Some tips for Safari Flow

Safari Books Online offers access to a large library of technology and business books and videos for a monthly fee. I’ve always thought this was a cool idea, and since it debuted (2001) I’ve signed signed up several times. I’ve always abandoned it a few months later, though, after a predictable cycle of interest and neglect.

The newer Safari Flow seems to actually be sticking, though: It works great on every screen I use regularly (laptop, tablet, smartphone). I’ll turn to it during the workday when I need to learn about a specific technology. I’ll flip through a recommended chapter while standing on the train. While rocking the baby to sleep Sunday night, I started watching Doug Crockford’s Javascript Masterclass.

In short, Safari Flow suits me more than the original service ever did.

I’ve gathered a few tips I’ve been sharing when I tell other people about Flow:

  • They hide the ability to search for books by title– I think this is to differentiate Flow from the main Safari service (Flow puts the emphasis on individual chapters, instead of whole books). You can search by title, though by prepending “title:” to your search. For example, if you search for just “backbone”, Developing Backbone.js Applications is on the second page of results. Search for “title:backbone”, and it comes up on the first page.
  • Their library is much deeper than what you’ll see in the “topics” system, there are MANY books you can only find through search.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP Soundtrack

This week, I spent some time listening to the the soundtrack to Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, by Jim Guthrie (available as an album called Ballad of the Space Babies). This will be the first of what I intend to be a weekly series of music reviews from my Humble Bundle library, which is about 90% game soundtracks.

My favorite track on this album is Lone Star, which you can play here:

I don’t really have the language to write critically about music. What I can say about this album is that “worst” songs aren’t so much offensively bad, so much as unmemorable. It’s a lot like Moby’s music– for every head-nodable tune (like South Side) there’s a bunch that never rise above “pleasant”.

The memorable songs on this album, then, are: Lone Star, The Prettiest Weed, and Maelstrom.

Will you listen to this again?

Probably not as a complete album. I won’t be upset if Lonestar or the other tracks I mentioned above turn up in shuffle mode.

Have you played the game?

Yes! I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s fun. The stuff I said above about songs being memorable or not doesn’t really apply, in-game. The music really contributes to the atmosphere of the game.