Showing posts with label ebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ebook. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

I guess it's eBook week... eBook of the Day: “Data Science in the Cloud, with Azure Machine Learning and R" Report (Name-ware)

Machine Learning Blog - Download Free O'Reilly Report - Data Science in the Cloud

O’Reilly's new report, titled “Data Science in the Cloud, with Azure Machine Learning and R," shows how newer Cloud-based tools, combined with established techniques such as R, make sophisticated ML models accessible to a wide range of users. Through a practical data science example, with relevant data sets and R scripts available on GitHub, it helps you navigate through tasks such as:

  • Data management

  • Data transformation

  • Building and evaluating ML models

  • Producing R graphics

  • Publishing your models as web services

All this is done using a free account in the Azure ML cloud environment. You can ...

O’Reilly - Getting started with data science in the cloud

Large-scale machine learning, or predictive analytics, is having a powerful impact across many industries. By using machine learning, companies, governments, and not-for-profits are replacing guesses and seat-of-the-pants estimates with valuable data-driven predictions.

Deriving value from machine learning, however, is often impeded by complex technology deployments and long model-development cycles. Fortunately, machine learning and data science are undergoing democratization. Workflow environments make tools for building and evaluating sophisticated machine learning models accessible to a wider range of users. Cloud-based environments provide secure ubiquitous access to data storage and powerful data science tools.

To get you started creating and evaluating your own machine learning models, O’Reilly has commissioned a new report: “Data Science in the Cloud, with Azure Machine Learning and R.” We use an in-depth data science example — predicting bicycle rental demand — to show you how to perform basic data science tasks, including data management, data transformation, machine learning, and model evaluation in the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning cloud environment. Using a free-tier Azure ML account, example R scripts, and the data provided, the report provides hands-on experience with this practical data science example


Microsoft Azure - Data Science in the Cloud with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and R

The Microsoft Azure Machine Learning cloud platform provides simplified yet powerful data management, transformation and machine learning tools. R language scripts integrate with built in Azure ML modules to extend the platform. Additionally, models running in Azure ML can be published as web services.
You will be provided information on how to perform data science tasks including, data management, data transformation, and machine learning in the Azure ML cloud environment. You will learn:

  • Data management with Azure ML.
  • Data transformation with Azure ML and R.
  • Data I/O between Azure ML and the R Scripts.
  • R graphics with Azure ML.
  • Building and evaluating machine learning models with Azure ML and R.
  • Publishing Azure ML models as a web service.

    Free tier Azure ML accounts are now available with a Microsoft ID at

  • ...

    image image

    Here's a snip from this 58 page "report"

    Recently, Microsoft launched the Azure Machine Learning cloud platform—Azure ML. Azure ML provides an easy-to-use and powerful set of cloud-based data transformation and machine learning tools. This report covers the basics of manipulating data, as well as constructing and evaluating models in Azure ML, illustrated with a data science example.

    Before we get started, here are a few of the benefits Azure ML provides for machine learning solutions:
    • Solutions can be quickly deployed as web services.
    • Models run in a highly scalable cloud environment.
    • Code and data are maintained in a secure cloud environment.
    • Available algorithms and data transformations are extendable using the R language for solution-specific functionality.

    Throughout this report, we’ll perform the required data manipulation then construct and evaluate a regression model for a bicycle sharing demand dataset. You can follow along by downloading the code and data provided below. Afterwards, we’ll review how to publish your trained models as web services in the Azure cloud.

    For our example, we will be using the Bike Rental UCI dataset available in Azure ML. This data is also preloaded in the Azure ML Studio environment, or you can download this data as a .csv file from the UCI website. The reference for this data is Fanaee-T, Hadi, and Gama, Joao, “Event labeling combining ensemble detectors and background knowledge,” Progress in Artificial Intelligence (2013): pp. 1-15, Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

    The R code for our example can be found at GitHub.

    Working Between Azure ML and RStudio
    When you are working between AzureML and RStudio, it is helpful to do your preliminary editing, testing, and debugging in RStudio.

    This report assumes the reader is familiar with the basics of R. If you  are not familiar with using R in Azure ML you should check out the following resources:
    • Quick Start Guide to R in AzureML
    • Video introduction to R with Azure Machine Learning
    • Video tutorial of another simple data science example

    The R source code for the data science example in this report can be run in either Azure ML or RStudio. Read the comments in the source files to see the changes required to work between these two environments.

    Overview of Azure ML
    This section provides a short overview of Azure Machine Learning.

    You can find more detail and specifics, including tutorials, at the Microsoft Azure web page.

    In subsequent sections, we include specific examples of the concepts presented here, as we work through our data science example.

    Azure ML Studio...

    You also heard that Microsoft bought a firm that's a "leading commercial provider of software and services for R," Microsoft to acquire Revolution Analytics to help customers find big data value with advanced statistical analysis, right? Funny how that works.... :)

    Tuesday, February 03, 2015

    Cool eBook for the Day #2: Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure (Think "Azure 102")

    Microsoft Press - Free ebook: Microsoft Azure Essentials Fundamentals of Azure

    We’re happy to announce the release of our newest free ebook, Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure (ISBN 9780735697225), by Michael S. Collier and Robin E. Shahan. This is the first ebook in Microsoft Press’s free Microsoft Azure Essentials series. Future ebooks will cover specific Azure topics, such as Azure Machine Learning, Azure Automation, and others.

    Below you’ll find the ebook’s Foreword, by Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Cloud and Enterprise group at Microsoft, as well as its full Introduction. Enjoy!


    Download all formats (PDF, Mobi and ePub) hosted by the Microsoft Virtual Academy



    Microsoft Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform, providing a wide variety of services you can use without purchasing and provisioning your own hardware. Azure enables the rapid development of solutions and provides the resources to accomplish tasks that may not be feasible in an on-premises environment. Azure's compute, storage, network, and application services allow you to focus on building great solutions without the need to worry about how the physical infrastructure is assembled.

    This ebook covers the fundamentals of Azure you need to start developing solutions right away. It concentrates on the features of the Azure platform that you are most likely to need to know rather than on every feature and service available on the platform. This ebook also provides several walkthroughs you can follow to learn how to create VMs and virtual networks, websites and storage accounts, and so on. In many cases, real-world tips are included to help you get the most out of your Azure experience.

    In addition to its coverage of core Azure services, the ebook discusses common tools useful in creating and managing Azure-based solutions. The ebook wraps up by providing details on a few common business scenarios where Azure can provide compelling and valuable solutions.

    Who should read this ebook

    This ebook focuses on providing essential information about the key services of Azure for developers and IT professionals who are new to cloud computing. Detailed, step-by-step demonstrations are included to help the reader understand how to get started with each of the key services. This material is useful not only for those who have no prior experience with Azure, but also for those who need a refresher and those who may be familiar with one area but not others. Each chapter is standalone; there is no requirement that you perform the hands-on demonstrations from previous chapters to understand any particular chapter.

    We expect that you have at least a minimal understanding of virtualized environments and virtual machines. There are no specific skills required overall for this ebook, but having some knowledge of the topic of each chapter will help you gain a deeper understanding. For example, the chapter on virtual networks will make more sense if you have some understanding of networking, and the chapter on databases will be more useful if you understand what a database is and for what you might use one. Web development skills will provide a good background for understanding websites, and some understanding of identity will be helpful when studying the chapter on Active Directory.

    This ebook might not be for you if…
    This ebook might not be for you if you are looking for an in-depth developer or architecture-focused discussion on a wide range of Azure features, or if you are looking for details on other public or private cloud platforms.

    The topics explored in this book include:

    • Getting started with Azure: Understand what cloud computing is, visit the management portals, and learn about billing.
    • Websites and Cloud Services: Learn about Azure Websites, from deployment to monitoring, and gain an understanding of the web and worker roles used in Azure Cloud Services.
    • Virtual Machines: Explore the basic features of Azure Virtual Machines, including how to create, configure, and manage them.
    • Storage: Read about the basics of Azure Storage, including blobs, tables, queues, and file shares.
    • Virtual Networks: Learn the basics of virtual networks, including how to create one, and why a virtual network might be necessary. This also covers site-to-site and point-to-site networking, as well as ExpressRoute.
    • Databases: Explore two relational database options available in Azure: Azure SQL Database and SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines.
    • Azure Active Directory: Explore basic features of Azure AD, including creating a directory, users and groups, and using the application gallery.
    • Management Tools: Explore three common tools for working with Azure: Visual Studio 2013 and the Azure SDK, Azure PowerShell cmdlets, and the Cross-Platform Command-Line Interface
    • Business Scenarios: Explore four common scenarios for utilizing Azure features: development and test, hybrid, application and infrastructure modernization, and Azure Mobile Services.


    Need to introduce someone to Azure? This free 246 page eBook looks like a great starting point...


    Cool eBook of the Day #1: Xamarin.Forms Book Second Preview Edition Now Available

    Xamarin - Announcing the Xamarin.Forms Book Second Preview Edition!

    Since Xamarin Evolve 2014, we’ve received fantastic feedback on the first Preview Edition of Charles Petzold’s Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms, so we’re excited to announce that we’re making a Second Preview available for download.

    The book has been updated to incorporate feedback from the first preview, as well as to include the latest features from Xamarin.Forms 1.3. Readers will notice a substantial re-organization of the book and additional XAML content that was not in the first preview.

    The following chapters are available for download today:


    And there are many more chapters still to come! We will be updating the download page every week or so with a new chapter until the book is complete [GD:Emphasis added] and we move into the final editing and publishing phase.


    Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms Book Preview 2


    Charles Petzold is currently writing a new book - Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms - which is due for publication in the spring of 2015.

    We released the first preview in print at Xamarin Evolve 2014.

    Preview 2 has been completely updated for Xamarin.Forms 1.3 and XAML support. Chapters will be available for download soon after they've been written and reviewed!



    The samples for the second preview edition are available on github.

    Preview 2 is a work-in-progress - it will not be published in other electronic formats. The final product will be published in book form and made available in the usual formats (as preview 1 was).



    Come on, it's Charles Petzold's work! Need I really say more? (Oh okay, it's Free too! There!)


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    Monday, February 02, 2015

    Cool eBook of the Day: "The Developer’s Guide to the New .NET"

    Telerik - Free eBook--The Developer’s Guide to the New .NET

    It’s 2015, and there have been a lot of changes in the Microsoft landscape with .NET. As you kick-start the New Year, you may be wondering how to catch up with all of these changes and announcements, quickly and easily. You could read countless blogs, watch videos and scour the Internet. Or, simply read an eBook, which tells you everything.

    I’m pleased to announce the “The Developer’s Guide to the new .NET” eBook is now available for download for FREE. Authored by myself and Sam Basu (both Microsoft MVPs), we’ve created a no-fluff developer-to-developer breakdown of what’s coming to .NET in 2015. The future of .NET looks awesome, and you’ll be glad to be a part of this.


    In this eBook, we’ll take a look at:

    • .NET Goes Open Source: What does that mean to you as a .NET developer?
    • Windows 10: What we know so far and why it matters to you as a .NET developer?
    • Visual Studio 2015: Includes several tips and tricks to get you up to speed FAST!
    • C# 6.0: We’ll take a look at code snippets that show you exactly what features you may want to take advantage of in your next app.
    • Roslyn: Can I do more than create my own compiler? What else can I do with it?
    • .NET on a Mac: Are you serious? We’ll take a look at how native .NET development is a reality on a Mac.
    • Resources and additional information: We’ll talk about how the future is very bright for .NET developer and how using the Telerik Stack can further enhance productivity.

    The Developer’s Guide to the New .NET [Download page]

    This ebook is no fluff–just a developer-to-developer breakdown of what’s in store for .NET in 2015. Included are code snippets and step-by-step tutorials on handy new features and techniques.


    Download for free, and learn more about:

    • Visual Studio 2015
    • .NET core goes open source
    • Cross platform development with .NET
    • C# 6.0
    • Roslyn
    • Windows 10

    Michael Crump, the man, the myth, the legend in his own [time|mind], shares this new free (reg-ware) eBook from Telerik, which is very manager-safe (i.e. formatted like a PowerPoint deck, lots of pictures, etc.. oh... wait... did I really say that out loud? yeah) view of the coming new .NET world.

    Kidding aside, this format is great for those who want to get the higher level view of what's coming in the new .NET. Those co-workers who are not info-hounds like you, the dev's who just want the highlights, etc. It's only 47 pages and really is a nice, quick and informative read. And did I say it was free? :)



    Friday, December 19, 2014

    Packt's 5 Buck eBook Bonanza is back!

    $5 eBook Bonanza – Every title, every topic

    5D Twitter Cover

    Treat yourself to the eBook or Video of your choice for just $5 and get as many as you like until January 6th 2015. To get you started, we've put together the Top 20 Titles of 2014 for you to pick up here. But don’t forget, you can get ANY eBook or Video for $5 in this offer.



    With all $5 products available in a range of formats and DRM-free, customers will find great value content delivered exactly how they want it across Packt’s website this Xmas and New Year. From Thursday 18th December, every eBook and video will be available on the publisher’s website for just $5 until 6th January.

    You guys know how much I dig Packt and their catalog. So when they do their $5 deals I always jump in and empty my wish list... :)


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    "SQL Server Execution Plans" free eBook from Red Gate

    Red Gate - SQL Server Execution Plans

    Improve the performance of your .NET code – even if SQL Server is slowing you down

    Download your free copy of SQL Server Execution Plans, the only in-depth look at how to improve your query performance through careful design of execution plans.

    Then, isolate the problem that's causing pain in your own application, with a 14-day free trial of new ANTS Performance Profiler 9, which now includes a detailed view of SQL Server execution plans.

    Narrow down the problem to your .NET code or SQL Server database in a single profiling session. Get line-level timings for slow code, and full execution plans for your queries, with expensive or slow operations highlighted for you automatically.

    1. Free eBook: SQL Server Execution Plans

    • Free 321 page eBook that covers execution plan basics, how to interpret plans, complex queries, and how to optimize execution plans.
    • Includes 169 SQL code samples & 173 illustrations.
    • Written by SQL Server MVP Grant Fritchey, the SQL Server community's leading authority on execution plans.
    • Yours free – normally $29.99

    2. Free trial: root out .NET & SQL Server performance problems with ANTS Performance Profiler


    image ..."

    NOTE: This is dated September 2012, but was also modified June 2014...


    I thought I had blogged about this, but didn't so I might as well now! I mean, who doesn't need 322 pages on SQL Server Execution Plans?

    Liked how the eBook download already included the example files...


    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    With VS 2015 and Android development in VS... "The Secrets to App Success on Google Play"

    I Programmer - Free Guide For Android Developers

    Google has produced an 80-page booklet to help and encourage developers to publish apps on Google Play. You can download it as pdf or from Google Play, or even request a printed copy sent by mail.

    The final option, which involves filling out a form, only applies if you are in the US or the UK. Only a limited number of copies are available and once the supply is exhausted the form will no longer be accessible.

    Although the booklet is free, any download from Google Play requires you to provide a payment method. This has led to negative comments from devs who have experienced problems. Other criticisms are the the font sizes are small, requiring zooming on many devices.

    So the trouble-free option is the pdf, although even here the use of color makes it slow to download and render and less easy to read.

    So much criticism of a freebie!

    So what doe it have to offer?


    Android Developers Blog - Introducing a New Guide, “The Secrets to App Success on Google Play”



    The guide is separated into the following sections:

    • Publishing on Google Play — using the Google Play Developer Console to distribute your app to over 1 billion Android users worldwide.
    • Quality — The fundamentals of building a great app and an insight into the Google Play guidelines and policies.
    • Discoverability & reach — Maximizing your app's discoverability and reaching the widest audience possible.
    • Engagement & retention — Converting installations into active users and improving user retention.
    • Monetization — Monetization strategies to generate ongoing, growing revenue streams.
    • Measurement with Google Analytics — Understanding your users and improving your app experience, conversions, and marketing.
    • Going global — Launching your app in local markets around the world.

    Download the guide now in English (PDF, 11MB) or get it on Google Play. We’ll release the guide in more languages in the coming months. If you’re in the US or the UK, we also have a limited number of printed copies that we are offering to send for free. Request a printed copy here.

    Now that Android dev is that much easier in VS 2015, thought this guide might come in handy for many of you...

    Monday, October 27, 2014

    One James McCaffrey, Two Succinctly's - "Machine Learning Using C# Succinctly" & "Neural Networks Using C# Succinctly" (& 50 free eBooks)

    Machine Learning Using C# Succinctly


    In Machine Learning Using C# Succinctly, you’ll learn several different approaches to applying machine learning to data analysis and prediction problems. Author James McCaffrey demonstrates different clustering and classification techniques, and explains the many decisions that must be made during development that determine how effective these techniques can be. McCaffrey provides thorough examples of applying k-means clustering to group strictly numerical data, calculating category utility to cluster both qualitative and quantitative information, and even using neural network classification to predict the output of previously unseen data.

    Table of Contents
    1. k-Means Clustering
    2. Categorical Data Clustering
    3. Logistic Regression Classification
    4. Naïve Bayes Classification
    5. Neural Network Classification

    Neural Networks Using C# Succinctly


    Neural networks are an exciting field of software development used to calculate outputs from input data. While the idea seems simple enough, the implications of such networks are staggering—think optical character recognition, speech recognition, and regression analysis. With Neural Networks Using C# Succinctly by James McCaffrey, you'll learn how to create your own neural network to solve classification problems, or problems where the outcomes can only be one of several values. Learn about encoding and normalizing data, activation functions and how to choose the right one, and ultimately how to train a neural network to find weights and bias values that provide accurate predictions. Download the book today!

    Table of Contents
    1. Neural Networks
    2. Perceptrons
    3. Feed-Forward
    4. Back-Propagation
    5. Training

    Two pretty deep drives for you today. Also an interesting milestone, Machine Learning Using C# Succinctly is Syncfusion's 50th free ebook!


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    Tuesday, October 07, 2014

    Cool Preview eBook of the Day: "Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms" by Charles Petzold (Yes, that one)

    Microsoft Press - Free ebook: Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms, Preview Edition

    Greetings! To help celebrate the Xamarin Evolve conference, we’re happy to release a free ebook today: Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms, Preview Edition: Cross-platform C# programming for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, by Charles Petzold. This ebook was created jointly by Xamarin and Microsoft Press.


    You can download PDF and Mobi formats at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

    This Preview Edition ebook is about writing applications for Xamarin.Forms, the new mobile development platform for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone unveiled by Xamarin in May 2014. Xamarin.Forms lets you write shared user-interface code in C# and XAML (the eXtensible Application Markup Language) that maps to native controls on these three platforms.

    This ebook is a Preview Edition because it's not complete. It has only six chapters. We anticipate that the final version of the book will have at least half a dozen additional chapters and that the chapters in this Preview Edition might be fleshed out, enhanced, or completely reconceived. The final edition of the book will probably be published in the spring of 2015.

    Here’s an excerpt from the ebook’s Introduction, with greater detail:

    Who should read this book

    This ebook is for C# programmers who want to write applications for the three most popular mobile platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone with a single code base. Xamarin.Forms also has applicability for those programmers who want eventually to use C# and the Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android libraries to target the native application programming interfaces (APIs) of these platforms. Xamarin.Forms can be a big help in getting started with these platforms or in constructing a prototype or proof-of-concept application.

    This ebook assumes that you know C# and have some familiarity with the use of the .NET Framework. However, when discussing some C# and .NET features that might be somewhat new to recent C# programmers, the ebook adopts a somewhat slower pace....

    Xamarin.Forms is one of the more exciting things to happen in the C# and XAML space in a long time (to much to say it's revitalized XAML? Given it a new life? Defib'd XAML? Maybe.. [but maybe not]). Why? Read this free ebook and you'll see...

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    "Learning to Master Cross-Platform Mobile Development With Xamarin" Free (Name-Email-ware) eBook

    Jesse Liberty - Free e-Book: Learning to Master Cross-Platform Mobile Development With Xamarin

    The good folks at Falafel have put together all my posts (to date) on  Xamarin and Xamarin Forms into an e-book, which is available free at


    Some snips from the PDF...


    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Does your SQL Smell? The free "119 SQL Code Smells" eBook might help you sniff it out (and fix it)

    simple talk - 119 SQL Code Smells

    Written with advice, help or contributions from over 25 SQL professionals
    Download the free PDF: from Red Gate

    Once you've done a number of SQL code-reviews, you'll be able to identify signs in the code that indicate all might not be well. These 'code smells' are coding styles that, while not bugs, suggest design problems with the code. In this PDF, Phil's put together 119 of those code smells so you can see what to avoid and why.

    Kent Beck and Massimo Arnoldi seem to have coined the term 'CodeSmell' in the 'Once And Only Once' page of, where Kent also said that code ‘wants to be simple’. Kent Beck and Martin Fowler expand on the issue of code challenges in their essay ‘Bad Smells in Code’, published as Chapter 3 of the book ‘Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code’ (ISBN 978-0201485677).

    Although there are generic code smells, SQL has its own particular habits that will alert the programmer to the need to refactor code...




    One can be a bit defensive about SQL code smells. I will cheerfully write very long stored procedures, even though they are frowned upon. I’ll even use dynamic SQL on occasion. You should use code smells only as an aid. It is fine to ‘sign them off’ as being inappropriate in certain circumstances. In fact, whole classes of code smells may be irrelevant for a particular database. The use of proprietary SQL, for example, is only a code smell if there is a chance that the database will be ported to another RDBMS. The use of dynamic SQL is a risk only with certain security models. Ultimately, you should rely on your own judgment. As the saying goes, a code smell is a hint of possible bad practice to a pragmatist, but a sure sign of bad practice to a purist.

    In describing all these 119 code-smells in a booklet, I’ve been very constrained on space to describe each code smell. Some code smells would require a whole article to explain them properly. Fortunately, SQL Server Central and Simple-Talk have, between them, published material on almost all these code smells, so if you get interested, please explore these essential archives of information.


    nuff said...

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    "Localization for .NET Succinctly"

    Syncfusion - eBooks - Localization for .NET Succinctly

    Learn to write applications that support different languages and cultures, with an emphasis on .NET development. With the help of author Jonas Gauffin, Localization for .NET Succinctly will help you become an effective developer in the global community.


    NOTE: Ignore the Table of Contents on the above web page... They are already working to fix that. I know it confused me too

    image Doh!

    Here are some snips of the real ToC from the PDF;


    This book will introduce you to the world of globalization and localization. The goal is to give you a deeper understanding of how to write applications that support different languages and cultures. I’ll guide you through the basics and then go into different implementations.

    The book is primarily focused on .NET.

    The book also contains strategies for web development. The examples for web development are written using ASP.NET MVC and JavaScript/Globalize. You can however apply the sample principles in any other type of application.

    In the book I’ll be using .NET 4. There are some minor changes compared to earlier versions. You can for instance assign a neutral culture to CurrentCulture (see first chapter for more information). There are also some new features in .NET 4.5 that have not been included in this book.

    Throughout this book I’ll skip the terms localization (i10n), internationalization (i18n) and globalization. If you look them up, you’ll find as many definitions as there are developers.


    Another link for you the author's, Jonas Gauffin, blog and post on this book.


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    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    [Cool Webook of the Day] "Eloquent JavaScript"

    Eloquent JavaScript

    This is a book about JavaScript, programming, and the wonders of the digital. You can read it online here, and a paper version is being worked on.


    Written by Marijn Haverbeke.

    Licensed under a Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial license. All code in this book may also be considered licensed under an MIT license.


    A couple of my feeds mentioned this today, so I thought I'd take a look. Glad I did. This looks like an awesome book, while initially focused on the beginner dev, quickly it becomes something for the new, or returning, to JavaScript dev. And since js is the currently shiny...

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Two days, "one milliiiioooonnnnn" downloads, the Largest Free Microsoft eBook Collection... ever

    Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman - Over 1 Million FREE Microsoft eBooks Given Away in 2 days! (and soon to be 2 MILLION!)

    When I put my first free eBook post on my blog a couple years ago, people thought I was crazy for wanting to give away one million total books. Sure enough, we did it. Then last year I issued the statement I wanted to give away one million more in ONE WEEK. People thought I had completely lost it then, but you showed them and we achieved our goal. Well, when I put up my “Largest Collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks Ever!” post here on my blog on Monday morning, I once again said “wouldn’t it be fun if we could surpass the 1,000,000 download mark within just one week again?” and sure enough, people questioned my ambition.

    I am absolutely THRILLED to see the overwhelming response you have had to the FREE eBook giveaway again this year and I am happy to announce that not only did you hit the ONE MILLION free eBooks downloaded in a week, but you did it in just TWO DAYS! That’s right, you surpassed the ONE MILLION mark within 48 hours of my post first going live! (and what’s even more amazing is that looking at the current download trends, we’ll surpass TWO MILLION free eBooks given away so far this week during the day today!) So not only will you have achieved the original goal of ONE MILLION given away in a week, you’ll have doubled it to TWO MILLION, and there are still several days left in the week since the post first went live on Monday morning. So thank you to all of you for taking advantage of this offer and getting your free Microsoft eBooks! I hope you all find them of value and they are able to help you achieve your learning goals around these topics.

    Now one question I get quite a bit is, “What are the most popular eBooks being downloaded?” For fun, I thought I’d pull the stats last night and see where we were....

    If you want to see the full list of almost 300 FREE Microsoft eBooks, click here for my original post; otherwise, I give you the Top 60 eBooks being downloaded so far (as of last night):


    Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, SQL Server, and much more

    FREE Microsoft eBooks! Who doesn’t love FREE Microsoft eBooks? Well, for the past few years, I’ve provided posts containing almost 150 FREE Microsoft eBooks and my readers, new and existing, have loved these posts so much that they downloaded over 3.5 Million free eBooks as of last June, including over 1,000,000 in a single week last year (and many, many more since then).

    Given the amount my readers enjoy these posts and these free resources, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc., for your enjoyment. Plus I’m also including links to the free eBooks I shared in the past so you have all of them here in one single post, making this my single largest collection EVER (Almost 300 total)! ...


    I've highlighted Eric's posts a number of times in the past, he's been sharing ebooks for a while, but 1+ million downloads in 2 days is a major milestone. Sure every tech news blog has mentioned his post, still it's a pretty darn impressive stat...


    Related Past Post XRef:
    Microsoft Press [Older] eBook Shelf
    Eric Ligman's List of "Free Microsoft Office 365 Resources, Training, Virtual Courses..."
    Microsoft Press Free eBooks now have a home in the Microsoft Virtual Academy
    Eric triple downs on his Free Microsoft eBook List... (Windows, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Office, Azure and More)
    Eric's done it again... ANOTHER large collection of free eBooks and Resource Kits
    A Microsoft eBook Bonanza - Office, SQL Server, Development, WinPhone, Career and more
    Microsoft Technologies E-Book Gallery (TechNet Wiki)

    Wednesday, July 09, 2014

    eBook of the Day: "Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight" (aka Hadoop on Azure eBook @ 367 pages...)

    Microsoft Downloads - Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight – eBook Download

    This guide explores the use of HDInsight in a range of use cases and scenarios such as iterative exploration, as a data warehouse, for ETL processes, and integration into existing BI systems. The guide is divided into three sections:

    • “Understanding Microsoft big data solutions,” provides an overview of the principles and benefits of big data solutions.
    • “Designing big data solutions using HDInsight,” contains guidance for designing solutions to meet the typical batch processing use cases inherent in big data processing.
    • “Implementing big data solutions using HDInsight,” explores a range of topics such as the options and techniques for loading data into an HDInsight cluster, the tools you can use in HDInsight to process data in a cluster, and the ways you can transfer the results from HDInsight into analytical and visualization tools to generate reports and charts, or export the results into existing data stores such as databases, data warehouses, and enterprise BI systems.

    Version: 1.0

    File Name:

    Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight.pdf


    Date Published: 7/8/2014



    Only 346 pages from patterns and practices group on HDInsight (aka Hadoop)... :/

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    Microsoft Press [Older] eBook Shelf

    Earlier this year, I blogged about how the Microsoft Press eBook shelf got a new home on the Microsoft Virtual Academy, Microsoft Press Free eBooks now have a home in the Microsoft Virtual Academy (->

    Well it seems that currently only some of the books are listed there, the newer ones. Where do you go for the older titles?

    Microsoft Press - Free ebooks: A recap of our older titles

    I was looking through our download numbers the other day and saw how many older titles are still popular. However, I noticed that there has been a drop in downloads of our older books that started when we began placing our new free ebooks on the Microsoft Virtual Academy site. We don’t list the older titles on the free ebooks page. Maybe we should.

    Until then, I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of the older ebooks and their links.



    Grr... Don't you hate when you think of a great post title AFTER you publish a post? I should have titled this, "A tale of two eBook Libraries...". Oh well. :)

    (via Kurt Shintaku's Blog - INFO: Microsoft’s two free eBook libraries)

    Tuesday, June 03, 2014

    Not your usual Succinctly book... "Neural Networks using C# Succinctly" (reg-ware)

    James D. McCaffrey - Neural Networks using C# Succinctly

    I wrote a new book titled “Neural Networks using C# Succinctly”. It was published this week. There are many existing books on neural networks but no good ones (in my opinion) that focus on how to create neural networks from a software developer’s point of view. My book is free and you can download a PDF version from here:


    I’ve written books before but for “Neural Networks using C# Succinctly” the process was a bit different. I was sitting at my desk one day when I got an unsolicited phone call. Normally I never answer such calls but on this particular day, I did. The call was a young woman named Hilary Bowling who worked for a company called Syncfusion. Hilary asked me if I’d be interested in writing a book about neural networks.

    Hilary told me that Syncfusion published relatively short (roughly 100 page) e-books and made them available for free. I was skeptical — I figured there’d have to be a catch of some sort. But in fact, Syncfusion does publish free e-books for software developers. The only minor catch is that you have to register and end up on Syncfusion’s mailing list, but Syncfusion doesn’t take advantage of this (I signed up to see what would happen).

    Anyway, it took me a few months to write “Neural Networks using C# Succinctly” (writing a book is much more time-consuming than you might expect) and now it’s available from the Syncfusion Web site...

    Syncfusion - Neural Networks using C# Succinctly


    Neural networks are an exciting field of software development used to calculate outputs from input data. While the idea seems simple enough, the implications of such networks are staggering—think optical character recognition, speech recognition, and regression analysis. With Neural Networks Using C# Succinctly by James McCaffrey, you'll learn how to create your own neural network to solve classification problems, or problems where the outcomes can only be one of several values. Learn about encoding and normalizing data, activation functions and how to choose the right one, and ultimately how to train a neural network to find weights and bias values that provide accurate predictions.

    Table of Contents

    1. Neural Networks
    2. Perceptrons
    3. Feed-Forward
    4. Back-Propagation
    5. Training

    How can you go wrong with 128 free('ish) pages on C# Neural Networks!



    Related Past Post XRef:
    "Visual Studio 2013 Succinctly" free [reg-ware] now available from... you guessed it, Syncfusion
    "Windows Phone 8 Succinctly - The practical approach to Windows Phone 8 development" eBook (Reg-ware)
    Succinctly eBook of the Day: "Twitter Bootstrap Succinctly" [Reg-ware]
    Need some help up the WPF learning curve? "WPF Succinctly" from Syncfusion is now available (and free :)
    TypeScript Succinctly - Free [Name/email-ware] eBook
    Getting sharp with F# with the free "F# Succinctly" eBook [reg-ware]
    Syncfusion helps shed a little succinct light on LightSwitch with "LightSwitch Succinctly" (Reg-ware)
    "JavaScript Succinctly" - Another free (reg-ware) eBook from Syncfusion
    Get into sync with HTTP with the new free (reg-ware) Syncfusion Succinctly eBook, "HTTP Succinctly"
    Spelunk the technical details of the PDF format with "PDF Succinctly" from Syncfusion (Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
    "Git Succinctly" Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
    jQuery Succinctly - Free eBook (reg-ware, PDF and/or Mobi)


    Thursday, May 08, 2014

    Ricky Leeks and learning about leaks in this .NET Memory Management article collection [Contact Info-ware]

    Red Gate - Ricky Leeks on Learning .NET Memory Management

    To write the best .NET code, you need to know exactly how the .NET framework really manages memory.

    In this free 6-part article series, Ricky Leeks gathers together the top tips and techniques for understanding memory management, garbage collection, interoperability, and more.

    Then hunt down the memory leaks in your application with a free trial of ANTS Memory Profiler.

    1. Free article: Learning .NET Memory Management

    • The Fundamentals of .NET Memory Management
    • Top 5 .NET Memory Management Gotchas
    • 5 Tips for Avoiding Automatic Garbage Collections

    2. Track down memory leaks with ANTS Memory Profiler




    (via Tatworth - Free article from Redgate - Learning .NET Memory Management)


    Related Past Post XRef:
    "Under the Hood of .NET Memory Management" free eBook
    .Net Memory Management Explained - Red Gate Story Book Style...

    The story of TFS - Pieter Gheysens' "The evolution of ALM/TFS" now in PDF form.

    Into ALM with TFS - The evolution of ALM/TFS – pdf available for download

    A few weeks ago, I started with publishing different parts of an article on the evolution of Application Lifecycle Management.

    Part I: Introduction

    Part II: Diving into the basics of ALM and how did Microsoft start with an ALM solution?

    Part III: Heterogeneous Software Development

    Part IV: A fully integrated testing experience with TFS 2010

    Part V: TFS 2012 and Continuous Value Delivery

    Part VI: TFS 2013 and Visual Studio Online

    Part VII: Conclusion

    You can now also download the full article in pdf-format [Click through for the PDF link] (25 pages in total – 2MB). [GD: Post leached in full]


    Being a host of RadioTFS and long time TFS guy (yes, I've been installing and using it since v1, VSTS 2005) it amazes me just how far this product line has come and that the improvement pace isn't just not slowing down, but is going faster!

    I wonder if a new chapter is going to be written (announced, whatever) next week at TechEd North America 2014? We got the 2013 surprise last year, wonder about this year? Guess we'll see soon enough...

    Tuesday, May 06, 2014

    Crypto101 - Programmer focused introduction to cryptography

    404 Tech Support - Crypto 101, a free intro to encryption for developers

    Crypto 101 is an introductory course on cryptography intended to help programmers understand encryption in order to write better code. It is currently available in a DRM-free PDF with EPUB and Mobi also listed on the website. Crypto 101 uses Python for exercises which can run on OS X, Windows, and Linux.

    The book is available now in its pre-release form with a Creative Commons – Attribution-Noncommercial license. It is being written as an open-source project using github. The 252 page book, written by Laurens Van Houtven, is almost entirely complete at this point. It stems from an extension of a presentation given at PyCon 2013.



    Crypto 101 is an introductory course on cryptography, freely available for programmers of all ages and skill levels.

    Start to finish.

    Comes with everything you need to understand complete systems such as SSL/TLS: block ciphers, stream ciphers, hash functions, message authentication codes, public key encryption, key agreement protocols, and signature algorithms.

    Learn by doing.

    Learn how to exploit common cryptographic flaws, armed with nothing but a little time and your favorite programming language.

    Forge administrator cookies, recover passwords, and even backdoor your own random number generator.

    Works everywhere.

    DRM-free and available in all common formats:

    Exercises run on OS X, Windows, Linux and BSDs.


    Crypto 101 is available for everyone, for free, forever. Development is hosted on Github, funded by free time and your donations. You are free to donate any amount you want, and all donations are of course entirely voluntary. Learn more about contributing. ...



    This book is intended as an introduction to cryptography for programmers of any skill level. It’s a continuation of a talk of the same name, which was given by the author at PyCon 2013.

    The structure of this book is very similar: it starts with very simple primitives, and gradually introduces new ones, demonstrating why they’re necessary. Eventually, all of this is put together into complete, practical cryptosystems, such as TLS, GPG and OTR. T

    he goal of this book is not to make anyone a cryptographer or a security researcher. The goal of this book is to understand how complete cryptosystems work from a bird’s eye view, and how to apply them in real software.

    The exercises accompanying this book focus on teaching cryptography by breaking inferior systems. That way, you won’t just “know” that some particular thing is broken; you’ll know exactly how it’s broken, and that you, yourself, armed with little more than some spare time and your favorite programming language, can break them. By seeing how these ostensibly secure systems are actually completely broken, you will understand why all these primitives and constructions are necessary for complete cryptosystems. Hopefully, these exercises will also leave you with healthy distrust of DIY cryptography in all its forms

    This book hopes to be a bridge: to teach everyday programmers from any field or specialization to understand just enough cryptography to do their jobs, or maybe just satisfy their appetite.


    With all that's been happening in the past weeks, months, years, I thought you might find interesting...