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A hands-on books about Google's suite of productivity software.

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A Great Intro to Google Apps & Working On The Cloud

  • Sep 3, 2009
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I know, I know, most of my Lunch contributions so far have been about food, fashion and being fabulous, so please bear with me as I geek out on Lunch this one time.  If you didn't already know, cloud computing's totally the new geek buzz term.  When I first learned it a few months ago, I jokingly told my friends that I'd be dropping that term more in conversation just to sound smarter.

....Even though I only about 80% knew what it meant.

Despite all my reading up about the cloud on various websites and watching multiple explanations on YouTube, it wasn't until a conversation that I recently had with @jbeswick (who I connected with on Lunch, by the way), though, where he quoted his book, Getting Productive with Google Apps, that I had my a-ha moment.  He wrote, "The current situation is like having to own a power station to run a toaster".  That quote is so spot on about the cloud, because why have your own power station to run a toaster when you can run it on someone else's more efficient power station?  A power station that's perpetually in R&D and gets constant upgrades at that.  You'll still get your toast either way.  Heck, the toast might be even better on the cloud.  James was kind enough to give me a copy of his book, and lucky for me, it turns out that it was just what I needed to get in sync with the concept of the cloud.  Google style!

James goes into details about most aspects of Google apps in this book, but one thing that he doesn't really explain is cloud computing.  If you plan on reading the book and don't know much about the concept of working on the cloud, then I would highly suggest getting acquainted with that concept because it will help you really grasp the point of this book.  The most helpful explanation that I've come across so far is this video made by SalesForce:


The book is conveniently divided up into chapters by tools such as Gmail, Calender, Docs, Presentations, Spreadsheets, etc, and definitely has the most organized and detailed table of contents ever.  The book itself is also super organized and loaded with diagrams, screenshots and tutorials so that I know exactly what he's writing about.  It's like a mini 200 page textbook.

I'm not exactly the most tech-savvy person and thought that I would have to look up a lot of terms in the book on Wikipedia, but that wasn't the case at all.  I actually found it to be a pretty easy and straight forward read.  It's almost as if the book was written for n00b5 like me!  I'm mostly a social media fiend (meaning that most of my e-content is already on the net) and am otherwise a casual user of the internet (meaning that I'm no web entreupreneur or anything... at least not yet! :P), so some of the tools introduced in this book wouldn't be of much use to me, though it was neat learning about them and good to know that they're there.  There were actually quite a few useful tools that I'll be implementing into my own net life, though, that will make my life and my web experience run smoother.

Suffice to say, if you want to dive head first into the world of cloud computing, definitely pick up this book and get your start through Google apps (though I'm sure that most people are already working on the cloud in one way or another without knowing it).  Hint: this book is even more useful if you're a web entreupreneur because learning to use these apps will definitely help you reduce costs and more importantly, improve the infrastructure of your business.
Getting Productive With Google Apps

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September 05, 2010
You learn something new every day ... Usually it comes from devora. Another outstanding review as I start playing around with Google Apps.
September 08, 2010
Haha, thanks! It's hard not to love Google Apps :) I've got another review coming up soon for @jbeswick's newest book on SEO, so look out for that!
September 10, 2009
I read this review thinking that it was going to be a google snack or a google restaurant...he-heh. Nice work, Debbie! I have to give this one a look, I like info about this a lot (but where's the food?) :-)
September 10, 2009
Oh, you mean like these Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers served in the Google office in NYC last year?  Sorry, Woo.  Unfortunately, there's no mention of food in this book except for that toast that I elaborated on.  Which actually tastes pretty good on the cloud :P
September 04, 2009
Hey, how about writing on nanotech next? ;-) Actually, I'm more worried about the toaster being hijacked than anything... & that might just well be the worst terrorism around!
September 04, 2009
Nanotech? What's that? J/K :P That's a really good point, but at the same time, even if you had everything on a hard drive, that could easily get h4x3d into, too, if someone really intended to do so. Fortunately for me... I don't think anyone wants to hijack my information ;D
September 03, 2009
Ooh Devora....I like you geeking out- this is so cool that you didn't know what cloud computing was and @jbeswick came to your rescue! Ahhh...you gotta love Lunch! Thanks so much for the review...I might have to pick up his book because I'm the same as you and need to get up to speed with all the Google apps there are to make my web experience smooth and successful! Thanks!
September 03, 2009
YES! Help a starving author! :-) Actually, I've been fending off questions all week about the Gmail outage, which is massively overblown IMHO. Basically they promise 99.9% uptime to their paid subscribers, which is about 9 hours a year, so I guess they have 7 hours to go. (To bore you, actually most of their downtime is several seconds at-a-time, so you wouldn't notice). Compare that to Outlook/Exchange, and it looks pretty good. Cloud computing is like trying to get people to recognize that Macs are really pretty good - just because it's different doesn't mean it's wrong. I really think this is the future - actually I'd love to write a book on Amazon's EC2/S3 platforms which just completely own this space.
September 03, 2009
great review by Debbie as usual, but also i wanted to say awesome book James!!
September 04, 2009
Thanks, all! :)
More Getting Productive With Google... reviews
review by . May 13, 2009
... but I will review the experience of writing it, which was great.  I got into the whole Google Apps thing since I'm a huge web 2.0 fanatic and I've managed to get many businesses to use Gmail and other Google services with success. In fact, Gmail is the only product I ever rolled out without getting deluged with support calls or problems, and there's a 'wow' factor that makes you look like a real hero (technology hero). There are many, many undocumented and interesting parts of Google …
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devora ()
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When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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About this book



ISBN-10: 144048676X
ISBN-13: 978-1440486760
Author: James Beswick
Genre: Computers & Internet
Publisher: 415 Systems, Inc.
Date Published: February, 2009
Format: Softback
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