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Openstax Free Textbooks.
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Openstax Free Textbooks.

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Posted 2nd Sep 2018

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Openstax created by Rice University offer free text books in a range of subjects at no cost for digital copies.

It is possible to buy physical if you desire too.

It will probably not act a replacement for your Campbells Biology or equivalent, but for a free reference they are very good.

I have personally used Physics, algebra and calculus during my undergrad studies and well.. Principles are identical regardless of source after all.

These can also be' bought' for free on amazon if you search for 'openstax'

If you are feeling generous they also accept donations.

Hope it is of some use if anyone was not aware of their existence!
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Top comments
Is it me or is their website rubbish?

Okay now read the whole of the description
So here is a link to the deal
Edited by: "Quinoa" 2nd Sep 2018
13 Comments
Is it me or is their website rubbish?

Okay now read the whole of the description
So here is a link to the deal
Edited by: "Quinoa" 2nd Sep 2018
I checked some ofthese last week for potential use in FE. I'd say check the revisions page for each title. In some of the Microbiology titles errors were the difference between pass and fail!
Hot hot hot!

Can anyone recommend other resources to supplement the learning from the textbooks?

I know about apps like Khan Academy but i've been a bit out of touch with what else is out there lately.
Thanks for posting OP!
ShoelaceExpress16 m ago

Hot hot hot! Can anyone recommend other resources to supplement the …Hot hot hot! Can anyone recommend other resources to supplement the learning from the textbooks?I know about apps like Khan Academy but i've been a bit out of touch with what else is out there lately.


If it helps, follow the link to the actual openstax website and there are some example questions you can try if I remember rightly.

Hope it helps
Thanks @reuyj , much appreciated
ShoelaceExpress02/09/2018 21:27

Hot hot hot! Can anyone recommend other resources to supplement the …Hot hot hot! Can anyone recommend other resources to supplement the learning from the textbooks?I know about apps like Khan Academy but i've been a bit out of touch with what else is out there lately.


I use edx and Udacity quite a lot (both allow you to 'review' courses for free - i.e. everything except one-to-one tutorials and a certificate at the end). There is always the Open University, too.
Spambo2203/09/2018 13:08

I use edx and Udacity quite a lot (both allow you to 'review' courses for …I use edx and Udacity quite a lot (both allow you to 'review' courses for free - i.e. everything except one-to-one tutorials and a certificate at the end). There is always the Open University, too.


Cheers I'll check them out.
I keep deciding to start studying computer science on Open Uni then changing my mind that I'd rather go down a more practical route instead, then questioning whether I even want to stick myself with comp sci at all, so I'm avoiding anything involving funding just now
Nothing Arts based there so sorry, not good for me. Will help many though.
What a scorcher!
I had already bought most of these books on Amazon some time ago... but thanks to your post & linky I have managed to bag the full range.
Cheers OP 🏼
ShoelaceExpress03/09/2018 14:49

Cheers I'll check them out.I keep deciding to start studying computer …Cheers I'll check them out.I keep deciding to start studying computer science on Open Uni then changing my mind that I'd rather go down a more practical route instead, then questioning whether I even want to stick myself with comp sci at all, so I'm avoiding anything involving funding just now


I am a recent graduate from comp sci umbrella. Any questions do feel free to ask
reuyj03/09/2018 17:57

I am a recent graduate from comp sci umbrella. Any questions do feel free …I am a recent graduate from comp sci umbrella. Any questions do feel free to ask


Excellent! Let me preface this with an apology for the total bombardment of questions below, please don't feel obligated to answer them all

One of my big concerns is that I have a tendency to get bored of things as soon as i'm competent at them.
Now i know that coding is a bottomless hole and there's always new things to learn, but when you've secured a job after graduating do you think it would be likely you'd be doing the same thing every single day with no real progression?

Hopping between employers seems to be a staunch trend in the industry, though i wonder how often people successfully find employers that can facilitate dynamic work, and evolving systems?
Maybe most businesses are already like this and i'm just ignorant to it, or i'm overlooking the viability of being a free agent?

In regards to being able to even handle the course, what kind of foundational skills would you say are most necessary? (tangible and possibly more interestingly, intangible, from your personal observations)
I had a 0% effort policy when i was in school so when it got to higher maths i was never in to be taught it and i couldn't grasp it independently, so i dropped it and have no knowledge of the concepts in advanced mathematics. I have a cousin who did really well studying comp sci without maths qualifications, but i don't want to base my expectations on his anecdote.

One of my other, more definitive concerns is that i don't want to set myself up for a lifelong career of staring at a computer screen all day, which is of course ironic since that's basically all i've done since i was about 14.
From what little useful insight i gained from higher computing, i understand that a large part of the coding process is theory crafting to develop a solution, varying by methodology obviously, but would you say a significant part of this kind of work can be done without actively using a system?
I want to have some interaction with the real world, or i could see myself growing to resent being cemented to my chair and keyboard, as i have done in the couple of years i've spent in various office jobs.

If this is asking for a bit too much knowledge of people's experiences in "life after uni" then i understand, but anything you can share is much appreciated!
ShoelaceExpress1 h, 35 m ago

Excellent! Let me preface this with an apology for the total bombardment …Excellent! Let me preface this with an apology for the total bombardment of questions below, please don't feel obligated to answer them all One of my big concerns is that I have a tendency to get bored of things as soon as i'm competent at them. Now i know that coding is a bottomless hole and there's always new things to learn, but when you've secured a job after graduating do you think it would be likely you'd be doing the same thing every single day with no real progression?Hopping between employers seems to be a staunch trend in the industry, though i wonder how often people successfully find employers that can facilitate dynamic work, and evolving systems?Maybe most businesses are already like this and i'm just ignorant to it, or i'm overlooking the viability of being a free agent?In regards to being able to even handle the course, what kind of foundational skills would you say are most necessary? (tangible and possibly more interestingly, intangible, from your personal observations) I had a 0% effort policy when i was in school so when it got to higher maths i was never in to be taught it and i couldn't grasp it independently, so i dropped it and have no knowledge of the concepts in advanced mathematics. I have a cousin who did really well studying comp sci without maths qualifications, but i don't want to base my expectations on his anecdote.One of my other, more definitive concerns is that i don't want to set myself up for a lifelong career of staring at a computer screen all day, which is of course ironic since that's basically all i've done since i was about 14.From what little useful insight i gained from higher computing, i understand that a large part of the coding process is theory crafting to develop a solution, varying by methodology obviously, but would you say a significant part of this kind of work can be done without actively using a system?I want to have some interaction with the real world, or i could see myself growing to resent being cemented to my chair and keyboard, as i have done in the couple of years i've spent in various office jobs.If this is asking for a bit too much knowledge of people's experiences in "life after uni" then i understand, but anything you can share is much appreciated!



I guess there is a difference in competency and mastery. To become competent for personal use isnt too much work.
Competent for work place take more time, and there is so much to be said for a programmers that produce elegant, efficient and maintainable code.

I graduated and have worked for a heavy machiney company for soft rock mining.. Never thought its where I would be, never imagined the complexity what goes into something I didn't even think was still done (coal mining).
Generally most projects you work on are interested, because you become quite involved in solving complexities you wouldn't even imagine before starting it.
Furthermore most companies have many projects that get put togther to make a much bigger product, so switching between projects within a company is as common as every iteration.
Last point on this is that there is always a demand for the skill, if a job bores you after a year then leave.. You won't be out of work longer than a month haha.
You will find most people who are company jumping are self employed and contracting. Which is big money, more over with how people play the tax man with that.

I have seen the full range, mathematical experts (I came from a physics background myself) and people who have never done more then GCSE.
While maths helps, much like having understanding of how electrical circuitry and computer work. The one characterising personality type that prevails with the subject is simply determination. Some problems can take a long time to solve.

You are right, being a programmer isn't burning out thousands of lines of code everyday. It's understanding a customer worded issue, translating that to code, thinking about design ect. However you will be in the office a fair amount.
Some people are fortunate enough to get to travel like myself, where our customers sometimes like us there and we are international, however.. It is a desk job.. Do get a gym membership or you'll fill out quickly .



I realise I am babling a little as a quick summery:

The subject is huge, and if you don't like one bit there is so much more to sink your teeth in.

There is lots of work and variation is huge, some companies specialise, some will do abit of everything. You'll probably always find something to get stuck into. Even if work doesn't, there are endless opensource projects to get involved in.

No prior knowledge is essential, but you'll take to it easier with an appreciation for maths and electronics.

It is a desk job, but from what I can tell it is possible to branch out a little and get involved with more than the computing side.

This is all my experience, others are more then welcome to say I am full of . If there's anything I haven't answered or just want to know more please do ask. Feel free to PM if you want to chat more too
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