Review of “Getting Started with NoSQL”

NoSQL is a hot topic in IT, so I was very happy to receive the “Getting Started with NoSQL” e-book from Packt Publishing for review. I read the ePub version in case you are wondering. The book has 142 pages and was published in March 2013. It has the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1: An Overview of NoSQL. This chapter gives a very high level overview of NoSQL.
  • Chapter 2: Characteristics of NoSQL. Compares the RDBMS and NoSQL approach.
  • Chapter 3: NoSQL Storage Types. Discusses the different NoSQL storage types, advantages and gives some simple examples.
  • Chapter 4: Advantages and Drawbacks. Starts a comparative study of databases.
  • Chapter 5: Comparative Study of NoSQL Products. Continues the comparative study.
  • Chapter 6: Case Study. Gives a short example with MongoDB.

I have not much to say about the book, so I will keep the review short. The review will be in the “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” format.

The Good

The book gives a pretty thorough comparison of NoSQL versus traditional relational databases and between the various popular NoSQL databases such as MongoDb, Cassandra, BigTable, Redis, Hadoop, Voldemort and Neo4j.

The Bad

Java and Javascript code snippets are presented without a detailed explanation and context. There is no full complete hands-on example, that gives a good overview of a NoSQL database.

The Ugly

Some sentences and statements didn’t seem correct. More edits and reviewing might have helped.


The comparison between databases is pretty thorough, but as a getting started tutorial I find this book somewhat lacking. The reader is required to know quite a bit about databases and associated APIs.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-book from Packt Publishing. In the past I authored several books for them.

Tips for April 16, 2013

Yesterday I continued browsing a popular security forum in order to pick up some useful tips and tricks and beef up my own security. In the process I found out that there are people out there who put pieces of dark tape on their webcams, when they are not using them. I didn’t find any mentions of tin foil hats yet. Wired apparently is better than wireless, but if you have a wireless router you should restrict access to trusted wireless devices using their mac addresses.

You can find the address on a Mac from System Preferences | Network or from the command line. In one of the tabs of the Airport Utility there is a check box with the text “Access Control”. You need to check that and create profiles for your mobile devices with the associated mac addresses. Put the default profile to no access. You can also restrict access to certain days or hours. By the way some nasty individuals have been spreading rumors about me having a password containing the name of a girl I saw on YouTube. This is an outrageous lie, I don’t even watch YouTube videos. My password doesn’t contain any names or anything that is pronounceable as a matter of fact.

Further I restricted my LastPass account to allow to log in only from a certain country. I don’t think that they offer the option to specify a list of trusted IP addresses instead, which is a shame in my very humble opinion.

I am using the KeePassX desktop application as my local password manager. KeePassX is based on KeePass, which is a .Net Windows desktop application. It’s free and officially supports Mac OS X 10.3 to 10.6, but seems to work fine on Mountain Lion. KeePassX has some neat features including using a key file for authentication. The one I generated with KeePassX itself doesn’t have that many characters though. I am not sure if there is a maximum for the number of allowed characters in the key file. You can copy either the userid or password that you are managing, but unfortunately you have to keep in mind that some applications do not allow pasting passwords. I am still looking into linking one time passwords from YubiKey with KeePassX. There seems to be a plugin for that.

By the author of NumPy Beginner's Guide, NumPy Cookbook and Instant Pygame. If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
This entry was posted in books. Bookmark the permalink.