Avatar (Fabio Alessandro Locati|Fale)'s blog

Implementing Cloud Design Patterns for AWS by Marcus Young (Packt Publishing)

July 19, 2015

Today the IT world is moving very quickly from the classic infrastructure with servers, switches, hard disks and so on to virtual infrastructures, where all those things are simple pieces of software faking to be real objects. This has huge benefits, and this is why so many companies are doing this. Along with the advantages, this new way of doing IT has it’s criticality that the administrators have to know to prevent possible problems to happen.

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The Wireshark Field Guide by Robert J. Shimonski (Elsevier)

April 2, 2014

I usually don’t start with this, but lately I had some time constraints that made me wondering if is right to use so much time reading books. The Wireshark Field Guide Analyzing and Troubleshooting Network Traffic by Robert J. Shimonski is only 149 pages long (if we cut the introduction, indexes, etc. it boils down to 128 pages). This is a really short book and I have really appreciated this fact.

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RESTful Web APIs by Leonard Richardson, Mike Amundsen, Sam Ruby (O'Reilly Media)

May 28, 2013

The API are now becoming more used every day. Today every major website provides it’s own set of API and often the company websites and services are chosen (or not chosen) based on the availability of API and their design. In this huge world that is getting bigger every day, RESTful API plays a huge role, in fact a lot of companies are moving their API to RESTful API since it’s easier to use, therefore more attractive for potential clients.

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Zero to Maker: Learn (Just Enough) to Make (Just About) Anything by David Lang (Maker Media)

May 21, 2013

When I opened this book I was impressed on the image/text ratio. Being a Maker Media product, I thought it was somehow similar to the Make magazine. I was very wrong: in the whole book there are less then 10 images/photos. This is a good thing, if you like to read because allows the author to put way more contents than if he had to put more images and it keeps the file size small (~23Mb).

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Principles of Big Data: Preparing, Sharing, and Analyzing Complex Information by Jules J Berman (Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann)

May 14, 2013

As you probably know, I usually do not comment the books layout, being more focused on the contents of a book instead of it’s layout. This time I will start this review speaking about the layout of this book since it’s REALLY peculiar. The Introduction is written in a two-columns layout, very similar to the Science magazine layout. The book itself is written in a single column layout, still with a “Science like” look.

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Practical Anonymity, by Peter Loshin (Elsevier/Syngress)

May 7, 2013

The anonymity on the web is probably one of the most debated topics on the web. Is possible to be completely anonymous? The short answer is no. This book tries to help the read to improve its anonymity, staying is the “real world”, as the “Practical” world in the title suggests. In this book you will not find anything that is too complex for an average user. Whether this is good or bad, depends on you expectations.

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CompTIA Security+ Training Kit (Exam SY0-301) by David Seidl, Mike Chapple, James Michael Stewart (Microsoft Press)

April 30, 2013

After few months after the review of CompTIA Security+ Rapid Review, I’m now here to speak about it’s bigger brother: the Training kit. With its 569 pages, this book is more than twice the length of the Rapid Review one. Even if someone can think that they did a better summary in the Rapid Review one, I have to say that this is not the case for these two books. While the Rapid Review allows you to pass the exam if you already know the certification contents and you only need to evaluate your level and to refresh some contents, the Training Kit will teach you the certification contents.

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Hadoop: The Definitive Guide by Tom White (O'Reilly Media)

April 23, 2013

Hadoop is today a industry-standard software for the Big Data and this book it’s the industry-standard book for Hadoop. This book is able to bring you from no knowledge about Hadoop and the Big Data to a full knowledge of Hadoop and it’s usage. The book is split in 16 chapters and 3 appendix for a total of 628 pages of contents. This make ~33 pages for chapter so it’s easy to read and to find what you need.

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Hacking Web Apps by Mike Shema (Elsevier/Syngress)

April 16, 2013

Have you ever thought that the website you are developing or using is secure? Well, this book will make you change your opinion. This book will change your idea of security and therefor you’ll start to see anything as “probably having some security glitch”. Mike Shema speaks about a lot of different kind of attacks in his book in a real deep way, at the point that sometimes I wondered if he was planning to instruct people how to hack websites or only how to secure own websites.

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Logging and Log Management by Anton Chuvakin, Kevin Schmidt, Chris Phillips (Elsevier/Syngress)

April 9, 2013

Logs are one of the most powerful tools in the sysadmin hands, and probably of all kind of IT roles. This book does deep into the logs and their management. One of the aspects that I really liked about this book is the division of the text in chapters. The book is “only” 420 pages long, but is well split in 22 chapter, so they are (on average) 21 pages long.

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HTML5 Canvas for Developers by David Geary (O'Reilly Media)

April 2, 2013

As the name suggests, this set of videos is for developers. HTML 4 and Javascript are often used without much explaination about the JS code it self but only about the HTML5 Canvas part. I felt to point this out immediately since I’ve not found it on the O’Reilly page, but I believe that is really important to specify. Another thing that I’d like to point out is that (as it is easy to imagine, but not obvious) these videos only speak about 2D graphics in HTML (therefore there will no WebGL topics).

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Monitoring with Ganglia by Matt Massie, Bernard Li, Brad Nicholes, Vladimir Vuksan, Robert Alexander, Jeff Buchbinder, Frederiko Costa, Alex Dean, Dave Josephsen, Peter Phaal, Daniel Pocock (O'Reilly Media)

March 26, 2013

Ganglia is the most robust and scalable tool for performance monitor I’ve tried or heard of. This book, written by some of the top contributor of the project, is an awesome guide to Ganglia. Due to its organization and the authors writing style, the book is easy to understand and can be read as a “full-guide” reading it from the first page to the last one, or a reference book reading only the parts that are relevant to you in that specific moment.

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Wireless Reconnaissance in Penetration Testing by Matthew Neely, Alex Hamerstone, Chris Sanyk (Elsevier/Syngress)

March 19, 2013

When someone says the word “wireless”, 99.9% of the audience thinks at the Wireless Networking Technologies (802.11 family). Very few think to the Bluetooth. Even fewer people think to all the other technologies that use wireless technology to work, such as cordless phone, guard radios, headsets, wireless camera etc. This book embrace the last point of view. The first chapter provides basic information and motivation for Wireless Profiling. The chapter 2 provides the reader with all the information she needs to be able to understand the wireless technology and it’s usage.

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Metasploit by Mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns, Jim O'Gorman, David Kennedy (No Starch Press)

March 12, 2013

Metasploit is the most common and complete framework for testing security. Metasploit is an entire suite of tools and methodologies designed for testing the security of computers and networks.

The book is written for both experienced penetration tester and people new to the security field. For the first group, one of the most interesting thing is the explanation of the rules and ideas that formed the Penetration Test Execution Standard, while for users new to the field, is really interesting what can be done and how.

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CompTIA A+ Rapid Review (Exam 220-801 and Exam 220-802) by Darril Gibson (Microsoft Press)

March 5, 2013

After Microsoft’s CompTIA A+ Training Kit, here I am reviewing the Microsoft’s A+ Rapid Review. This book is really similar to the book CompTIA Security+ Rapid Review (this too by Microsoft Press). Darril Gibson, the book’s author, have compressed a huge amount of contents in a (relatively) small amount of pages (411). This is the first big difference in respect of the Security+ Rapid Review, since this book has more contents per page (and about the double of pages).

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Digital Capture After Dark by Philipp Scholz Rittermann, Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler (Rocky Nook)

February 26, 2013

This book does cover one of the hardest topic that are present in digital photography. In fact, the photographies in the dark are the are the ones which are more frequently bad looking. The book provides with a big amount of techniques and tips covering equipment, the actual taking of the image, and post-production. A lot of these techniques and tips are easily found on photography specific magazines and articles, but a book grouping all these techniques is really good since it’s an organic and easy to found and read collection.

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Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 33

February 19, 2013

It’s Make! I think Make is one of the greatest, if not the greatest magazine available worldwide. I think that this is a really cool number of Make. As it usually happens to me, the part I like the most i the “Projects part”, in which I always find awesome ideas. The article I liked the most is “Growing the Ghost” by Gabriel Nagmay. This article speaks about the growing of the Bhut Jolokia, one of the world most powerful chili flavour.

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Vintage Tomorrows A Historian And A Futurist Journey Through Steampunk Into The Future of Technology by Brian David Johnson and James H. Carrott (O'Reilly Media)

February 12, 2013

This book initially shocked me. When I downloaded it, it was a 140 Mb so I thought it was full of drawings and comics. As soon as I opened the file I saw it was nothing I thought it would have been. The book is mainly written (it can seem tautological but I think that’s right to point it out) with a lot of photos. I think the reason of the “hugeness” of the file is given by the photos.

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Designing Games - A Guide to Engineering Experiences by Tynan Sylvester (O'Reilly Media)

February 5, 2013

When I read the first lines of the description “Ready to give your design skills a real boost? This eye-opening book helps you explore the design structure behind most of today’s hit video games. You’ll learn principles and practices for crafting games that generate emotionally charged experiences—a combination of elegant game mechanics, compelling fiction, and pace that fully immerses players." on the O’Reilly website I thought it was a very well thought eye-catcher phrase to sell more books.

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Exam Ref 70-413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure by Steve Suehring (Microsoft Press)

January 29, 2013

I come to this book less than a month after reviewing the 70-410 Exam Ref. As the title may suggest, this book is tailored to the preparation of the Microsoft 70-413 exam. Speaking of the exam, I have to advice that the book does cover any exam objective, but does not cover every exam question. The book is split into an introduction, 5 chapters and the index. The first chapter helps to understand how to plan and deploy a server infrastructure.

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Starting a Business Learn What You Need in Two Hours By Scott L. Girard Jr., Michael F. O'Keefe, Marc A. Price (Nova Vista Publishing)

January 22, 2013

When I’ve seen this book I had no idea about what I was going to find inside it. As the title suggests, the book is pretty short (the PDF version count 161 pages) and so it’s really a few reading hours. The book is divided in 5 chapters: Planning: this chapter covers the Business Plan and all the accessories planning. From my experience (and the author too) a good plan is mandatory if you don’t want see your great idea failing.

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CompTIA A+ Training Kit (Exam 220-801 and Exam 220-802) By Darril Gibson (Microsoft Press)

January 15, 2013

Reading this book has helped me a lot understanding better how the A+ exam works. This book is tailored for the CompTIA A+ certification (and this led me to this book instead of another one, since I’m looking forward to take this certification). I really liked the fact that every chapter does cover conclusively an argument. In this way, you can choose which arguments read based on your interests and your needs.

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CompTIA Security+ Rapid Review (Exam SY0-301) by Michael Gregg (Microsoft Press)

January 8, 2013

After the CompTIA Network+ Training Kit I find myself to review the CompTIA Security+ Rapid Exam Review. This book is pretty short (258 pages long) but is very dense. It is divided into 6 chapters + one appendix. For each atomic argument, the author does propose 1 to 3 True-or-False questions, their answer and the explanation. I did like the question-answer approach, since you understand immediately which is your level, therefore you can understand which parts you have to cover more and which less.

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CompTIA Network+ Training Kit (Exam N10-005) by Craig Zacker (Microsoft Press)

January 1, 2013

Reading this book has helped me a lot understanding better how the networking works. This book is tailored for the CompTIA Network+ certification (and this led me to this book instead of another one, since I’m looking forward to take this certification. I really liked the “structureness” of this book. After a brief introduction (Chapter 1) the book author analyzes the whole networking stack starting from ground up. The first chapters, in fact, are about Physical layer (Chapter 2), Data-Link Layer (Chapter 4) and Network Layer (Chapter 6).

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Strata Conference New York + Hadoop World 2012: Complete Video Compilation by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

December 28, 2012

When I’ve been selected to review, I was shocked by the amount of material that is hidden in this product. This is more than 100 hours of videos of the Strata and Hadoop World conference. The material is divided in three sections: Keynotes (14 videos), Tutorials (64 videos) and Sessions (81 videos). The Keynotes are really short video (7~15 minutes each) that tend to be some sort of advertise of the companies that are sponsors (I guess) of the event.

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Exam Ref 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 by Craig Zacker, Microsoft Press

December 21, 2012

This in not an O’Reilly book, even if you have found it on the O’Reilly website. In fact this book has been published by the Microsoft Press. Maybe this is a good thing, since we are talking about Windows Server, one of the main Microsoft products. Who can speak about Windows better than its creator? As the title may suggest, this book is tailored to the preparation of the Microsoft 70-410 exam.

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20 Recipes for Programming PhoneGap by Jamie Munro, O'Reilly

May 19, 2012

This book starts with a little introduction and with the instructions to setup the environment. After this, the book starts at full speed with “the Recipes”. The structure based on Recipes is what I liked the of this book. Every Recipe has the structure: Problem Solution Discussion I think that this is a very powerful structure because in this way we can learn from the obstacles that each one of us can encounter in his way while coding.

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Code Simplicity by Max Kanat-Alexander, O'Reilly

April 24, 2012

This is not the typical O’Reilly programming book and you can find it out very easily when you have the book in your hands, since it does not have any code inside The author, in fact, tries to create a software development science. This left me very puzzled since: I think this kind of stuff has to be said by people after you, not buy the author himself The author mainly collect ideas and principles that are already explained in a lot of other books The author suggests the DRY and the don’t fix if it isn’t broken principles and I think these will not always bring you to good code The book only says what to do, it does not cover how to do it Re-factoring and single responsibility principle are not covered Apart of these five points, I think that the book has reasons to live.

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Linux Pocket Guide by Daniel J. Barrett, O'Reilly

April 19, 2012

This is one of my favorite book about Linux. Probably is the most favorite one. In the last years I’ve been looking for a book that was like a printed man with some more explanation and a rigid order. This book does all this plus something more (that I’d rather not having). I really liked the professional to professional user, since otherwise it would be much bigger and boring for pro users.

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jQuery UI by Eric Sarrion, O'Reilly

April 17, 2012

jQuery has very interested me in the last period. I think that it is the best JavaScript library for me. jQuery UI is a set of functions that allow you to improve the graphics and the functionality of your websites with very few lines of code. My jQuery level was pretty close before I took the time to read this book. I’ve found this book amazing and really interesting even for fast-learner as I am (knowing a dozen of languages and libraries I tend to go really fast when I’m studying a new language or library).

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Mobile Design Pattern Gallery by Theresa Neil, O'Reilly

April 9, 2012

This book is weird, I’ve to tell you. I was expecting a book with some examples and some text. Well, I ended up with a book that, at the first sight, seems more a book for kids rather than a professional book since is 90% images. The book is clearly organized, each chapter covering one specific aspect. Navigation Forms Tables Search, sorting and filters Tools Charts Invitations Feedback & Affordance Help Anti-patterns After a little while, I learned how to learn (a lot of) good patterns and bad patterns (anti-patterns) from this book.

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The Art of SEO by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiolla and Rank Fishkin, O'Reilly

April 4, 2012

Since the four authors are very popular in the SEO field, I was expecting the best book on SEO ever. All my expectation have been met. I think that the book authors have done a great job describing these difficult concept in an easy and ordered way. The book, also, is very complete. The touched topics include: user-focussed data, key analytical tools, effective website creation, result tracking, search engine theory and behaviour, the impact of social media, SEO best practices and much more.

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jQuery Mobile: Up and Running by Maximiliano Firtman, O'Reilly

April 1, 2012

jQuery Mobile is a library that allows you to develop mobile apps using jQuery. Is even possible to use a jQuery Mobile program as a native app, thanks to programs like PhoneGap. This book assumes that you already know jQuery and I think that this is good since the author can focus only on the main topic in this way. I think you should know or study jQuery before even starting this book.

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Mining the Social Web by Matthew Russell, O'Reilly

February 28, 2012

Mining the Social Web is a good start for anyone is going to create scripts to analyze patterns in Social Networks. I’ve to say that this book consider that the reader already masters Python. I think that should be written directly on the title (ie: “Mining the Social Web with Python”). I liked the really fast approach to the Social Networks, even if a lot of times I wanted more; for this reason I consider it only a start, not a complete book.

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