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The following reviews were written by Michal Owsiak (, Enjoy and feel free to write a few reviews of your own on Safari Books Online.

Read the review now: Head First iPhone and iPad Development



Read the review now: Intellectual Property and Open Source


Read the review now: iOS 4 Programming Cookbook


Read the review now: Learning iPhone Programming


  • Title: Learning Perl
  • By: Randal L. Schwartz; brian d foy; Tom Phoenix
  • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Read the review now: Learning Perl


Read the review now: Learning Android


Read the review now: Microsoft® Excel® 2010: Data Analysis and Business Modeling


Read the review now: Office 2011 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual


Read the review now: Programming Python


Read the review now: Programming iOS 4


  • Title: R Cookbook
  • By: Paul Teetor
  • Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Read the review now: R Cookbook


  When you start to developing an application, one that should conquer the world, you will probably ask yourself quite a lot of questions related to UI. How to design it the best, most efficient way, how to attract users, how to make users use it longer than just few taps after downloading it. You have here, basically, two options. Either you try to reinvent the wheel by yourself, or, alternatively, you can base your development on some others’ experience.If you decide to go for Tapworthy, make sure you have quite a lot of time for the lessons. There are many of them. Josh goes through most of the topics that are important when it comes to UI design. He tries to provide you with the information that might help you develop better applications.Designing for iPhone is slightly different than developing for a regular computer. You have to pay attention to things like screen size, memory amount, responsiveness, gestures, language related issues and so on. Josh covers these matters by providing relevant examples. However, there are few issues when it comes to this course.First of all, sound quality is not good. Josh sounds like he was using some sort of phone mic all the time. I wonder why Josh hasn’t decided to use a high quality microphone during podcast recording. It would be much, much better. I can compare this podcast to many other podcasts you can find at iTunes and there is a huge difference. I think, that in case of podcast, you have to pay attention to sound quality. There is another issue here. Sections are too long. I found myself having difficulty concentrating periodically when I was listening to the podcast. It is said that single part of the podcast should last ~5 minutes – after that time, listeners start to lose their concentration. And this is the case of this podcast. After being involved into particular section for more than 15 minutes you simply start to focus on the environment instead of the podcast.In general, I have mixed feelings. At some point I value this course, because Josh presents material that is worth mentioning. On the other hand, he presents it in such way, that you can find yourself thinking about everything but the course while listening to it. Mind says ‘yes’ while heart says ‘no’. You have to decide for yourself.

Read the review now: The Myths of Innovation

   Make yourself comfortable with unit tests!Unit testing is quite important when it comes to writing good, fault proof applications. Nobody likes writing them unless you are used to it. If you start using them, you will probably feel uncomfortable when tests are missing. Unit testing is basically a way of making you confident that application works almost like expected. You can’t filter everything, but still – having few tests is better than having none. Developing for iPhone is not that far from any other development. If you want have your application appreciated by users, it should never fail unexpectedly. Even more, there is another fence that forces you to develop error prone applications – Apple Store validation process. If you want your application to be there, you have to make it correctly. Dan Pilone and Courtney Nash guide you through the process of setting up and using Unit tests. At the very beginning you will be told how to prepare your working environment and how to set up things – this is the place where every Unit testing starts. Dan shows not only good examples, he shows bad practices as well. This way, he smoothly changes the topic and goes directly into refactoring the code. In refactoring section, he basically shows us how we should re-factor the code in order to make it “Unit test friendly”. If you have already built code, you have to re-factor it in order to implement tests. When you start coding, you can develop using test driven approach instead. This method of developing Unit tests is discussed by Dan and Courtney as well. What is important here is that Dan not only gives you technical details but also the background of the process. Why should I do Unit testing, how should I start, how can I benefit from it.What I like in this video training is that Dan faces some issues that surprise him, which makes this video quite trustworthy. I also like his real life examples. I have, however, a few remarks when it comes to the video and the content. First of all, you can hear some background noise within first two parts. It might be distracting sometimes. However, if you get used to it, you will manage to go further. Another thing is that there is a really annoying “feature” of iTunes when it comes to O’Reilly’s videos. From time to time videos contain useful comments at the bottom of the screen. However, if you press Pause, you get whole comment covered with iTunes panel. This is quite frustrating. If you want to solve this “issue” simply drag your iTunes movie control panel somewhere at the top of the screen and you are done. If it comes to content related issues, this is just picking holes in it. Dan mentions that he prefers to use test case names that contain “should do something” in order to make code cleaner. You can see later on in the code, that he uses standard test names “testSomething” throughout the video. Another issue is that he works with the code that cannot be found at O’Reilly’s page – this is a pity. I’d rather have really simple Unit test example with code that I can download and test for myself.If you ask me, whether the video is worth seeing or not, I can only say – yes it is. I got lazy over past few years. I don’t want to ‘Google’ for everything I need anymore. Sometimes, I simply want to lay back, watch the video, and get the knowledge I need while at the same time I can relax :)

About the Author

Michal Konrad Owsiak is a computer scientist and a hobbyist philosopher. He develops applications within Java, and Objective-C related environments. Recently, he is involved into Nuclear Fusion, HPC and GRID related projects. He reads lots of books – both philosophy and IT related. He can be followed at and at his blog

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