Category Archives: Recommended

Need a great Python Tutorial–Python-course

Let me preface this with the fact that this isn’t my first time trying to learn python, and this certainly isn’t the first tutorial that I’ve tried, but I decided I should take another shot at it.

I ran across a recommendation to try www.python-course.eu and I figured, heck, let’s give it a go.

I’m working my way through it, and I have to say so far so good. Of course, I started following the Python 2 tutorial, which seems to be the default, and I’m using Python 3, which has different syntax. Do yourself a favor, and if you’re using Python 3, follow the Python 3 tutorial.

If you’re using Windows, you can download Python here at Python.org

Narcos – More Great Netflix Original Television

I’m generally not a big fan of crime shows, my wife loves them, but with the exception of the original “Law and Order” (Lenny rules!), and “The Americans”, I don’t watch them. The Netflix Original Series “Narcos” is the exception.

Narcos follows the rise of cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. The show is Pablo_Escobar_Mugnarrated by the character Steve Murphy, a DEA agent in Columbia, and the show is filmed in Columbia. It’s also a “period” show, taking place during the 80’s.

If reading isn’t your thing though, you may not like the show. Taking place in Columbia, as you would imagine, Spanish is spoken a lot. Luckily for those of us who don’t speak the language, it’s subtitled. I personally don’t mind, I pretty much keep subtitles on all the time.

The show is pretty fast paced, and you really see the characters change over time. The “newb” DEA agent quickly turns into a jaded veteran, and the main character, Pablo Escobar, starts out as someone that you can relate to pretty easily, even though he’s a smuggler and getting into the drug trade, and you just can’t help but watch in horror as he slips down the dark rabbit hole.

I was a little slow to get on the Narcos bus. I started watching Season 1 after Season 2 had already came out. I can’t regret the delay too much, because now I have a whole 2 seasons to binge. 🙂 I actually figured I would give it a try one day, and ended up watching all of season 1 over a weekend.

One of the aspects of the show that amazes me, and I’m not giving much away here, is the massive amounts of money that Pablo has. He throws around millions of dollars like they are candy bars. I just can’t imagine having access to that kind of money. According to a Wikipedia’s Article on Pablo Escobar, his cartel “supplied 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States”. As you can imagine, that would be a metric ton of money.

Also, Columbia is beautiful! Wow.

If you need a show to watch, I have to recommend Narcos.

Sources:

Netflix – Watch Narcos Online

Wikipedia – Pablo Escobar

Bedtime Stories for Cynics is absolutely Checking Out

I mentioned in an earlier post that  Amazon added Audible Channels as a Prime Membership Benefit, and as soon as I signed up, I started exploring the channels. Sure, there are a lot of podcasts in the channels, but I really wanted to explore the Audible Originals.

I immediately found a gem, it’s Bedtime Stories for Cynics, Presented by Nick Offerman.

When I see or hear Nick Offerman, I can’t help but picture his Nick-Offermancharacter on Parks and Recreation, Ron Swanson, and his voice and style in Bedtime Stories for Cynics matches perfectly. I love the lines near the end of the introduction “If our language offends you, then you are a child. Congratulations, you have your whole life ahead of you, don’t F**** it up.”

The first story is “Todd the Dragon Slayer”, read by Lewis Black. I don’t know who was in charge of picking out who does the reading, but Lewis Black was perfect. After listening to the story, I realized that it would probably be a good idea for me to see if he’s ready anything else. I hope he comes back for more.

Of course, you can tell that I highly suggest checking it out. To locate it, start the Audible app on your device, then open the menu, and choose Channels > Browse All Channels (you may have to select the “Featured” Tab to see Browse all channels) > Audible Originals, and you should see a banner for “Bedtime Stories for Cynics”.

New Prime Membership Benefit: Audible Channels (and some Audiobooks)

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, then your membership just became a little more valuable. Amazon prime now includes free access to Audible channels, which includes Original Audible Series, curated playlists, and a rotating list of about 50 books.

I am one of those poor slobs who has a work commute, in my case it’s up to 40 minutes a day each direction, and long ago I started using the time to listen to podcasts and audiobooks, but I’ve never taken the plunge and signed up for an audible subscription.

I am, however, a long time prime member, and I’ll have to say, I see this as a huge plus. I’m always looking for more great content to make the commute go faster.

Audible channels were rolled out in July, and are available to non-prime subscribers for $4.95 a month, or free to audible members.

It isn’t obvious how often the list of 50 books will get rotated, I would guess once a month. Of course, I’m also interested to find out if they have any mechanism to let listeners know that a book will no longer be available after some date, I would hate to start listening to a book and have it made unavailable half way through.

To access the benefit you’ll need the mobile Audible App, which you can get from your friendly neighborhood app store.

Hopefully the ColdFire Trilogy will be available soon 😉

Recommended:

Audible Original: Bedtime Stories for Cynics is absolutely Checking Outhttp://www.geeksontech.com/bedtime-stories-for-cynics-is-absolutely-checking-out/

8 Reasons you should use Microsoft OneDrive

1. It’s Free

Yes, there are lots of free cloud storage services out there. Why choose? Free is free. OneDrive is offering 15GB free storage (as of the time of this writing). Even if you don’t use it, sign up and get it. You can also get 15G more free if you turn on Camera Roll (mobile device picture backup).

2. It doesn’t bug you about sharing pictures from your Phone.

I absolutely hate how Google gives me a notification every time it backs up my photos and says “12 pictures ready to share”. It also carries this over to my Google account with a notification. OneDrive doesn’t do this. That’s reason enough.

3. Multiple backups are good

Why not back up your photos in more than one location? If you’re already using iCloud or Google, OneDrive can just be another haven for your precious memories.

4. Windows Users – You can sync files automatically across computers

That’s right, install the OneDrive desktop app, which is going to be standard on Windows clients, and documents / photos / music that you have in your OneDrive folders will be available across all of your computers.

5. Non Windows Users – It’s all available on the Web

Don’t use Windows? Well I’m sure you have a web browser. You can still get all of your files.

6. Make files available between your phone and your computers

OneDrive has a client for the major smart phone OSs, including iPhone and Android. If you install it, you’ll have access to your files in OneDrive, and you’ll be able to upload files to use on your Windows Desktop / Laptop.

7. OneNote can open / save / sync notebooks with OneDrive natively.

Let me just say, if you’re not using OneNote, then you really should. It’s been a life saver for me far too often to count. Use it!

If you do use it, OneNote opens Notebooks to, and syncs notebooks with, OneDrive. So if you save a notebook to OneDrive, and then open it on either your mobile device, or your other computers, you’ll be able to read / edit the contents, and changes will be synched between all of your devices.

8. Portable Apps

I’m going to have to post about Portable apps, and link it here, but until then, go to PortableApps, and any app you download and install to your OneDrive folders will be available across all of your computers. This is a life saver just for KeePass (a password manager).

Great Website for Book Reviews–Good Reads

The other day I wrote about the Coldfire Trilogy, and was thinking about some of the other great books I’ve read, and I realized that I should take a look through my bookshelf on goodreads and see which other great books I would recommend.

Then I realized that not everyone in the world knows about Good Reads. I need to fix that, well, at least for whoever reads this article.

Goodreads is the self described “largest site for readers and book recommendations”, and their mission is to “help people find and share books they love”. As of this writing, there are 30 Million members.

Goodreads has quickly become my go to site for looking up book info. Along with the website, they also have a mobile app. Here are the two biggest reasons that I love them:

Good Reads makes it easy to find what series a book is in, and what’s next.

I’ve always had issues finding what series a book falls in, and what order I should read the books in. Good reads takes care of that. Just look up the book you want, in this example I’ll use “Black Sun Rising” by C.S. Friedman.

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As you can see, it’s the first book in the list, and directly below it is the series it’s in. In this case, I’m going to click on the book.

The title of the book is followed by the series name in parenthesis.

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The best part? It’s a hyperlink to the series’ page. Just click on it.

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The screenshot above shows that “Dominion” is book .5 in the series (a prequel), then “Black Sun Rising” and after that there’s two German language versions, followed by “When True Night Falls”, which is book 2.

The only bad part about this is that at the time of this writing, it doesn’t work on the Android version of the app. I don’t know about the IOS version.

Goodreads makes it easy to keep track of what you want to read

In the screenshot above, you can see that each book has a “Want to Read” button next to it. If you have already read a book, you can mark it as “Read”, and the button will be labeled accordingly.

However, marking it as “Want to Read” will put in on your to-read shelf, which you can sort in the order that you would like to read things.

Way more reasons than this

There are many, many reasons to love GoodReads. For example:

  • you can “Friend” people, and see what they think of books, as well as what’s on their list.
  • Each book has a list on it’s page of books that “Readers also enjoyed”. I’ve found quite a few great books from those lists.
  • When you mark a book as “Read” it goes onto a list of books you’ve read. Every need to find the name of that book that was so  good? It’s on that list.
  • There are a huge number of lists of books, such as “The best of epic fantasy”. It’s easy to see what lists a particular book is on, and then find other great stuff there too.
  • Discussion groups, book clubs, the list goes on and on.

Really, check them out.