Robin's Blog

Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: High Performance Python by Gorelick and Ozsvald

Summary: Fascinating book covering the whole breadth of high performance Python. It starts with detailed discussion of various profiling methods, continues with chapters on performance in standard Python, then focuses on high performance using arrays, compiling to C and various approaches to parallel programming. I learnt a lot from the book, and have already started improving […]

Review: Rackspace Cloud (+ free open-source project hosting)

Summary: Rackspace are great: easy-to-use control panel, helpful support, fast servers and I got it all for free to host my open-source projects! Upgrading servers isn’t as easy as it could be, but that’s a very minor problem overall. After thinking about it for a while, I took advantage of Jesse Noller’s offer that I found […]

Review: Programming ArcGIS 10.1 with Python Cookbook

Summary: A useful guide to automating ArcGIS using Python, which is fully up-to-date with the latest version of ArcGIS. Definitely provides “quick answers to common problems”, but it may take more effort to get a deep understanding of the methods used. Good breadth of coverage – but notably lacks raster examples – and well explained […]

Review: Dreamhost web hosting

Summary: Cheap, lots of features, can resell. Servers located in US (may be a problem) and expensive for dedicated servers. Details: Register at Dreamhost. If you use the promotion code RTWILSONBLOG you will get $50 off your hosting package, and a free lifetime domain registration – yes, really! The details of their standard package is […]

Review: Asonic External USB 2.0 8 Channel Sound Card

Summary: Perfect for the price. Great cross-platform compatibility. Couldn’t ask for more. Details: Asonic External USB 2.0 8 Channel Sound Card. I think it comes in various incarnations with the same chips inside, but I got mine from eBuyer where it was sold as the Ebuyer Extra Value Asonic External USB 2.0 8 Channel Sound Card. […]

Review: Machine Learning: An Algorithmic Perspective by Stephen Marsland

Summary: Great book – clear explanations, useful example code and a friendly, easy-going writing style. One of my favourite academic books ever! Reference: Marsland, S., 2009, Machine learning: An Algorithmic Perspective, Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, Florida, 390pp  Machine Learning can be a difficult topic – as I found out when taking a Masters-level machine […]

Review: Matplotlib for Python Developers by Sandro Tosi

Summary: I’d recommend this for people interested in adding Matplotlib functionality to GUI and web applications, and for those who need a bit more information on how to do advanced plotting with Matplotlib. Most general users will be able to get the information they need from the Matplotlib website. Reference: Tosi, S., 2009, Matplotlib for […]

Review: R Graphs Cookbook by Hrishi Mittal

Summary: Very useful for reference while producing graphs, and very comprehensive (including heat-maps, 3D graphs and maps). Reference: Mittal, H. V., 2011, R Graph Cookbook, Packt Publishing, Birmingham, UK, 272 pages,  Publisher’s Website As a scientist I often need to plot graphs of my data, so I am keen to learn more about how to […]

Review: Python Geospatial Development by Erik Westra

Summary: Great book – both for GIS concepts and for teaching Python libraries. Lives up to the boast on the front cover – you really will learn to create complete mapping applications, learning a lot of useful tools and techniques on the way. Reference: Westra, E., 2010, Python Geospatial Development, Packt Publishing, Birmingham, UK, 508 […]