'zines and book recommendations (Linux, Gadget, Game related)

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by ClockworkCoder, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

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    The main reason for the post was initially to mention that the entire backlog of Linux Journal Magazine has been made downloadable, and if anyone is interested, then now is probably the time to get them:

    https://www.linuxjournal.com/
    https://secure2.linuxjournal.com/pdf/dljdownload.php

    Incidentally, I am also subscribed to the following 'zines:

    * Freeze64 (Commodore 64 fanzine): https://freeze64.com/
    * Linux Magazine: http://www.linux-magazine.com/
    * Fusion Magazine (8-bit to modern games): https://fusionretrobooks.com/collections/fusion-magazine

    I also occasionally get 8-bit magazine (http://eightbitmagazine.com/)

    Any of you have any other good books or magazines you'd recommend? Ideally with some sort of connection to Pyra (i.e. programming, retro gaming, linux, hardware & hacking).
     
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  2. Lambda

    Lambda Very Active Member

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    I was member of 2600 for a while which is a fun magazine. I might take another membership is I ever get rich again.
     
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  3. FBnil

    FBnil Ready to Champion the Pyra to the World...

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    I buy LFX from time to time (quite expensive here, about 15/20 euro)
     
  4. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

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    Yeah, I used to get that, albeit on an Amazon subscription. Think I'd prefer it in a physical format if I ever got it again (and certainly not with Amazon DRM).
     
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  5. netcat

    netcat Member

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    i would recommend the book cryptonomicon by bill stephenson. dotcom-era hacking, ww2-era cracking, has a playing card-based cypher created for it by Bruce Schneier, contains perl code.... rife with hacker culture that feels real.
     
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  6. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

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    That indeed sounds interesting :)
     
  7. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    William Gibson's Neuromancer.

    It isn't a long book. I suggest people read it first then look at the date it was published.
     
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  8. codenomad

    codenomad Automation Replicant

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    Not going to lie, I was pretty sad to see Linux Journal shutdown. :/
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  9. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

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    I've tried a couple of times to enjoy William Gibson books, but something about the style didn't gel for me. However I do believe he was ahead of his time, and invented many words in common usage today (was 'internet' one of them?)
    --- Double Post Merged, Sep 2, 2019, Original Post Date: Sep 2, 2019 ---
    Indeed. Actually I had just discovered it and wanted to subscribe at around the time they stopped publishing. I was looking for a good magazine on FOSS related stuff. Most Linux magazines focus too much on Ubuntu or other mainstream basics for my liking.
     
  10. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    He called it, "Cyberspace".
     
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  11. Splintercat

    Splintercat Member

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    I'm really sad about Linux Journal shutting down, I was a subscriber for years. I was actually 2 months away from needing to renew my subscription.
    (As an aside, I looked at what I paid for my last 2 year subscription... it was $9... total and I think I got a shirt out of the deal. So there may have been some reasons they weren't profitable...)
    Luckily archive.org made a back up of everything.

    For other Linux books, the Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook is worth reading if you want to know about being a system admin, or even just some of the basic tools that make up a Unix/Linux system. It's seriously one of the best technical books I have ever read.
    The Stealing the Network series is now a bit old, but is a fascinating look into security from a technical, physical, and social perspectives.
    wizardzines has a number of technical 'zines that tend to be very focused and fun.

    For programming and tools:
    The C Programming Language (2nd edition) is an amazing book for teaching C. (It's also easily findable as a PDF online)
    The GIT book is solid. Even if you've figured out git, it's a really good read. It covers the internals to git as well which really helps you out when you run into trouble.
    The Rust Programming Language book is good to read through as well.
    Why's Poignant Guide to Ruby is possibly one of the most manic books I have ever read about a programming language. In retrospect, it's not terribly surprising that Why snapped one day and just disappeared from the Internet.
    I haven't read it... but I keep hearing amazing things about The Art of Computer Programming.
    The Grymorire is an amazing resource, especially for SED and GREP.

    For publishing and art:
    A bit old now, was Libre Graphics Magazine, which was about publishing a 'zine using open source tools. So it's very meta contextual. I read the first couple of issues and it was really neat to read about the advantages and the challenges of using open source tools in an industry that (at least at the time) was dominated by proprietary offerings.

    Fun reads:
    In The Beginning Was The Command Line is a great read by Neal Stephenson. That book (Treatise? Paper? Essay? Whatever it is) was available by on the cryptonomicon website, but that's now gone. But it doesn't take much searching to find copies of it around.
    The Jargon File, aka The Hacker's Dictionary is a great read for old school hacker lore and lingo.

    Entertaining but sometimes offensive reading:
    cat-v.org (especially the harmful section) is interesting to read through. They writer(s) are salty, but if you start looking at some of the names, you'll notice that these aren't just the thoughts of some random software engineer, but instead are from people who worked on things like Plan 9 and Inferno. For instance they have opinions against shared libraries and object oriented programming.
    Going with the theme of salty and possibly slightly toxic reading. Ted Dzubia's blog is entertaining if not sometimes insulting. I think one shouldn't take his advice at face value, but he does present some ideas about engineering that I've found valuable. Especially his talk about Taco Bell Programming. Basically, don't look to Ted as an absolute authority, but I've found his arguments against some popular trends to at least be worth considering, even if I disagree with some of his points.
     
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  12. ToastBucket

    ToastBucket Very Active Member

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    Big big +1 for C Programming Language by K&R.

    If anyone is interested in learning kernel development, I don’t really know any good books for this. The kernel is constantly changing and being improved. Really the best way is to just dig in, read the code, and play with it. The Pyra is actually a really good platform for this because it’s fully open source (even the Pi isn’t that good since it’s relatively obfuscated). You have access to everything you need and can build the OS completely from scratch :)
     
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  13. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

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    @Splintercat Thanks for the recommendations, some classics and interesting choices in your list. The C Programming Book was one I got while at college, and is indeed exceedingly good. I've also now downloaded the Git book.

    Couple of others that I have, some of which don't really need to be mentioned as they are a little obvious:
    • Design Patterns - Gamma, Helm, Johnson & Vlissides. The hardcover edition is especially good as it has two ribbons to keep your place at two parts of the book simultaneously.
    • Game Programming Patterns - Robert Mystrom. This book makes books not only fun but also in easy to understand contexts - often their applications are described in rather abstract ways.
    • Patterns, Principles and Practies of Domain-Driven Design - Mike Evans
    • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship - Robert C Martin
    • The C++ Programming Language - Stroustrup. Not as accessible as other books, but comprehensive
    • The Art of Electronics (Third Edition) - Horowitz Hill. The bible for electronics.
    • Practical Electronics for Inventors - Simon Monk. Huge book and huge depth; I've barely scratched the surface...
    • Remembering the Kanji - James Heisig. Quite a polarizing approach to learning Kanji, but if it suits your style (of memorization), then it's highly recommended. Kanji ABC is similar and also mentions on/kun-yomi readings, although it's much more lightweight and doesn't have provided stories like Heisig.
    In fiction, I've recently started reading some HP Lovecraft, and I really like the style.


    @ToastBucket
    I really would like to dabble with Kernel coding. I miss "bare-metal" coding from back in the day, and I've been on the look-out for hardware projects where I can do that. I've done bits and bobs with Arduino, and am looking forward to the 32blit (Pimononi Kickstarter handheld project), but my interest was also piqued recently by "The 8-bit Guy's" Commander X16, which is a re-imagining of something like the Vic20 or Commodore 64.

    I hear what you say about developing on the Pyra, and I hope that is true, although even digging in to the code, I'm still not sure that I would even know where to start... any pointers (pun not intended) would be most welcome :)
     
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  14. Lambda

    Lambda Very Active Member

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    I liked "Operating system: From 0 to 1". Last time I checked it was written in horribly bad English but it's free and the information in it was actually pretty good IMO.

    https://os.phil-opp.com/ seems pretty nice for learning OS development too. It's for Rust. But Rust seems nice and I am not really a big fan of C, so I consider that an advantage. Though of the 2 I have only used C.
     
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  15. netcat

    netcat Member

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    oh programming books ...

    two i have read recently that are relevant to the pyra:
    - linux kernel development by love - covers all the usual os topics and is geared towards getting people to hack the kernel (older but still relevant).
    - arm assembly language by hohl / hinds - nice refresher on risc cpu's

    both these books are relatively concise and engaging. you learn a lot quick.

    ..

    full disclosure: i fantasize about hacking game console emulators (cough cough)
     
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  16. Lambda

    Lambda Very Active Member

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    If you want to make a NES emulator, then you should go to nesdev.com. It's got a lot of very useful information for making a NES emulator. It also references many great documents for learning how the NES works. If you are new to this then you might be better off making a NES rom first though, I started NES development by making pinball in assembly for the NES. Only after that did I make my first NES emulator.
     
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  17. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Javidx9 on youtube is running a NES emulator set of videos at the moment, linked by I think it was @ClockworkCoder in the youtube thread. He's using the info from the NESdev wiki and putting his code up on I assume his github account.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 9:17 PM
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  18. ToastBucket

    ToastBucket Very Active Member

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    First I’d recommend just reading up on Kbuild and poking around in the kernel to see how the system is built. The kernel is highly configurable and modular thanks to Kbuild. Then poke around in the drivers directory to read some of the driver code. In particular on the Pyra kernel, take a look at the pyra defconfig in include/configs/ to see which drivers are enabled. Then check out the device tree files in arch/arm/boot/dts to see how the drivers are configured (the device tree for the Pyra is currently a tangle of many files. It’s pretty confusing at this point). One useful thing is to look at previous commits related to what you’re investigating to see which files have been modified and how. I’ll be working on some guides on hacking the Pyra and modifying the kernel soon so keep an eye out.
     
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  19. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

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    Thanks very much @ToastBucket, I'll try to make some time to take a look :)
     
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  20. netcat

    netcat Member

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    actually I was thinking dc
     

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