Category Archives: Books

Books of a generally technical nature that I am interested in, have bought a copy of or find generally useful.

Recent E-Book Purchases

Packt publishing, Manning and APress have been key sources of software related books for a variety of topics. Lately they’ve also been pushing out daily deals on eBooks that have grabbed my attention in a number of cases. Packt in particular has deep discounts on selected books (and often even deeper discounts if you buy all four on a given day) so they’re over represented in my list.

I tend to buy on a wide range of software topics as my preferred roles touch on all aspects of the engineering process and having some background across that range improves my effectiveness immensely. I’ve listed my purchase prices to give an idea of how deep these discounts go.

  • Game Programming using Qt 5 Beginner’s Guide – Second Edition ($8.00) Aug
    QT keeps coming up in discussions of C++ based UI programming. It is cross platform and seems to be well supported while the Microsoft specific alternatives all have limitations and most are seriously showing their age.
  • Hands-On GUI Programming with C++ and Qt5 ($7.20) Aug
    Another QT book covering core QT programming (the games book sounded interesting as it likely covers more graphical and interactive QT). I’m going to have to find time to do some sandbox programming with QT sometime soon.
  • Qt5 Python GUI Programming Cookbook ($8.00) Aug
    Combines python and QT as an interesting mix. Python also keeps showing up out there and being able to build QT UI tools with python on the back-end would be quite useful in places.
  • Fixing Bad UX Designs ($6.40) Aug
    I’ve tended to operate mostly in the middle and bottom ends of software stacks in the past. I’m trying to improve my feel for the user experience end of things and the UX books on my list support this effort.
  • Hands-On UX Design for Developers ($6.40) Aug
    A more general purpose UX book.
  • Unity 2018 By Example – Second Edition ($7.20) Aug
    I’d love to find time to build some simple games…particularly if I can combine interesting game play with a networked back end. Unity seems like one of the best ways to make this happen so I’ve been slowly reading enough to find my way around (also one of the reasons for my blender reading).
  • Unity Virtual Reality Projects – Second Edition ($8.00) Aug
    I bought an HTC Vive quite some time ago and while it has been fun to play with (though currently buried in the basement as I sort through years of various items) I really want to do some programming. Unity and VR seem like a good combination…with C# on the back end even better.
  • Hands-On Full Stack Web Development with Angular 6 and Laravel 5 ($10.00) Sept
    I bought this because Angular is high on my ‘web UI’ list and my web hosting here is PHP only. This stuff could give me the ability to break free from WordPress a bit and put some more interesting content on the site.
  • React Cookbook ($7.20) Oct
    React (and Vue a bit) is the other web UI framework that seems to be popular. I’d like to become a bit more familiar with it when time permits.
  • React and React Native – Second Edition ($7.20) Oct
    Another React book with (hopefully) broader coverage and some React Native bits along the way. Web UI for the win?
  • D3.js Quick Start Guide ($2.40) Oct
    Part of a set of four (thus the very low price) covering some odd corners of the web UI universe.
  • Learn WebAssembly ($3.60) Oct
    I have been hearing about webassembly from a few people at work as an interesting technology. Hoping this book gives me some more depth on this front.
  • Learn Three.js – Third Edition ($3.60) Oct
    I’ve been poking at three.js and WebGL for a while now. Another book on the three.js side can’t hurt and for the price I couldn’t turn this down.
  • Mastering SVG ($3.60) Oct
    SVG also keeps coming up at work and while I’m aware of the technology and its basic outlines, I’ve not dug deeper to date. Going to read through this one and see what I can pick up.
  • Kotlin in Action
    Kotlin seems to be an interesting attempt to end-run the conservatism of the Java eco-system. I’ve been looking at it a bit for some time. So far I haven’t found time to do more than some reading though.
  • The Java Module System
    Java 9 feature that I’d like to know a bit more about.
  • The Joy of Kotlin
    More on Kotlin.
  • Web Components in Action
    More web UI advanced topics.
  • Clean C++
    Hoping for some additional insights into modern (2011/2014) C++ usage.

Just bought some eBooks on Kubernetes

A container coordinator isn’t something that is all that likely to be important to me in the immediate future but given that docker keeps showing up in java spring related tutorials I’m inclined to take a look at the technology.

It sounds as if the docker equivalent has largely fallen flat and kubernetes  is the solution I’m seeing most frequently out there.  I’m not sure when I’ll find time to do more than skim these, but interesting technology is always worth a look…

More Functional Programming and some MERN

Functional and Haskell

I’ve been reading through the Haskell book I bought (the C# functional programming book isn’t here yet). So far, Haskell functional programming still looks like a gimmick more than a set of useful tools. I’ll keep reading through to the end and likely play with the language a little before I’m done.

I’m looking forward to the C# functional programming book as I’m hoping it will provide a more practical view of what functional methods bring to the table. Working in a hybrid environment should allow the best of both worlds to shine and allow any awkward spots on one side of the other to be worked around.

MERN and Bootstrap and Things…

I’ve also been rummaging through a book on using node with react rather than angular 2/4. Seems like an interesting option as react sounds less proscriptive than angular. As with angular 2 the react tool still needs a CSS library and also similarly this book suggests bootstrap.

I need to sit down and code up a simple sample program that self-hosts a web server (probably OWIN based) and presents a web UI and perhaps a handful of RESTful web methods as a trial. Not sure whether I’ll go with react or angular 2 for this. Stay tuned…

Oh…also picked up ‘Learning Bootstrap 4, Second Edition‘ to read a bit more about bootstrap along the way. The Amazon web UI framework was bootstrap derived I believe so I expect this to  be somewhat familiar…

I am looking at self-hosting partly because node doesn’t play as nicely with windows as it does with linux and I’m mostly windows based. It is also rather nice to have a one-stop simple web UI hosting option that can get access to native code as needed. The NSSM package seems as if it provides a reasonable way to host something like node as a boot time startup service…I’ll probably play with that at some point.

Interesting…there is a package manager for windows called ‘Chocolatey‘ that seems to be an option for deploying NSSM… 

Continuing to read about functional programming

Functional programming techniques are becoming more mainstream (and more generally useful) and I’ve been doing some reading to come up to speed.

I’ve just ordered a book on Haskell. Haskell seems to be the functional programming equivalent to SmallTalk for object oriented design…a pure functional language.


I’ve also ordered a book on functional programming in C#. While C# isn’t a purely functional language, I am far more likely to build things in C#. I’m expecting the combination of these two books to give me a decent combination of theory and useful practice.

Javascript is really where I first began running into functional approaches. I’m still working on getting my javascript up to where I’d like it to be. The javascript world is currently pretty hard to keep up with as things continue changing at a frantic rate. I’m expecting to spend a weekend soon adding a self hosted web UI to one of my ongoing sandbox projects…probably something Angular 2 with a C# back end, but we’ll see…

Continue reading Continuing to read about functional programming


Recently bought a couple of used books on C++/CLI to read. This looks like the most seamless and high performance approach to .NET/Native interop.


Both a little old (though there isn’t much newer really). I’m a bit concerned that Microsoft might move away from supporting this language as it must  be a bit involved to keep up as new releases happen. I’m going to look at adding some interop samples using this technology to my github in the near future.

Third Edition Effective C# Just Arrived…

The new edition of Effective C# just arrived in the mail. The ‘effective’ series have been consistently helpful with advice beyond the basics of language syntax. As I’m currently spending significant amounts of quality time with C# for work and also for some sandbox coding at home, this is a welcome item.


img_20161221_202611Looking forward to seeing what is in this new edition and seeing what it has to say about version six of the language. I’ll try to write up comments on it when I’ve had time to read through this one.

PC Kindle viewer has been throwing errors with some books…

I have become more and more dependent on kindle books for both technical material and relaxation reading. I mostly read them using the app on my android phone and tablets. Lately I have been trying to use the windows application to read technical documents while working on my computer at home.

I’ve found that some books that display perfectly on my android devices give persist ‘delete and download again’ messages on the PC. No matter how often I try the process suggested by the app, I continue to get the error.

Continue reading PC Kindle viewer has been throwing errors with some books…

WordPress and PHP

Back in WordPress and PHP land a bit. OpenGL is fun, but I want to make this hosting/blog cleaner and something I can point people at without running then through messiness at the landing page.

I think the Jetpack plugin has resolved my immediate image display issues over on my personal blog. I still want to build more comfort level with PHP for a number or reasons and with WordPress to keep things going in the right direction here.

I’ve bought a few PHP and WordPress kindle books to cover these areas (and update my several years old volumes on my current physical bookshelf). I’ll likely drop XAMPP on my linux machine sometime soon to create a test environment for a number of things.

Continue reading WordPress and PHP