Category Archives: Books

Modern Operating Systems: Book Review

Dear Reader,

I decided to write a quick review for a book I read through while taking a Operating Systems course at Harvard Extension.  I’m currently re-reading through it and found it really useful.

Modern Operating Systems goes through basic components of a computer and talks about how the operating system interacts with it. Topics covered:

  1. Processes, CPU and Scheduling.
  2. Memory and Paging.
  3. File System and I/O devices.  I/O section is split into block and character devices with smaller sub-sections on clocks.
  4. Deadlocks and algorithms to resolve them.
  5. Virtual Machines and Security.
  6. Examples of Operating Systems: Android, Windows and Linux.

Currently about 50% through the book.  The book covers gets pretty detailed.  Topics in the book that I found really interesting:

  1. Scheduling algorithms and how processes are swapped out by the CPU.
  2. Mutex/Semaphores and the concept of locking a resource.
  3. Different levels of caching involved in CPU, memory and file-system.
  4. How memory, virtual memory and swapping works.
  5. I/O devices: it gets into the details of a hard disk and breaks down what determines seek time.

I plan on getting through at least 20-30% more of the book as it provides some extra context for my job.  I spend a lot of time working with virtual machines (AWS) and have to look for problems like a pegged CPU or high-levels of memory consumption.  Understanding what happens under the covers from a operating system perspective is useful.

Best,

Chris

 

SEO for Growth – Bend Google to your Way!

SEO for Growth

SEO for Growth Book

SEO for Growth

Bloggers often make fortunes with financialsamurai.com being a great example.  The question, how do you become a successful blogger and more importantly a successful marketer.  SEO for Growth by John Jantsch and Phil Singleton discusses how you can optimize your blog to beat those Google Search rankings and be listed on the first page.  That can be the difference between getting no traffic and being like this cute pug watching money fall from the sky.

Cute pug watching $1 bills fall

Isn’t he cute!

What does Google hate?

Spammy pages that look more advertisement then content!

You forgot smart phones exist!

You cover half your webpage with Eye Junk!  The other half is infinite scrolling.

You are a copy-paste king/queen.  Very original!

What Google Likes!

Google is in the business of answering search queries.  Anything that detracts from that is bad business.  Google is interested in original content that best answers search queries and penalizes websites that produce noise or distraction. To simplify marketers and web designers lives Google provides resources on best practices curate great content and provides tools to analyze your website (site maps, simulations of google crawls, viewing data and more).  Google also graciously provides paid advertisement as well:

Adwords!

Each day, 3.5 billon people ask Google a question.  Over a single year, that is 1.2 trillion searches.  That’s as many searches a day as Donald Trump is estimated having in cold hard cash.  You as an advertiser wants a slice of those people’s attention, which is where Adwords comes into (word) play.  Adwords let’s you bid on search terms, the questions people ask.  Rarer search terms have less demand.  SEO for Growth says this is fertile ground as you can bid for more targeted terms that better represent your customer.  In turn, your customer is more likely to convert into a purchase or blog reader.

Google Analytics! 

Everyone loves a dashboard.  Don’t they?  Google Analytics might be a Marketers Mecca in that it prevents a view of your audience.  Do people coming to your websites like your article on clothing or would rather stalk your About me page?  Google Analytics also tracks other useful information.  For example, where did the person originate?  Did they start on another 3rd party website or where they intensively Googling for an answer?  This type of information can help you fine-tune what appeals to your audience and, if you are clever, be utilized for A/B split test.  A/B split testing is when you send people to two webpages that differ by a single feature.  You then see who stays around, buys or clicks on more ads (group A or B).

Google of course provides a lot more tools than presented in this blog.  I will most likely get into more details in the future.  For now, I have a laundry list of site improvements mentioned in SEO for Growth!

Hopefully, with these tools, I can finally have my website pay for my next Latte!

Best Luck Blogging,

Chris

 

Boston Python Group: Fluent Python and Think Python

Hello Readers,

I tend to have a few books that I really like.  The usual one I recommend for beginners is:

Think Python by Allen Downey.

http://greenteapress.com/thinkpython/thinkpython.pdf

The one I tend to recommend for advanced Python programmers is Fluent Python:

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920032519.do

The later just gets into so many cool little things about the Python language.  Dictionary comprehensions.  How to develop a card deck in a short class (with cool use of list comprehensions) and lots of interesting technicalities.  There is a reason it has 4.9 stars on O’Reilly Media.

Last night I provided some advice to Python beginners and mentioned the above two books.

Chris