Sunday, February 6, 2011

O'Reilly - Safari Books Online

I was conversing with my friend Zizou just the other day and he made me aware of a very nifty scheme developed by the O'Reilly & Safari publishing houses.

Now we all have run into trouble with our reference books getting outdated as the time flies by, well lets just say... No More...

O'Reilly & Safari are offering books online, not only limited to the titles from them; but also from major publications like Addison-Wesley, Adobe Press, John Wiley & Sons, Macromedia Press, Cisco Press, Oracle Press, Sams, Sun Microsystems Press, Microsoft Press, IBM Press, IBM Redbooks, MySQL Press to name a few..... The full listing is available on the website.

Now as any budget concious individual you may be wondering how much is this gonna cost me? Well for starters the site offers 2 choices:
  • A complete access to all the content every printed and lots of other stuff such as videos, rough cuts under the aegis of Safari Library costing $42.99 per month. Adjust for INR conversion @ 46 Rs. the complete access will cost us a little under 2000/- per month.
  • If you want a lesser option you can subscribe to a 10 book Safari Bookshelf (without the videos & rough cuts) which will cost you $22.99 per month and that works out to 1050 Rs.

You can have a trail run of 10 days for free by selecting any 1 of the above mentioned options. Incase you decide not to avail after 10 days your money will be reimbursed to you.

Now there are some riders built in for the bookshelf/library, once you select a book it remains in there for atleast 1 month.

Why?

Well my dear Watson for the simple reason of preventing you from running through their entire library in the course of a month. They also allow you 5 download tokens a month, valid for 3 months. That means you can dowload upto 5 chapters a month from any book you like. Since all the books are in PDF format, you can also copy paste, create notes and other stuff in your account.

For people who really need the latest revised books, this is a blessing, a one stop library where you can get all your reference needs met with. They also provide a review feature where you can browse through a book before selecting it for your library/shelf; just like you would do in a real library.

All in all I think it makes for a great asset in your pursuit for knowledge.

Ohh.... Did I mention they also allow mobile access too. So all those of you out there with a smartphone and lots of bandwidth, you can now put it to good use.

For more details check out the link below:
O'Reilly - Safari Books Online

Medusa - Clive Cussler

Read-athon: Book 3
Under the aegis of read-athon a review of my 3rd book read in the year 2011.

Are you a ocean lover? If so Clive Cussler is one author who should be on your book shelf. His books cover oceanography and what's more it does not contain only drab facts; but is set around a story. Sounds like a sales pitch right?? ;)

Medusa is no different from what you have come to expect out of Clive Cussler. The premise is a classic Cussler, bad guys threaten chaos (Chinese Triad) to profit from it, the good guys (NUMA) scramble around to prevent it. The good guys beat the bad guys and all's well in the world.....

Throw in some geopolitics like Sino-American goodwill; a global disease deadlier than SARS, a vaccine developed by using the toxin from Blue Medusa.. I think you get the idea.

I liked book, it did hold my interest even though I must say that I could predict every move being made by Kurt Austin & Joe Zavala.

Curiously even though this was my first Kurt Austin book, I didn't find him much different from the Dirk Pitt mould. Both men have charismatic personality, both are ruggedly handsome, both of them are blessed with dollops of luck, both have good, reliable people watching their backs (Zavala & Giordiano) & both have gorgeous girls throwing themselves at them.

It just makes me wonder if Cussler replaced Dirk Pitt with Kurt Austin just because the ageing sea horse couldn't do the tricks due to advancing age.

Now that it's off my chest, I'll rate this one from Clive Cussler as a 3/5.