I just found out that the US tax deadline is today. In Canada we have another 2 weeks. I'm getting a refund, so I should have filed sooner than I did... but I had to wait for receipts. What can you do?
I was on a call this morning and someone asked if I was planning to buy a Kindle 2 with my refund. I would love to have a Kindle... and would have bought one... except they aren't available outside of the US at this time. Something to do with the limitations of the wireless connection to the mother ship... I think. In any case, I'll wait... and if some other cool book reader comes available in Canada before Kindle 2 (like Plastic Logic or Apple tablet) then perhaps I'll check that out.
But if you are in the US and like to read... I hear that the Kindle is well worth the investment! All IBM Press books are available in Kindle format as are most books these days. If you prefer printed books, we have plenty for you to choose from. Just yesterday I recommended DB2 books to a VERY technical professor. Here was my response:
Here are the books that I suggest... with reasons why. Click the link to see my blog entries about the books.
DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep (6th Edition) See my previous blog entry.
Expert Preparation for Exam 734 - DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Advanced Database Administration Certification Study GuideSee my previous blog entry.
Understanding DB2(R): Learning Visually with Examples (2nd Edition)The book is the best way to learn (or relearn) DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows. The book is filled with case studies, study questions, and well-written details on everything you'll need to know. Some competitively trained people who have read this book have told me that this is exactly what they needed to take the fear out of switching to DB2! See my previous blog entries.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If this professor is a member of the Academic Initiative, he should check that out as well. If he will be using the book to build a curriculum around, choose the third one.
Make an author / bookseller / publisher happy.... and buy a book :)
Keep on Learning
IBM Redbooks Publications - just published
IBM Redbooks Publications Drafts
Most Popular Downloads for Information Management Software This Month
One of the publishers that I work with quite often is MC Press. You may know of MC Press through the large number of books that they have published on IBM products and technologies. For instance, you'll find books within the following categories:
I've blogged many times about the amazing series of certification guides that have been published by MC Press, including:
We're working on two more certification guides that will be part of this series.... so stay tuned to find out more details.
When you go to the book links above... you'll notice that there is a banner on the site reminding you of our Assess & Save Promotion. Remember that this promotion is only active till the end of the month, so don't miss out.
Two more things you should know.... One... you can save 20% on all books that you purchase before April 19, 2009 through the MC Press Online bookstore.
Two... if you are a registered member of MC Press Online, you'll have access to a rich collection of resources such as white papers, articles, and podcasts. MC Press Online likes to reward its members with cool prizes. Currently you have a chance to win a pair of Zetronix 80” Video Glasses. Interested? Check out the free resources and enter for your chance to win!
Today I "met" fellow blogger Steffan Surdek. I encourage you to check out his blog. Steffan is the User Experience Lead and self-proclaimed Agile Champion for the WebSphere® Business Services Fabric team. He uses his experience facilitating the two-day Software Group Agile Workshops to help his team work on improving their agile processes.
Steffan has written articles that are published on developerWorks and is currently attempting to write a book about Distributed Scrum. This is something that I know very little about, so I had to look it up in wikipedia: Scrum (development). His blog provides his experience as a first time author as well as his thoughts about his area of expertise.
For those of you who do know something (or want to know something)about Agile software development, check out Steffan's latest article:
Agile planning in real life: What did and didn't work in developing releases with agile planning.
It was nice to chat with Steffan today and I hope that you have a chance to check out his blog.
Congratulations to new author Antonio Cangiano from the DB2 Toronto Lab Team for the publication of his book:
Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers
You may know Antonio because of his blogs or tweets, especially if you are part of the Ruby on Rails community.
Order this book now from amazon and receive a 33% discount:
List Price: $49.99Price: $33.74 You Save: $16.25 (33%)
Who should read this book?
This book is for programmers who have experience developing the Microsoft Windows platform and are interested in learning more about, and getting the most out of, Ruby on Rails.
Wrox guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think. Written by programmers for programmers, they provide a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.
This definitive guide examines how to take advantage of the new Agile methodologies offered when using Ruby on Rails (RoR). You’ll quickly grasp the RoR methodology by focusing on the RoR development from the point of view of the beginner- to intermediate-level Microsoft developer. Plus, you’ll get a reliable roadmap for migrating your applications, skill set, and development processes to the newer, more agile programming platform that RoR offers.
From the Back Cover
With its valuable combination of simplicity and productivity, Ruby on Rails is a portable, extendable, open source web application framework that quickly gained worldwide acclaim. The aim of this book is to make the enticing Rails methodology more approachable for developers who are already familiar with Microsoft tools.
After an overview and brief history of the framework, you'll focus on learning Rails development from the point of view of a beginner-to-intermediate level Microsoft developer.
The author explores all the fundamental aspects of Rails, and includes comparisons and references to Microsoft development tools that you may already be familiar with. In doing so, he provides you with an easier path to learn how Rails simplifies the design and implementation of web applications.
By serving as a roadmap for migrating your skill set, development processes, and applications to the newer Agile programming platform that Rails offers, this book will help you leverage your existing skills so you can quickly take advantage of the full potential of Rails.
What you will learn from this book
Enjoy the book!
Join IBM at the largest and most valuable IBM Information Management event in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), Information on Demand, taking place at the Estrel Convention Centre, Berlin, Germany; Wednesday - Friday, 3-5 June (Business Partner Programme Tuesday 2nd June).
While at the conference, you'll see how:
Gain insight from the top tier speakers who are lined up to speak to attendees, including:
As you can see, all areas within Information Management are covered with these speakers alone. You will not be disappointed.
I am not completely sure if I'll be attending this conference or not. But in any case, I have arranged to have a bookstore at the event so you can buy the latest business and technical books at a discounted price.
Register today :)Information on Demand
ITSO Global Content Services has recently announced the introduction of IBM Redguides into the IBM Redbooks® publications family. The Redguides team has 15 Redguides available for download from www.ibm.com/Redbooks.
IBM Redguides bridge the gap between high-level sales collateral and traditional Redbooks publications. They were requested by and co-designed with technical business leaders. They offer IT architects, IT consultants, technical sales support staff and IT managers a pre-sales business view of technology rather than a post-sales focus on deployment. Redguides are about how to solve a business problem and provide business value with IBM solutions.
Take a look... I hope you like them and find the Redguides useful to you as you continually grow your skills.
Did you know that you have a chance to attend IDUG 2009 – North America for absolutely no charge? Simply fill out this brief survey for your chance to win a FREE registration to IDUG 2009 – North America, May 11-15, in Denver, Colorado.
Already registered? You still have a chance to win! Any previously registered attendee announced as the raffle winner will receive a full refund of their registration costs provided payment has already been received by IDUG Headquarters.
Not registered yet? Don’t delay – register for IDUG 2009 – North America before Friday, March 27 and save $150 on full-conference registration rates. For a sneak peek at all the great content available at this year’s conference download a copy of our Advance Program or visit online at www.idug.org/na.
IDUG conferences and Denver Colorado... a perfect combination. You won't regret your decision to go to this conference in this location!
I met with Dave Steinberg from the Toronto Lab today. I have a display of published books in two areas of the lab: the front lobby and the CAS area, and I added Dave's latest book to the displays. If you are a visitor to the lab, make sure you check out these displays.
The interesting thing about all the books is that at least one of the authors on the author team is an employee from the Toronto Lab. You'll very quickly notice that employees of the Toronto Lab produce a significant number of published technical books.
Here are the details of this latest book... Congratulations Dave, Frank, Marcelo and Ed!
EMF: Eclipse Modeling Framework (2nd Edition) by Dave Steinberg, Frank Budinsky, Marcelo Paternostro, and Ed Merks.
Series Editors: Erich Gamma • Lee Nackman • John Wiegand
The Authoritative Guide to EMF Modeling and Code Generation
The Eclipse Modeling Framework enables developers to rapidly construct robust applications based on surprisingly simple models. Now, in this thoroughly revised Second Edition, the project’s developers offer expert guidance, insight, and examples for solving real-world problems with EMF, accelerating development processes, and improving software quality.
This edition contains more than 40% new material, plus updates throughout to make it even more useful and practical. The authors illuminate the key concepts and techniques of EMF modeling, analyze EMF’s most important framework classes and generator patterns, guide you through choosing optimal designs, and introduce powerful framework customizations and programming techniques. Coverage includes
About the Authors
Dave Steinberg is a software developer in IBM Software Group. He has worked with Eclipse and modeling technologies since joining the company, and has been a committer on the EMF project since its debut in 2002.
Frank Budinsky, a senior architect in IBM Software Group, is an original coinventor of EMF and a founding member of the EMF project at Eclipse. He is currently cochair of the Service Data Objects (SDO) specification technical committee at OASIS and lead SDO architect for IBM.
Marcelo Paternostro is a software architect and engineer in IBM Software Group. He is an EMF committer and has been an active contributor to several other Eclipse projects. Before joining IBM, Marcelo managed, designed, and implemented numerous projects using Rational's tools and processes.
Ed Merks is the project lead of EMF and a colead of the top-level Modeling project at Eclipse. He holds a Ph.D. in Computing Science and has many years of in-depth experience in the design and implementation of languages, frameworks, and application development environments. Ed works as a software consultant in partnership with itemis AG.
I mentioned yesterday that the Assess & Save offer will be active only for the next month. Today I want to tell you about the success of this promotion. Apparently we've been giving out a lot of vouchers for people to take their exam of choice for 50% off the regular price. But even better than that... those who are taking the certification test with the voucher are PASSING!
This tells me that the people who are taking part in this promotion are very serious about getting certified. It also tells me that those who pass the assessment test are suitably prepared to pass the real exam. Although the assessment test questions are different that the questions on the real exam, they are close representations of the questions that you can expect to see on the exam.
So do you want to give it a try? Thanks to Kate, here's how you can take part:
Make sure your investment in certification is a smart one: why not save money AND build your skills? For full details about Assess and Save, check out ibm.com/software/data/education/voucher.html.
Don't miss your chance, act now!
Can you believe that it is already late in March! I've just returned from vacationing with my son for his March break from school... and am refreshed from the vacation... and pumped because SPRING is here!
There are several deadlines approaching quickly that you must take action on to avoid missing important opportunities.
If you were lucky enough to take a break... welcome back! I hope spring is inspiring you to change like it is for me.
Download these podcasts and listen on your ipod, iphone, computer... whatever...
Podcast Series: DB2 9 for z/OS pureXML by Guogen Zhang
This is a 10-part introductory podcast series on pureXML business value and technical knowledge. The first part covers overview and business value, and the follow-on 8 parts cover different aspects of pureXML. The last part talks about best practices.
And... while you're visiting ChannelDB2.com, be sure to check out the groups that are available for you to join!
Expected to publish April 25, you can now pre-order this book:The Greening of IT: How Companies Can Make a Difference for the Environment by John Lamb.
IT can drive immense business value by "going green." John Lamb provides the business case and best practices for making it happen, including multiple case studies of IT organizations that have successfully gone green, and lessons from IBM's $1B green computing initiative.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. IntroductionChapter 2. The Basics of Green ITChapter 3. Collaboration is Key for Green ITChapter 4. The Government’s Role - Regulation and EPA ActivityChapter 5. The Magic of “Incentive” - The Role of Electric UtilitiesChapter 6. A Most Significant Step — “Virtualizing” Your IT SystemsChapter 7. The Need for Standard IT Energy Use MetricsChapter 8. What about Chillers, Cooling Tower Fans, and All That Cooling Equipment Usually Ignored by IT?Chapter 9. Green IT Case Studies for Energy UtilitiesChapter 10. Green IT Case Studies for Universities, Large and Small CompaniesChapter 11. Worldwide Green IT Case StudiesChapter 12. The Future of Green IT for CorporationsAppendix A. Tools for IT Power and Cooling EstimatesAppendix B. Comparison of Different Power Generation MethodsAppendix C. Worldwide Electricity Average PricesGlossaryBibliography
John Lamb is a Senior Technical Staff Member and IBM Senior Certified IT Architect for IBM Global Business Services. A senior member of the IEEE and ASME engineering societies, he has published more than 50 technical papers and articles, and has authored four books including Lotus Notes and Domino 5 Scalable Network Design and IBM WebSphere and Lotus: Implementing Collaborative Solutions. Lamb holds a B.A. from Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Last week at the Data In Action Virtual Conference Event that I attended, speaker R. Ray Wang, Vice President, Forrester and Lise Neely, Product Manager, IBM co-presented "Data Management for a Lean Economy: Strategies to Cut Costs, Improve Performance, Reduce Risks". During their talk they mentioned several ways for you to begin making improvements in your data to help save money by right-sizing your database.
Although the event is now over, you can still register and access the recorded presentations. The presentation by Ray and Lise can be found in the Auditorium. To answer the question... where do I start... Ray suggests regulatory compliance, Lise agrees but also suggests archiving. Listen for yourself.
On the same topic, you should read the latest article Integrate IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Server using WebSphere Process Server, Part 1: Deploy and execute MDM Server Web services in a distributed environment by Stephanie J. Hazlewood, Allan Luo, and Martin Oberhofer. This is Part 1, so stay tuned for the coming parts.
Also on the same topic, the book Enterprise Master Data Management: An SOA Approach to Managing Core Information is continuing to sell well and is educating people on the many ways that they can start down the road of Master Data Management. There are now 5 customer comments on this book... all 5-star ratings! You won't regret reading this book!
Enjoy this amazing knowledge!
If you missed the virtual conference that took place yesterday, here is another chance... with a different topic.
IBM Smart SOA™ Global Virtual ForumMarch 3 at 10:30 am ET
Immerse yourself in our cool virtual business environment to hear how companies like yours are cutting costs by working smarter. So don’t get crushed by the economy; fight back by working smarter with Smart SOA and leveraging Social Media Tools & techniques.
10:30-12:00 5 Ways to Work Smarter and Take Out Costs with Smart SOAPresentations and live Q&A panel discussion with Sandy Carter, Ralph Warchol, Manoj Saxena and James Governor
5 Ways to Work Smarter and Generate Real ROI Using Social Media Tools & TechniquesNew Web 2.0 technologies are shaking up the lives of your customers and changing their expectations of you. Join Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst, Forrester and Sandy Carter, the author of The New Language of Marketing 2.0 for a live discussion on how you can stay ahead of the curve and generate real ROI by leveraging these tools and technologies.
Continue the discussion with IBM experts and customers live in the Smart SOA Exhibit Zone Mystery giveaways, sign up offers at the SOA Exhibit Zone and scheduled group chats at the Get Smart SOA Café
What did I like about the virtual conference I attended yesterday?
I hope you enjoy(ed) your experience as much as I did. If you do attend next Tuesday, search on IBMers and ping me if you see me online :)