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Short Review: “Digital Capture After Dark” by Quintenz-Fiedler and Scholz, O’Reilly March 4, 2013

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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DCADCombine a busy life and short winter days and you don’t have a lot of natural day light to practice photography. So, the “Capture After Dark” part of the title interested me. While we’re talking about the title, let’s start with the bad. I kind of grew allergic of the “digital” adjective in photography books. Most of the time, it’s a cheap way to reprint some old material. And let face it, older photography books are just fine as a learning tool even when using a digital camera: the principles are the same. Books that take the “digital” identity seriously and add specific content (1/3 of this book) often fall in an other trap, by trying hard to be a manual for a specific version of a specific software package. As a result, when released, a big part of the book is either outdated or irrelevant (in the case you prefer to use other software, e.g. FOSS).

Luckily, the other two thirds of the book are about photography. As stated in the introduction, the information “is presented as a variety of techniques regarding equipment choice, technical approach, subject matter, and production practices”. This is certainly the case, and the book is useful and applicable, certainly if you’re relatively new to photography. On the other hand, if you already have replaced a camera because you used it to death, you won’t discover much new: yes, you need a tripod at night and warm clothing :) .

So, if you’re new to photography, I’ll give it a 3 stars out of 5 (1/3 of software manual killed it for me). If you’re not, maybe 2 out of 5: it’s not a bad book and certainly not something very technical of that goes deep in the artistic part of photography. Nevertheless, it’s very fast read and it’s good to see the bits you’ve learn in one document.

Be nice to me and I’ll be nice to you (ebooks) February 25, 2012

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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I love it when I get a fair deal in this greedy digital world. Paying twice for the same content is something I really dislike.

Besides the content, I like chromatic’s way of doing business: you can freely download the DRM-free pdf of his book (Modern Perl) even if you don’t buy a hard copy. Guess what, I bought the book the day it came out.

Although O’Reilly does make you pay for the electronic content of a printed book you already own, they give you a very fair deal: “Upgrade to the electronic version of any print book you’ve registered at oreilly.com, for just $4.99″.

I just got the DRM-free digital version of 5 O’Reilly paper books I already own and I don’t feel cheated at all. Be careful though not to mix offers like the 5$ book “upgrade” the half price for new releases of books you own. In this case you’ll pay half price of the full ebook price instead of the 5 $.

This is how you make customers happy. Treat me with respect and I won’t mind sending some money your way once in a while.

High-Order Perl now legally available online December 10, 2008

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perlIn case you haven’t read it elsewhere, High-Order Perl written by Mark Jason Dominus is now legally available on-line without cost. Get it here.

Of course, if you find the book useful and/or interesting you should buy it. You will not only acknowledge Mark’s work, but you will keep the Perl book micro-cosmos alive. Books that help you learn and widen your knowledge are a must for a language to flourish (not only for languages, by the way).

Having the real thing before buying gives you the power as a programmer to decide if it’s worth your money (no one can buy 1000 books). This beats reading reviews, table of contents or even a quick look in the bookstore.

Thanks for the trust, Mark.


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