Ethereum for Dummies

Author: Michael G. Solomon
Publisher: Wiley
Pages: 272
ISBN: 978-1119474128
Print: 1119474124
Kindle: B07Q9H5WK1
Audience: Blockchain developers
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

Ethereum is a complex subject, so the question to ask is whether it's possible to explain it in a 'Dummies' book.

The book uses the traditional format of a Dummies title, but the topic means it goes well beyond the level of 'normal' titles in this range. The jargon is kept to a minimum, but you can't really explain cryptocurrencies without introducing technical terms and ideas.
 
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The book starts with an introduction to what blockchain is, where Ethereum sits in the technology, and what you can use it for. This is followed by chapters explaining Blockchain in more detail, and an exploration of the uses for Ethereum - financial services, digital identity management, how Ethereum could be used in industry and in government applications.
 
Part Two of the book looks at setting up an environment for Ethereum development. This starts with a more detailed look at the Ethereum ecosystem and development lifecycle, then moves on to the steps for getting and configuring Ethereum development tools - the blockchain client, the testing environment and the IDE. This part of the book finishes with a chapter on setting up an Ethereum Wallet. There are good descriptions of the types of hardware, software and paper wallets and how to make a choice between them.
 
 
The topic for the next part of the book is building distributed Ethereum blockchain apps, starting with a chapter on building your first app. This looks at creating a Truffle project, testing using Ganache, and designing, coding and running a simple smart contract. Smart contracts are looked at in more detail in the next chapter, which looks at the difficulties of implementing a supply chain and how Ethereum can help. The use of Solidity is also introduced, and this is explored further in a chapter on writing your own smart contracts with Solidity.
 
Testing and Deploying Ethereum apps is covered in part four, with good chapters on how to write and run tests, how to deploy and maintain Ethereum apps, and how to integrate non-blockchain apps with Ethereum.
 
The book closes with the rather cryptically named 'Part of Tens'. What this means in practical tersm is a chapter exploring ten free Ethereum resources; a chapter on the ten design principles for developing decentralized blockchain apps; and a survey of the top ten Ethereum projects.
 
I'm not normally a reader of Dummies books, but a topic like blockchain and Ethereum in particular is actually a good target for the format. This would still be too hard a book if you've not got some computing and developing experience, but it does explain the topic straightforwardly and in an understandable way. I found some of the screenshots were a bit small and difficult to read, but you can see the main details. Having read it, I definitely felt I had a better grasp of how Ethereum came to be the most popular blockchain implementation. I'd still want to read a more detailed guide before I started a large Ethereum-based project for real, but this is a good way to get started.

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Raspberry Pi Hacks

Author: Ruth Suehle & Tom Callaway
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 364
ISBN: 9781449362348
Print: 1449362346
Kindle: B00KBAS0CE
Audience: Pi enthusiasts, but not beginners
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Harry Fairhead

A total of 65 Raspberry Pi hacks - surely they have all been done before? Well yes,  [ ... ]



The Official BBC micro:bit User Guide

Author: Gareth Halfacree
Publisher: Wiley
Date: Oct 2017
Pages: 312
ISBN: 978-1119386735
Print: 111938673X
Kindle: B07681TK4B
Audience: Teachers and enthusiasts
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Harry Fairhead

An official guide! Who could resist?


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 October 2020 )