Category Archives: Books

Freakonomics – A must read for all budding Data Scientists

Freakonomics was published well before the term “Data Science” had become a buzz word in the data analytics lingo. But that is precisely what this book is all about. A book that is a must read for all budding Data Scientists. Getting insights out of seemingly ordinary data that may seem incredulous at first sight.

The book, Freakonomics, is filled with case studies and examples that show how seemingly unrelated data and information can be used intelligently to come up with some fascinating conclusions. For example, one of the case studies in the book, talks about legalization of abortion in America (Roe vs Wade) in 1973 as the major factor for drop in crime in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This conclusion was hotly debated at the time and caused a massive upheaval. But the premise was simple. More legalized abortions meant, less number of children were born that would lead a crime induced life. Incredulous at first sight, but when you dig deep, you do see their point of view and reluctantly agree.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

Book Review – Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh

“I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.” Pierre de Fermat (1637 A.C.)

And so began the epic quest to solve a mathematical riddle. Famously referred to as Fermat’s Last Theorem. And in Simon Singh’s book, Fermat’s Enigma, we get to glimpse this exciting journey closely.

The somewhat innocuous statement by Fermat, kept the mathematicians around the globe hacking away at a possible solution. But none was forthcoming for the next 350 years. All attempts to solve were in futile.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

Book of the Month Review – Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi

In the first of the series on “Book of the Month” we are reviewing author Joe Pulizzi’s best selling book “Content Inc” .

From September 2017, we are starting a new “Book of the Month” column. Each month, our editorial staff will review an interesting book or two and recommend it to our readers. The book will not necessarily be of technical nature but something that our audience will love to read and share.

The idea came about from reading IEEE Spectrum monthly section on book reviews. Over the course of many years, we found many interesting and sometimes, obscure titles, that we loved and shared with our friends. We want to bring that love to XenStreet and therefore are going to feature books each month that we think our readers would also love. The books may not be the newest and the greatest. At times, they would originally be published decades ago but we still find them interesting.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

Ubuntu Manual – A Great Addition and Must for Beginners


I must say, we have been pleasantly surprised at the content and quality of the manual developed by the community for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. These past few days, we have had the opportunity to share it with non-techies and people new to Linux. To our great satisfaction and delight, they not only found the manual extremely easy to follow but were able to do most of the tasks (including installation) without anyone’s help.Ubuntu itself is probably the most intuitive Linux distribution out there. But the manual is a great addition, making adoption of Linux even more easy. The document is divided into 9 distinct chapters that deal with its installation, the desktop environment, security, hardware and software management.  There are even some advanced topics on how to use command line interface to accomplish tasks the traditional way, among others. It even has a chapter on how to use Word, Spreadsheets, web browser, Instant Messaging, including Twitter making it easy for people to migrate to Ubuntu without any glitch.

The documentation is well supported by clear and extremely helpful screen shots of various Ubuntu features, that visually guide the user through many cumbersome tasks. This makes life easy for someone who has never used Ubuntu or Linux before. Considering that it is a community driven project, it is a remarkable achievement and will go a long way in making Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular get mainstream acceptance. We for one are recommending it to anyone who wants to migrate/move to Linux and is unsure of where to begin.

If you prefer to get a printed version of the manual, you can get it through Lulu otherwise, the electronic version in PDF can be downloaded free of cost from Ubuntu Manual Website.

Ubuntu Pocket Reference for Free

For non-power users (for Linux) out there, here is a pocket reference book for Ubuntu available for free download from the following website. Like the Ubuntu operating system, the book is totally free (no strings attached)

The book covers Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10 versions so it is pretty up to date. The topics include:
  • Installing and configuring Ubuntu
  • Desktop Guide
  • Users and Filesystem
  • Hands on at the command line
  • Software Management
  • Securing the System
An average Joe can really benefit from this book. Granted, most of this information is already available in the Linux help files and online forums/blogs. But still, it is a nice handy book to have lying around in your office/home.

I see an enormous benefit for this book in office environments where ordinary users are not savvy enough to go online and would prefer a reference manual handy.

For techies out there, it might not be the best read, but definitely a good gift to give along with the OS to your newly initiated friends to Linux.

You can download your free copy from:

Or if you prefer a printed edition, then visit our Amazon Webstore to purchase a copy.