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Category: Books

Having recently created an account on, I have been trying to find interesting titles to add to my library.

As most people would probably agree, it is always nice to get something for free, so I was rather eager to try out a suggestion I read in a Lifehacker article on how to use Google to search for free audiobooks on the audible site.

It is dreadfully simple. Simply enter the following search query into Google, and you get scores of results:

$0.00 -Excerpt -Interview -Chapter -Extract -Speech -Sample -"A Conversation" -"This is Audible"

It can also be modified to suite exactly what you are looking for.

One additional thing I did do though, is to use this query to create a Google Alert, so that whenever a new free title gets picked up by Google, I will be immediately notified, allowing me to take advantage.

How often I will get that alert is something that only time will tell now…


Qink has an impressively large list of freely available e-books on programming.

The list includes books on most of the currently popular languages, as well as more general texts.

As a programmer, this type of resource is an invaluable source of information.


Being a programmer means having to constantly keep your skills up-to-date with constant reading, whether it be programming related blogs and websites, or more conventional books.

Books though can get expensive, so it is always nice to find good ebook libraries online. One such one is

It has a large collection of programming books available for download, focusing on Java and C++, as well as more general topics such as Operating Systems and Cryptography. Some of the texts seem a bit old (in fact, I have had a few of the original books on my physical bookshelf for a number of years) but there is still considerable value to be found on this site.’,’


I have a love of astronomy, and combined with my love for programming, that creates in me that burning ambition to try and use both these passions together. This is where this book is invaluable.

Practical Astronomy with your Calculator is a very useful books to figure out how to calculate just about every astronomical phenomena which can be calculated from solar eclipses to the phase and location of the moon, to finding the positions of the planets at any given time.

Now, this book is aimed at calculating using a calculator, so the algorithms are slightly simplified to make that task easier, and therefore the precision of the calculations is not as great as if the algorithms had ben designed purely for a computer, but for most calculations this level of accuracy is more than sufficient.

The advantage of this method though, is that each step is very clearly laid out in the calculation, so that it is very easy to understand.

I have used this book extensively in writing an astronomical calculation application, which I will soon make available for download, and has proven indespensible to me.


As they always say, there are always three sides to every story, there is the one side, the other side, and then you have the truth. History is far from an exact science, with history often being written by the victor, and even if not, most historians have some bias. That is , I suppose, what makes a modern historian’s job fun.

Well, this little book was a very entertaining read for me. It certainly won’t live up to intense academic scrutiny, and most of the facts in it are not going to change the world in any way, but what I liked most about this book is it makes you think and question. Did history really happen the way the history book portray, or is the story a little deeper than that. In that, this book excels.

I have heard people complain that the book is too fragmented, consisting mainly of a bunch of facts lumped together, but I think that that allows the book to be enjoyed in small bits, grabbing a chance to read a page or two every now and again.


I love the For Dummies series of books, and this one is no exception. It contains enough details about Air to get you going and using it quickly and easily. In the tradition of the For Dummies books, it addresses Air in a very easy to understand way.

It points out a lot of gotchas and pitfalls to watch out for when using Air too, which is most useful when first encountering the system or porting code across from a web environment.

This book will also help the novice, given the straightforwardness of the writing, although a seasoned veteran may need something more to keep him happy.


Adobe Air can be very finicky when it comes to ajax, as it has quite a lot of security rules to protect your computer from rogue scripts, and that is where this book comes in handy.

Most of the book covers general topics in Adobe Air, giving Air a full treatment, but where this book stands out is detailing how to get ajax working withing the Air environment, bypassing the security restrictions. For example, there is a chapter dealing with a client/server bridge.

Another great feature of this book is that it focuses on using Javascript to build Air applications rather than Flex, which is great for all us Javascript developers.

This book makes a good reference.