Contents tagged with review

  • Final Verdict on Haswell Ultrabook

    I’ve had a pre-release Intel Ultrabook with the new Haswell processor in it for about two months now, so it’s time for one last review of the device.  You can read my previous reviews: First Impressions of the Intel Haswell Ultrabook Intel Haswell Ultrabook Preview Unit Experience Overview This device has met or exceeded my expectations for performance, power use, and overall fit and finish.  The only thing that keeps me from saying I absolutely love this machine is the fan noise, which I mentioned in my initial review and which is a known issue with the preview device.  I can only assume that the production quality Haswell units being shipped imminently by a variety of OEMs … more

  • Intel Haswell Ultrabook Preview Unit Experience

    I’ve been using my Intel Haswell Ultrabook for about a month now, so it’s time to follow up on my first impressions review. Overview Last month I was happy to receive an Intel Haswell Ultrabook Software Developer Preview device, for review purposes.  This unit is actually the 3rd Ultrabook I’ve used, and certainly it is the best of the three.  The first one, an Asus Zen I got in early 2012, continues to serve me well when I use it, but I was never a great fan of the keyboard or track pad.  It also lacked a touch screen.  Last year, Intel sent me a review unit based on their 3rd generation Ivy Bridge tech.  That unit had a very nice touch screen as well as a host of … more

  • First Impressions of the Intel Haswell Ultrabook

    I was on vacation last week, and spent most of Monday driving home.  When I got there, I found that a nice present had arrived: a new Intel 4th generation Haswell Ultrabook for me to review.  If you haven’t heard about the latest generation of Intel processors, The Verge covered them in June. All of this adds up to what could be the most significant update for laptop processors in years… With faster graphics and what Intel's characterizing as the most significant battery life increase in its history, Haswell could be well worth looking for. Last year, I reviewed a prototype Ultrabook that used Intel’s “Ivy Bridge” generation chipset.  You can check out that series of reviews … more

  • JavaScript The Good Parts Reviewed

    Finished up Douglas Crockford’s JavaScript: The Good Parts this week.  It definitely helped me improve my understanding of JavaScript, which I’ve been using since it was new, but always like a C programmer, and only recently like a JavaScript programmer.  I really appreciated Crockford’s honest, no-holds-barred analysis of JavaScript’s design and language choices.  It had me chuckling more than once.  I also appreciated that the book, at only 150 pages including the index, is devoid of fluff.  There’s just enough repetition between chapters to ensure certain points are made and made well. The book makes frequent use of railroad diagrams, which I’ve seen before but … more

  • The Ivy Bridge Ultrabook Continued

    I’ve now had the new Intel Ivy Bridge Ultrabook machine for about six weeks, and have been carrying it as my primary machine for much of that time.  You can read about my initial impressions of the Ultrabook here.  The short version, for those who don’t like to click on links, is that this is a pre-release hardware clamshell Ultrabook with a touch screen and a slew of sensors that you can code against, with Windows 8 installed on it.  It was provided to me for free in order to solicit my honest opinions on the device, which I disclose to you here in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in … more

  • A Review of The Clean Coder

    I’m generally a fan of Robert C. “Uncle Bob” Martin’s books, so realize I’m going into this book with something of a positive bias.  While is previous books, Agile Principles, Patterns and Practices in C# and Clean Code, have been specifically about programming techniques, this latest title, The Clean Coder, is more philosophical in nature.  It seeks to present Martin’s philosophy of how software developers should behave: responsibly, professionally, and with the will to say no when required.  The book consists of a number of stories, relating experiences from Martin’s programming career that spans four decades, and is obviously autobiographical in nature.  The stories … more

  • The Art of Unit Testing Reviewed

    I recently finished reading Roy Osherove’s The Art of Unit Testing.  I was kind of splitting my time reading it and Growing Object Oriented Software Guided by Tests, which I just recently reviewed as well.  One nice thing about this book is that it comes with an eBook once you register it with Manning. Overall, I think this is a great book on unit testing.  Roy is certainly well-qualified to write on this topic, and he does an excellent job of describing how to get started with unit testing, how to get the necessary tools, and how to write your first test.  As the book proceeds, he goes into more detail on how to break dependencies and use mock objects, how to organize … more

  • Unboxing and First Impressions of New Intel Ultrabook

    I recently received a preview-hardware next generation Ivy Bridge Ultrabook from Intel, optimized for and pre-installed with Windows 8.  I suspect we’ll be seeing these available in stores and via online outlets soon.  I’m a fan of the Ultrabook brand and concept – thin, sleek, and light, with powerful hardware capable of running developer tools.  I’ve already happily switched away from much heavier and thicker laptops, so getting an early view of what’s coming next for this form factor is definitely exciting for me.  Before I get started, let me make two things clear.  First, this is a pre-production device, which has known problems and is designed to help get … more

  • Growing Object-Oriented Software Guided By Tests Book Review

    I finished this book a while back and just haven’t had a chance to write about it until now.    Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests is a bit of a mouthful of a title, but it does describe the subject matter of the book pretty well.  I noted a few points of interest as I read the book, as I tend to do, that I’d like to share here along with my overall thoughts. I’ve read quite a few books on unit testing and writing quality software, so many of the concepts here were not necessarily new to me.  However, I do find that it’s valuable to see such topics presented from a variety of viewpoints, and since I also present and teach these subjects, I’m always … more

  • Principles of Product Development Flow Book Review

    One of the more advanced books I’ve read relating to the subjects of Software Development and Lean is The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Donald G. Reinertsen.  I recently published a Pluralsight course on Kanban Fundamentals, and as part of my research for that introductory-level course I read a few related titles, including this one.  I previously reviewed some of the others: Personal Kanban Book Review Kanban Book Review Scrumban Book Review If you were looking into learning more about kanban and lean as it relates to software development projects, I would probably suggest you read them in the order I have listed above, with … more

  • Asus Zen Ultrabook Revisited

    A couple of months ago I got an Asus Zen ultrabook, which I posted about when I first got it, and a month or so later.  Now that I’ve had it a while, I thought I’d post one more time with how it’s continued to work for me.  I’m still very happy with its look, feel, and speed.  It’s very responsive both while up and running and when waking up or shutting down.  One thing I wish it came with is an HDMI adapter, but I picked up an HDMI adapter for $2 from Amazon and it works fine.  The machine does come with a VGA adapter, which is more likely to be what you’ll need when projecting, but our conference room has both and the HDMI is a bit sharper so I’m happy to be able … more

  • Kanban Book Review

    While researching material for my Kanban Fundamentals video training course on Pluralsight, I read Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business, by David J. Anderson.  I’ve previously reviewed a couple of other related books, including Personal Kanban and Scrumban, if you’re interested in learning more about this topic.  I would recommend Personal Kanban as the most introductory, followed by Kanban, which goes into greater depth and does a good job of building on Personal Kanban (even though it was written first).  Scrumban is more advanced and is a collection of essays/blog posts that are more loosely organized than the other two books. Getting back to … more