Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Review #4

Raspberry Pi for Beginner bookazine

This magazine-as-a-book is part of LinuxUser&Developer bookazine series. Just like a magazine, it is filled with large glossy color, and features easy to read passages. The problem with the format is that there are lots of different articles exploring different ideas, but limited in length. So, it's much of an exploration of ideas, as opposed to books that dwell in implementation details. The closest thing I can think of is O'Reilly Getting Started series, except it's light on resources, and plenty of photos. With that in mind, I still enjoyed the bookazine tremendously.

It starts with the basics, what is Pi, what do you do with it, and so one. It seems like every book about Pi deals with it. Considering the volume, though, it's clear that this bookazine is intended for extreme novice. For that, I think this is a good first Raspberry Pi book. My interest lies in the middle section: Projects. It's here that I find articles about remote control car, solar powered pi, webcam server, and so on. Unfortunately, these are light on details. Which means two things:

  1. The issues explored are necessarily brief, focusing only on core features and functions.
  2. The problem solving, in case something goes wrong, is non-existent.

To be fair, point#2 is also light in other works, including technical books. But with longer text, I can usually research such troubles on the Internet. I'm having trouble picking up keywords to research the problem further. In the end, if the project is successfully modified, it is because I spent hours, if not days, researching the subject matter. I don't think that's a good book implementation. But it's certainly acceptable for magazine implementation.

In other words, is this bookazine format successful? If you think of it as fountain of knowledge, then no. If you look at it as fountain of ideas, then it succeeds admirably. So, if you're a new Raspberry Pi user or someone who's interested in knowing what Raspberry Pi is all about, then this bookazine is a good first Raspberry Pi book to start.

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