks in one cover such essential topics as navigating the new. Start Screen, which is a feature sure to please traditional Windows users. Provides top-notch guidance from trusted and well-known Windows expert and author Woody Leonhard. Covers Windows 8.1 inside and out, including how to customize the Start screen, manage apps, and control privacy. Delves into core Windows 8.1 apps such as e-mail, people, and SkyDrive. Shows you how to connect online, add hardware, back up and update, and secure Windows 8.1.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Internet: A controversial insight into where we are heading in the age of the internet

New books on computing and the internet in January.

Implosion : what the Internet has really done to culture and communications / Andy Law.
“The Internet is behaving in a way that is affecting everything we do. It is making us think about things in a way we never previously thought. The Internet has enhanced a reverse polarity of discovery in which seeking to know more about what and who we already know (think Facebook, Twitter, Google) is now just as valid as learning new things. This is the “implosion” that this book examines and the great impact it will have on society and business. The creation of the Internet, the most significant invention for several generations, is driving culture inward instead of outward (like many of history’s other prestigious cultural innovations). It is an implosive force, annihilating and creating simultaneously, and it will change forever the way society and business communicates. This book offers a controversial insight into where we are heading in the age of the web.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBreakpoint : why the web will implode, search will be obsolete, and everything else you need to know about technology is in your brain / Jeff Stibel.
“Stibel, brain scientist and entrepreneur, compares the Internet to the human brain as a network, and, as with all networks, the Internet is approaching a break point, along with many technologies and businesses that rely on it. Yet, as in nature, the break point will bring better things because the fittest species are typically the smallest. The unit of measure for progress isn’t size, it’s time. We learn that post-break-point technology networks (he cites the Internet, the web, and Facebook) are just tools to further connect humans more deeply while encouraging and enhancing equality, since social media promotes democracy.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy iPad for seniors (covers iOS 7 on iPad 2, iPad 3rd and 4th generation and iPad mini) / Gary Rosenzweig, Gary Eugene Jones.
“This iPad introductory guide has been written from the ground up with one fast-growing audience in mind: seniors. Not just an ordinary “beginner’s” book, “My iPad for Seniors” approaches every topic from a senior’s point of view, using meaningful examples and realistic tasks. With large text, close-up screen shots, and a custom full-color interior, this easy tutorial is designed to be read comfortably by everyone. We assume no prior experience with computers, but we don’t talk down to you: we know you’re smart and engaged, just new to the latest iPad!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coveriPhone for seniors for dummies / by Nancy C. Muir.
“Once you get comfortable with your iPhone, you’ll wonder how you lived without it! Muir cuts through the jargon to help you find your way around the homescreen, make calls, send texts and emails, fill your iPhone with games, movie, and music– and much more!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSharePoint 2013 on demand / Steve Johnson, Perspection, Inc.
SharePoint 2013 On Demand is built from the ground up for today’s SharePointuser. Like every book in the On Demand Series, it teaches visually, using an easy, friendly, full-color format designed to “show you how,” instead of “telling you how.” But that’s not all. This book:
Combines step-by-step training with quick-reference material you can rely on long after they’ve mastered the core skills they need.
Provides easy-to-follow task-based coverage of the techniques you’ll use most often, presenting most tasks in just one or two pages.
Offers in-depth coverage of all new MCAS (Microsoft Certified Application Specialist) and MCAP (Microsoft Certified Application Professional) exam objectives, so you can use it as a study guide to enhance your job prospects or current career.
Provides additional end-of-chapter workshops, plus even more hands-on projects online.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverExcel 2013 pivot table data crunching / Bill Jelen, Michael Alexander.
“.Use Excel 2013 pivot tables and pivot charts to produce powerful, dynamic reports in minutes instead of hours; understand exactly what’s going on in your business; take control, and stay in control! Even if you’ve never created a pivot table before, this book will help you leverage all their amazing flexibility and analytical power. In just the first seven chapters, you learn how to generate complex pivot reports complete with drill-down capabilities and accompanying charts. Then, you go even further, discovering how to build a comprehensive, dynamic pivot table reporting system for any business task or function.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWordPress web design for dummies / by Lisa Sabin-Wilson.
“Updated, full-color guide to creating dynamic websites with WordPress 3.6. In this updated new edition, bestselling For Dummies author and WordPress expert Lisa Sabin-Wilson makes it easy for anyone with a basic knowledge of the WordPress software to create a custom site using complementary technologies such as CSS, HTML, PHP, and MySQL. You’ll not only get up to speed on essential tools and technologies and further advance your own design skills, this book also gives you pages of great case studies, so you can see just how other companies and individuals are creating compelling, customized, and cost-effective websites with WordPress.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeginning 3D game development with Unity 4 : all-in-one, multi-platform game development / Sue Blackman.
“This book introduces key game production concepts in an artist-friendly way, and rapidly teaches the basic scripting skills you’ll need with Unity. It goes on to show how you, as an independent game artist, can create casual interactive adventure games in the style of Telltales Tales of Monkey Island, while also giving you a firm foundation in game logic and design.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSingle page web applications : JavaScript end-to-end / Michael S. Mikowski, Josh C. Powell.
“Code for most web sites mostly runs on the server. When a user clicks on a link, the site reacts slowly because the browser sends information to the server and the server sends it back again before displaying the results. With near universal availability of capable browsers and powerful hardware, the single page web application (SPA) pushes most of the code to the browser, giving users immediate results, whether they’re surfing at their desk or using a phone app.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCSS3 : pushing the limits / Stephen Greig.
“Representing an evolutionary leap forward for CSS, CSS3 is chock-full of new capabilities that dramatically expand the boundaries of what a styling language can do. But many of those new features remain undocumented, making it difficult to learn what they are and how to use them to create the sophisticated sites and web apps clients demand and users have grown to expect.”– publisher website.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCool infographics: effective communication with data visualization and design
“Make information memorable with creative visual design techniques.
Research shows that visual information is more quickly and easily understood, and much more likely to be remembered. This innovative book presents the design process and the best software tools for creating infographics that communicate. Including a special section on how to construct the increasingly popular infographic resume, the book offers graphic designers, marketers, and business professionals vital information on the most effective ways to present data.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Smarter Than You Think: New In Computing

New books on computers and computing this month;

Syndetics book coverSmarter than you think : how technology is changing our minds for the better / Clive Thompson.
“In the face of concerns over whether digital connectivity has made us generally lazy and shallow, Thompson (columnist, Wired) investigates and demonstrates how technology can be used to improve the ways we think and learn. For instance, he looks at the educational impact of the not-for-profit free online video tutorial platform Khan Academy and describes how its student dashboard system, a teaching platform for instructors, has considerably improved teaching and learning. Thompson includes compelling examples of how technology is furthering scientific discovery. For example, he writes, neuroscientists have been seeking to understand protein folding; an online protein-folding game helped allow them to understand the phenomenon when thousands of gamers found new and interesting strategies by collaborating online.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLearning iOS design : a hands-on guide for programmers and designers / William Van Hecke.
“”Learning iOS Design” will help you think systematically about the art and science of design, and consistently design apps that users will appreciate–and love. Pioneering Omni Group user experience expert William Van Hecke first explains what design really means, and why effective app design matters so much. Next, using a sample concept, he walks through transforming a vague idea into a fleshed-out design, moving from outlines to sketches, wireframes to mockups, prototypes to finished apps. Building on universal design principles, he offers practical advice for thinking carefully, critically, and cleverly about your own projects, and provides exercises to guide you step-by-step through planning your own apps design. An accompanying website provides professional-grade sketches, wireframes, and mockups you can disassemble, rearrange, and use to jumpstart any new project.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover
“Using your computer : the beginner’s guide / Kyle MacRae.

Incorporating several developments in technology and software, this manual is suitable for people who have just bought a new PC, but are not quite sure where to start. It helps them learn how to set everything up, get to grips with Windows 7, work with software and drives, get online and send emails.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAndroid tablets for seniors / Nick Vandome.
Android Tablets For Seniors In Easy Steps, shows the value of having a tablet computer and presents clear and visually attractive advice on buying and using an android tablet – in larger type for easier reading. Learn to navigate around the touchscreen; customise your settings; get online and use email, skype and social media to stay in touch; use your tablet as a mobile library for books, music and movies. This guide also suggests the best apps for popular activities as travel, health and online shopping to get you started.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverExcel data analysis : your visual blueprint for analyzing data, charts, and PivotTables / Paul McFedries.
“Aimed at Excel power users who appreciate logical, clean explanations of techniques, this visual guide features numerous screenshots and easy-to-follow numbered steps in order to show you how to perform professional-level modeling, charting, data sharing, data access, data slicing, and other functions. You′ll find super techniques for getting the most out of Excel′s statistical and financial functions, Excel PivotTables and PivotCharts, Excel Solver, and more. Demonstrates how to crunch and analyze Excel data the way the professionals do in an uncluttered, visual style.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEvernote for dummies / by David E.Y. Sarna with Vanessa Richie.
“This handy guide makes it easy to use Evernote to store, organize, and access practically anything, everywhere, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, and the web.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRaspberry Pi® : projects for the evil genius / Donald Norris.
“”This hands-on resource gives you a guided tour of the Raspberry Pi hardware, operating system, and IDE. Then gets you running with the Python programming language and the GPIO library so you can start on your creations right away. You’ll learn how to assemble a prototype board to use with your projects, and then you’ll jump right in with illustrated, step-by-step instructions that lead you through projects that gradually grow in sophistication.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverjQuery, CSS3, and HTML5 for mobile and desktop devices / Oswald Campesato.
“Covers the features of HTML5, CSS3 graphics, jQuery, and jQuery Mobile, and also shows how you can extend the power of CSS3 with SVG. Designed for readers with some knowledge of CSS/HTML/JavaScript, but more advanced users will benefit from numerous graphics techniques that are illustrated in many code samples. DVD with code and graphics included.” (adapted fron Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHello! iOS development / Lou Franco, Eitan Mendelowitz.
Hello! iOS Development will cater to novice programmers and give them enough understanding of iPhone development to allow them to move on to more advanced documentation. With the help of engaging cartoons and illustrations, this book will concentrate on teaching concepts and give a step-by-step guide to creating a few simple and complete apps. These apps are designed to be small, but useful, and will be freely available in the App Store for readers to immediately download and use.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVisio 2013 : absolute beginner’s guide / Alan Wright and Chris Roth.
“Friendly, direct, and patient, this book reveals Visio2013′s power, and helps you quickly master its updated interface. World-renowned Visiotutorial author Chris Roth provides step-by-step instructions for every task requiring more than one step. He presents screenshots guiding you through complex processes, and illustrations demonstrating the touch gestures you need to run Visio on the latest tablets and Windows 8 devices.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)


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