Category Archives: Books

Books that I’ve read, reviewed or cited for this article

Python 101 is FREE for 48 hours!

Today I am releasing my first book, Python 101, for free for 48 hours. Python 101 was written as an introduction to the Python programming language. While it is intended for beginners, some have claimed that they needed more hand-holding than this book provided for them. So I currently recommend it as an introductory and intermediate book for developers that are looking to learn Python.

When I originally wrote the book, I noticed that there were few or no books available that described how to create executables of your code or distribute your code via Python’s Package Index (PyPI). Python 101 covers these topics as well as introducing the reader to Python’s standard library, how to install 3rd party packages and an introduction to some of the most popular 3rd party packages for Python, such as SQLAlchemy, requests and virtualenv.

Python 101 has 5 sections, 44 chapters and 295 pages.

You can get Python 101 for free on Leanpub using the following link: http://leanpub.com/python_101/c/48hours

If you happen to have a Gumroad account, then you’ll be able to get the book free there as well by using the following offer code: 48hours

You will get the PDF, epub and mobi versions of the book. You can see a full table of contents on the Leanpub site

If you like my first book, you can get its sequel, Python 201: Intermediate Python for 50% off here: http://leanpub.com/python201/c/50percent

PyDev of the Week: Al Sweigart

This week we welcome Al Sweigart as our PyDev of the Week. Al is the author of the PyAutoGUI and Pyperclip packages. He is also the author of several Python books such as:

He has also released a book on Scratch called Scratch Programming Playground. Al is quite well known in the Python world and his books have received really good reviews. Let’s take some time to get to know him better!

Could you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to programming early on and then majored in computer science at UT Austin (“hook ’em!”) but I hate telling people this. A lot of folks think programming is something you have to have started in as a toddler in order to become proficient. The truth is everything I learned about programming in between the 3rd and 12th grade can be learned in a dozen free weekends.

Aside from coding, I like to write coding tutorials and record coding screencasts. I also volunteer at the San Francisco SPCA and Oakland’s video game museum, the MADE.

Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Al Sweigart

wxPython Cookbook Writing Update: Beta Version Available

I am happy to announce that I now have all the chapters for my latest book, wxPython Cookbook, ready to be checked out. I still consider the book to be in beta mode as I need to go through each chapter and check them over as much as possible this month, but I am also pretty confident that the book is over 90% complete. Some chapters still need a screenshot or two added and I also plan to add another chapter or two as well.

For those of you who like raw data, there are currently 51 recipes in the book + the introduction and installation chapters. There are over 300 pages of content, which is more than either of my previous books!

I hope to do some polishing this week by adding the missing screenshots and also writing a brand new chapter. I am also hoping to get some of the code examples into Github this week. I do apologize for the delay in getting that done. Life has been really crazy on my end.

You can get early access to the book on Leanpub and Gumroad. You will also receive the final product + updates if you purchase the book from either of those websites. You can also check out the original Kickstarter campaign to learn more about the book.

Thanks again for all your support!

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Python 201: Intermediate Python FREE until Wednesday!

I decided it would be fun to give my latest book away for free until this Wednesday, Oct 19th. So starting today, you can get Python 201: Intermediate Python free through Gumroad or Leanpub.

If you go with Gumroad, then you will need to use the following offer code: 201free. Note that if you want to receive updates to the book, you will want to create an account and add the book to your library.

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Python 101/201 Educational Giveaway

I think it’s very important for teens and college students to learn how to program. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is such a crucial set of topics to learn about that I have decided to give away copies of Python 101 and Python 201: Intermediate Python to teachers and professors starting today until 11:59 p.m. CST of October 14th, 2016.

Students with valid educational email addresses can also enter to get a free copy of the eBooks, but they will not be eligible for the paperbacks.

How to Get a Copy

Just leave a comment or contact me via my contact form and tell me why you want a copy. I do require some kind of proof that you’re an educator. If you can leave a comment or send me an email via the contact form using an official email address (such as an *.edu domain) or link me to some other proof (LinkedIn, your profile on a school website, etc), that would be great.

Prizes

  • Everyone who enters with a valid educational email or other type of proof will receive am eBook copy of Python 101 and Python 201.
  • 5 lucky winners will get a copy of the paperback version of Python 201: Intermediate Python + the above
  • The Grand Prize will be a paperback copy of Python 101 and Python 201: Intermediate Python + the eBook copies

Deadline

Get your comment or send in an email via the contact form before October 14th, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. CST and you will be entered. I’ll go through the entries and contact the winners.

wxPython Cookbook Available for Pre-Order

I am excited to announce that the wxPython Cookbook is now available for Pre-Order. You can get your digital copy on Gumroad or Leanpub now. You can get a sample of the book on Leanpub if you’d like to “try before you buy”.

There will be over 50 recipes in this book. The examples in my book will work with both wxPython 3.0.2 Classic as well as wxPython Phoenix, which is the bleeding edge of wxPython that supports Python 3. If I discover any recipes that do not work with Phoenix, they will be clearly marked or there will be an alternative example given that does work.

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Here is a partial listing of the current set of recipes in no particular order:

  • Adding / Removing Widgets Dynamically
  • How to put a background image on a panel
  • Binding Multiple Widgets to the Same Handler
  • Catching Exceptions from Anywhere
  • wxPython’s Context Managers
  • Converting wx.DateTime to Python datetime
  • Creating an About Box
  • How to Create a Login Dialog
  • How to Create a “Dark Mode”
  • Generating a Dialog from a Config File
  • How to Disable a Wizard’s Next Button
  • How to Use Drag and Drop
  • How to Drag and Drop a File From Your App to the OS
  • How to Edit Your GUI Interactively Using reload()
  • How to Embed an Image in the Title Bar
  • Extracting XML from the RichTextCtrl
  • How to Fade-in a Frame / Dialog
  • How to Fire Multiple Event Handlers
  • Making your Frame Maximize or Full Screen
  • Using wx.Frame Styles
  • Get the Event Name Instead of an Integer
  • How to Get Children Widgets from a Sizer
  • How to Use the Clipboard
  • Catching Key and Char Events
  • Learning How Focus Works in wxPython
  • Making Your Text Flash
  • Minimizing to System Tray
  • Using ObjectListView instead of ListCtrl

You can read more about the project in my Kickstarter announcement article. Please note that the Kickstarter campaign is over.

Related Posts

wxPython Cookbook – Hard Cover Editions Available

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a hard cover version of my books for a long time so I thought I might try it out with the Cookbook. I went ahead and ran the numbers using my printer on demand resources and discovered that a regular hard cover isn’t crazy expensive. So I have added a new perk priced at $35 for a hard cover version of the book.

But wait! There’s more! Since the cookbook will have so many screenshots and code examples, it occurred to me that it might be fun to offer a color version of the book. That way you can see the screenshots in full color and you’ll also be able to view the syntax highlighting in the code examples too! Unfortunately, printing in color is crazy expensive. But if you are interested in that option, it is available at $100.

All versions of the book will be signed. If there’s a lot of interest in the black-and-white hard cover, I’ll increase the number of items available for that one.

To get either of these editions or the regular paperback, you will need to pledge on Kickstarter.

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Book Contest: Win a Copy of Python 201

I have decided to sponsor a contest for my second book, Python 201: Intermediate Python. I will be giving away 3 copies of my eBook bundle (PDF, EPUB and MOBI) and 2 copies of the paperback, which I will ship anywhere in the world. If you haven’t heard of my book, you may want to read about it here.

How You Can Win

To win your copy of this book, all you need to do is come up with a comment below highlighting the reason “why you would like to win this book”.

Duration of the contest & selection of winners

The contest is valid until Friday, Sept 16th at 11:59 p.m. CST, and is open to everyone. Winners will be selected on the basis of their comment posted. The contest will close on 09/17/2016 at 12 a.m. CST.

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wxPython Cookbook Cover Story

I always spend some time thinking about how I want my book’s cover to look. When I was designing the Cookbook’s cover, I thought mostly about food and chefs. I had originally thought I might have some kind of kitchen scene with mice in chef hats and a snake on the mantle. But I wanted to take the idea of cooking and put a twist on it.

Instead of a kitchen, I thought of cowboys herding cattle and how they usually had a cook with them. So I went with that idea, although I didn’t have the herds of animals added to the cover.

To help differentiate the Cookbook from my previous works, I hired a different artist from my previous titles named Liza Tretyakova. You can check out some of her work on Behance or even contact her directly by email (schimmel@inbox.ru) if you happen to need a great artist.

I thought it might be fun for you to see how the cover art evolved as I worked with the artist to get my ideas for the cover turned into reality. Let’s start with the first sketch I got from Liza:

wxpython_cookbook_cover_sketch

Continue reading wxPython Cookbook Cover Story

Python 201 is Officially Published!

My second book, Python 201: Intermediate Python (ISBN: 978-0-9960628-3-1), is now finished and officially published. You can check it out at the following locations:

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The paperback will become available on Amazon and other online retailers later this week or month depending on how long it takes Lulu to get it pushed out. I am also working on creating an iBook version for iTunes, but that isn’t complete at this time.