December 2010 archive

The Snowstorm of Dec 27, 2010 – Keene NH

The Snowstorm of Dec 27, 2010 – Keene NH

Dan York provides a brief view of his Keene, NH, neighborhood on the morning of Dec 27, 2010, in the midst if the large snowstorm. Shot and edited using an i...
From: Dan York
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Time: 02:26 More in Travel & Events

Learning Node.js – a video from Ryan Dahl

I have admittedly become a bit fascinated with Node.js lately. In part because it uses that most mundane of web programming languages, JavaScript… the language looked down upon by so many, but actually quite powerful with the right tools. In part because I’m intrigued by a event-driven I/O. And in part because it’s so trivial to get web services up and running (and yes, that is true of other frameworks as well).

If you’ve been interested in learning more about Node.js, this video may help you as it helped me:

One note: It’s from November 2009, which in web language terms that is quite old… and Node.js has evolved a bit from where it was in this video. For instance, the “tcp” module mentioned in an early demo is now the “net” module. (I found some good examples of current usage.)

Ultimately my goal is to experiment with the Tropo WebAPI library for Node.js to build voice, SMS and Twitter apps using Right now, though… I’m just having fun learning a new way to program!

Amazon adds BookScan data – I can see where the last purchases were made :-) recently started making book sales data from Nielsen BookScan available through their "Author Central" portal - and it yields some interesting data for those of us writing books. Now, it's not complete data as BookScan only covers about 75% of the online and offline booksellers, and it does NOT include ebooks, Kindle editions, etc. Still, it can provide some fun facts like the fact that the last purchases of Seven Deadliest Unified Communications Attacks were in New York, Chicago and L.A.:


What's cool for me as an author is that it also aggregates and displays data across all my books. Now... my books are not exactly NY Times Bestsellers (what? you mean the world isn't racing to learn about UC security? :-) so the data isn't as exciting as it would be for those with more mainstream books... but it's very cool to see. Thanks to Amazon for making this data available (for free) to all of us who write books!

Video Book Review: Pragmatic Guide to Git


Last night I recorded a new episode of my Emerging Tech Talk video podcast (as part of my One Day of Content Creation) where I reviewed the Pragmatic Guide to Git written by Travis Swicegood and published by Pragmatic Programmers in November 2010.

As I note in the video embedded below, I found the book quite useful as a reference and a solid intro to git for people who may have experience with other version control systems and want to come up to speed with git. It is not a tutorial on version control systems, so if you have no experience with VCS’s, you’ll need to read some other book first. (Or watch my earlier ETT episode where I explain version control systems.)

Enjoy the review…

In full disclosure:

  1. O’Reilly sent me a copy of this book to review, but I would have purchased it anyway since I have a passionate interest in git.
  2. The links to above use my affiliate code and so if you actually buy the book I will receive a tiny amount of money.

Read the book? How about posting a review on Amazon?

amazonlogo.jpgHave you read "Seven Deadliest Unified Communications Attacks"? If so, would you please consider posting a review on

There are already a couple of great reviews on, but the fact is that reviews do influence people to buy books and, well, it never hurts to have more reviews!

If you do have a moment to post your thoughts on the book (positive or negative), I'd definitely appreciate it. Thanks!

Python heading up O’Reilly’s recent book promotion?

oreillybooks.jpgTwo days ago, Tim O’Reilly published an interesting post around the books people chose as part of O’Reilly’s Cyber-Monday deal. What I found interesting was the number of books all about…


Given that I’ve been programming now and then in python for over 10+ years, I just found it both interesting and pleasing to see that python is still growing in interest. Google has certainly driven much of that interest in recent years with AppEngine, but Tim O’Reilly points to “data science” as a new driver:

… while Python has a large following in data science. It’s particularly interesting, and important, that using Python to collect data from sensors (“Real World Instrumentation with Python”) made it onto the list.

Very cool to see!

P.S. I agree with Tim that the list is a very interesting view into what programmers (who buy from O’Reilly) are interested in…