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Michael Maguire "Simon" (Hertfordshire, England)

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Coming Home: One man's return to the Irish Language
Coming Home: One man's return to the Irish Language
Price: £9.59

5.0 out of 5 stars For anyone with an interest in minority languages, 28 Jun. 2017
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If you are interested in the Irish language, its history, its current status or its future, then read this book. If you are interested in the status of minority or indigenous languages that are increasingly threatened by strong global languages, then I would also recommend this book. The author deftly weaves his own personal story into an interesting narrative about his own journey back to Irish. Far from it being a hectoring harangue about how the Irish have neglected their "national language", it is more of a reflection on its worth and meaning in a modern globalised world. Until reading this book, I was not aware of Linda Ervine and her wonderful work in promoting Irish in the loyalist/protestant community in Northern Ireland. There was much else in it that was new and interesting to me. It is a well-written book that should appeal to anyone with an interest in learning languages.
The Irish language appears to be at critical juncture in its history. It is apparently declining as a first language in its Gaeltacht strongholds but is gaining speakers elsewhere through Irish-medium schools so the fate of the language is unclear. The book left me wondering about the fates of other minority languages: what does the future hold for Scots Gaelic, Welsh, Basque, Aymara, Maori and and a host of others that live in the shade of powerful neighbours? This book gave me hope that their extinction is far from inevitable.


Google Apps Script: Web Application Development Essentials
Google Apps Script: Web Application Development Essentials
by James Ferreira
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.39

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good if you already know some JavaScript/GAS, 5 Dec. 2014
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I also bought the first edition of this book which I found ok (3 stars max.). This edition is a definite improvement. It's quite fast-paced and hands on but the examples are in the main good and some are very good. I've actually adopted and used the templates example in chapter 6. One problem I encountered, for which the author cannot be blamed, is that Google are constantly changing their offerings so it is very difficult to keep current. For example, some of the Scripts uses ScriptDB but this product has been discontinued by Google since November 20th 2014. There are a few other examples where screenshots do not match the current situation. These are minor irritations and a simple search rectifies the situation. When I tried to read the first edition of this book i was new to JavaScript/GAS and I admit that I struggled a bit with the content. I have also recently read Serge Gabet's book entitled "Google Apps Script for Beginners" and I liked it too. For spreadsheet programmers coming from Excel VBA, Michael Maguire's Leanpub book entitled "Google Spreadsheet Programming" is useful and a substantial part of it is freely readable on its website (https://leanpub.com/googlespreadsheetprogramming).


Google Apps Script for Beginners
Google Apps Script for Beginners
by Serge Gabet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book Overall, 9 Nov. 2014
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I had read Serge Insas's Google Apps Script (GAS) blog and some of his comments on Stack Overflow before buying this book so I expected it to be good. I wasn't disappointed, he clearly knows his subject and I found the book useful. The problem for him and any author writing on GAS is that it is difficult to know where to pitch it. Many readers will know JavaScript but not GAS while others might have experience of languages like Excel VBA but not know JavaScript. Despite this, I think the author has done a good job and this book fills an important gap in the market. For those like me who came to GAS from Excel VBA, I found the Leanpub book "Google Spreadsheet Programming" (author Michal Maguire).


Notes On Statistics And Data Quality For Analytical Chemists
Notes On Statistics And Data Quality For Analytical Chemists
by Michael Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £43.00

5.0 out of 5 stars LambethParks, 11 Oct. 2012
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I studied analytical Chemistry 20 years ago and was lectured by one of the authors (MT) and although I've forgotten most of the Analytical Chemistry, I still work in a field, bioinformatics, requiring statistics. Having been impressed by the lectures, I decided to buy this book and I have not been disappointed. The authors have, wisely in my view, avoided mention of any particular statistical software package and just concentrated on the actual statistical concepts. Too many books these days try to teach both a package, R, SAS, etc, along with the statistics. Better to do as these authors have done and provide the data to let the reader use whatever software he/she is most familiar with. For some reason, the data files were not available from the publisher's website but one of the authors kindly sent me the files. All in all, a good solid introduction with good well described examples!


Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure
Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure
by Paul Offit
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.95

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timely, Necessary, and Informative, 31 Oct. 2010
This is a very well-written and researched book that highlights much of the bad science and downright quackery that afflicts autism research. Of course it will get the negative reviews from Wakefield acolytes who will not want parents of autistic children, of whom I am one, to read it. The main problem for this book though is that many who hold to the vaccines/thimersal autism link will never be convinced by any amount of rigorous science, some of these genuinely believe in these unfounded theories but there are many who have a vested and financial interest in promoting unfounded and discredited hypotheses. This book represents an important antidote to all this and the author is to be commended for his bravery and honesty in writing it. My only quibble with it, hence four instead of five stars, is the author's over-confidence in the probity of the pharmaceutical industry generally. Recent cases, most recently the huge fine imposed on GSK for poor manufacturing practices at it's Puerto Rico plant shake public confidence in this industry. As the old saying goes: "Follow the money". The whole area of autism is sadly afflicted with quackery and chicanery and with parents desperate to believe in anything, it is likely to remain so until the true causes, genetic and/or environmental, are known. In the meantime, parents need to be able to distinguish good science from bad and this book is certainly instructive in this regard.


Design Patterns in Ruby (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby)
Design Patterns in Ruby (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby)
by Russ Olsen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £45.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Design Patterns without Java (long overdue)!, 11 Dec. 2009
Firstly, I'd never used Ruby before I read this book but I am reasonably experienced in Python and Perl. Having picked up this book from the work library and browsed it, I was quickly hooked. Most books on design patterns that I'd come across were aimed at Java (yuck!) programmers, this was the first I'd found that described design patterns for a dynamic language. The author seems to have found an unmet need in the programming books market with this one. Any Perl or Python programmer who understands the basics of OO should have no problem with the content here, the examples are very clear and the explanations are excellent. Using this book and Google searches the patterns described can easily be translated into either Perl or Python. My only quibble, and it's a very minor one, is that although UML is used throughout, there is no brief overview of it. As he writes so well, maybe he could have even made UML seem interesting! Anyway, I really think this book is well worth the price, I've now got my copy and have even begun to dabble in some Ruby.


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