Posts

Lockdown Tales - Book Review

When I got Lockdown Tales, by Neal Ashes, I thought it would be ok. They are novellas set in the Polity, on the side of the regular stories. What it turned out to be was quite awesome. Asher's latest trilogies are pretty great, but they can also be a little tiresome - there is a lot of descriptions in each scene. I think that the short form limitations worked great for him and made him focus on smaller concepts, and I loved it. Almost every story was great, to the point that I can't even tell which I liked more. Overall, strongly recommended for fans, but I'm not sure if it would very well if you don't already know the concepts behind the events.

Build Your Own CLI Planner App Using Python Abstract Base Classes - Course Review

Build Your Own CLI Planner App Using Python Abstract Base Classes, by Nicolae Caprarescu, is a project in the Core Python path in PluralSight. There were some things I didn't know about, for sure, including how to force issubclass to see protocols (which, BTW, as a fan of strong typing seem horrifying), and the various weird ways to do abstract classes in Python. The approach of having the whole project in a single block is a little annoying, too, but not a major problem. Time seems wildly wrong here. They predict 3 hours. Took me 50 minutes. And I am not that good in Python. This was the last item on the Core Python path for me.  I also took their SkillIQ test and got 92%, which seems very nice (and very unrealistic).

Advanced Generators and Coroutines - Course Review

Advanced Generators and Coroutines is the final course in the Core Python learning path in PluralSight (I still got a project to do, though) This seemed way more confusing than necessary. Also, since I just took a course on Async programming in C#, I can't help but draw parallels, and to me it seems like C# wins handily in this case...

BiQ - All in one SEO tool

Yesterday there was a new offer in Appsumo , BiQ  , which is a all-in-one SEO solution. They have content planning, keyword research and tracking - starting at US$49 lifetime. But what I really signed for was the keyword research (they call it Rank Intelligence). I was disappointed at first, because I didn't get any decent keywords for the first sites I tried, but I tried some of the competition and got what seem like great keywords that should be possible to rank in.  For the price, this is pretty good, and I can continue using the tools for years (they do have monthly limits as well as permanent quotas depending on which offer you get - so pay attention). I also really like their tutorial  . Support seems good, I contacted them about some UI problems (such as columns that don't sort properly), and they answered right away.   US$10 off link  for Appsumo (yes, I get money if you buy).

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster - Book Review

How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, by Bill Gates, is a book about what we can do to avoid things getting much worse, climate wise, and perhaps one day better. Unfortunately, there are no magical solutions, just a lot of small things that could be done, as well as possibilities. The idea of green premiums - the extra cost between an alternative that causes carbon or carbon equivalent emissions and the version that emits less or none. I think I learned a lot about techniques in this area I didn't know about, as well as had some useful suggestions about what I can do personally, such as eat less meat (and eat meat substitutes, to show that there is a market for those as well as lower the price), invest in green tech, and be an earlier adopter of green tech (such as electric cars or use electric panels). Of course, the biggest thing that would help would be using nuclear power, but as all people see is 50s tech, they obviously see it a

Managing Python Packages and Virtual Environments - Course Review

Managing Python Packages and Virtual Environments, by  Reindert-Jan Ekker, is another course in the Core Python learning path in PluralSight. Virtual environments are a solution to the Python version of DLL hell, which seems to be a common pattern among all languages (Delphi, my previous favorite language, did have the advantage of just having everything in the EXE - but you still got it in the IDE, and I don't recall having a solution at the time if you needed several versions of things - just reinstall/rename and re-run the IDE).  I have been using them, mostly by the way PyCharm handles them automatically, and the course was pretty useful to understand what is actually going on.

Decoding Sensor Data Using Python - Course Review

Decoding Sensor Data Using Python, by Hugo Valle,  is another project in the PluralSight Core Python Path. Their way to check projects is interesting. Basically, you fork a repo in github, tell them your github name, and they will test what you did after you push the code. This was pretty useful, but in a limited way - you mostly just do what you are told, such as adding methods to a class, and adding that exact call. So what you learn is much more limited than just telling you to do something. Yet more useful than the last, as it had some different stuff to do. Some bits were pretty much "type this", but I guess they were easier than students mismatching their exact formatting. There were some bits on the descriptions that referred wrong variables, as well as unit test instructions mismatched with the description (strptime vs strftime), but nothing too hard to fix.