To keep myself updated I do read a lot around different aspects of technology. Whenever I find some interesting article I do immediately add it to Pocket which I can read it later, similar to bookmarking web pages in the browser. The good thing about Pocket is that it can store the web page offline and can also sync automatically across different devices through applications and browsers through extensions.
When I do get some free time on the move, I pull the iPhone Pocket application and skim through the interesting articles. But, reading on the iPhone is really not a great experience. So, started looking around for tablets and finally bought a Lenevo Yoga 2 (8 inch tablet) from Flipkart a month back. Couldn’t wait for to get the hands on the tablet and so used the express delivery service. The tablet arrived on time and the experience with the tablet was really good and so couldn’t stop writing the feed back here.
As the name, the Yoga 2 tablet is very flexible. It has a kick stand on the bottom and helps to keep the tablet in different positions as shown in the pictures. So, we can put in on the table and watch a movie comfortably. Adding a Bluetooth keyboard will make it even more comfortable to work with.
Near to the kick stand at the bottom there is big bulge where the battery is hosted. It seems to be a bit odd at the beginning, but gives a nice feel like holding a book in the portrait mode. Talking about the battery, the backup is really good.
Here are some of the highlight (pros and cons) :
- The tablet has Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) and is very responsive.
- The tablet has a front and back camera and the pictures are really great.
- It has an Intel processor and so not at all applications are compatible. For ex., Microsoft Office.
- Reading on the tablet is a real pleasure.
- The battery is really impressive.
- Was not able to get a cover which fits it properly.
Just in case you are looking for a tablet, I would very much recommend to look beyond the iPads and give the Lenevo Yoga 2 tablet a shot. BTW, the tablet comes with Android and Windows version, what you see is a Android model.
Learning Spark: Lightning-Fast Big Data Analytics is a WIP (Work-In-Progress) book, so this review is far from complete. WIP books are called O’Reilly Rough Cuts and are available from Safari with the proper subscription. Once the book is complete and has been published, I will write a detailed review on the same here. As of now only 6 chapters have been published in the book and the TOC is mentioned only for those 6 chapters.
Here are some of the good things about the book
- Spark provides bindings (API) for Python/Scala/Java and not all the features are ported to Python. Most of the examples in the book are mentioned in all the three languages. Once the book is complete, I guess all the examples will be Python/Scala/Java.
- The language in the book is crisp and clear to understand.
Here are some of the things missing in the book
- The book starts with what is Spark, installing Spark and immediately jumps into the programming aspects around RDD. Big Picture (architecture) on how Spark works is missing. To efficiently architect/code it’s important to know how Spark works behind the API.
- I started reading the online documentation around Spark, played with the Spark installation and then moved to reading the
Learning Spark book. The online documentation is really good and the book as of now is not adding nothing much above the online documentation. Guess, once the book is complete a lot of additional information will be included.
- A quick introduction to functional programming languages (2-3 pages) would be good to get started with the Spark programming. For those not familiar with the functional programming concepts, the Spark code might be a big cryptic.
- Comparing Spark/RDD with the existing models (Hadoop/MR) will help the readers appreciate the beauty of Spark/RDD.
The online documentation around Spark is really good and the Learning Spark book is not offering much above the online documentation as of now. The book as-is is very crisp/clear and needs and needs to go into a bit more depth on how Spark runs behind the API. As the book makes progress and more chapters are added to it, it gets interesting.