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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Adobe Illustrator CS Wow! Book (Wow!)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Sharon Steuer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Sharon does it again... another BLOCKBUSTER

The latest addition to Sharon's long list of fabulous 'WOW' books has arrived at the Design-Bookshelf.com, and everyone agrees it's not only the BEST of the WOW series, it raises the bar for illustrator how-to books from this day forward.
Agreed: Sharon has retained some of the lessons from past WOW books. These lessons still hold true to the spirit of essential training, and should never be discarded. The pull-out "Finger Dance" card is indispensable, and no one -- read my lips -- no one does a better job of teaching the Pathfinder tools and the Gradient Mesh. Sharon's visual explanation of Clipping Masks and Opacity Masks in just a few pages goes further than 20 pages in the pulp books.
The new content easily offsets the price with glorious color visions of the most striking Illustrator work being created today. And then you get the insider details on how they were done. It's not just about teaching the software. You can lecture on Envelopes and Warps until dark, but nothing comes close to the "how-did-they-do-that" spark of enlightenment to fully learn the technique. Along with the "how" there's got to be a "WHY" or you're spinning your wheels.
We seriously disagree with another reviewer here who seems to find a lack of "WOW" in the new edition. Hold a mirror under his nose! If the Gallery samples are not wowing you, and the new series on typography doesn't wow you -- and the warping, crunching and filters section doesn't wow you... or the fabulous art and tutorials on the CD don't wow you . . . you may not be breathing!
I fully recommend this book to my "Intro To Digital Graphics" students at James Madison University. And, with each new roll-out of Illustrator, I find the WOW books the most inspiring and most useful teaching aid available today. I encourage the students to have the spine shaved off and the book drilled for 3-ring binder use -- so it lays flat for use during the exercises. They do it and they thank me. I also believe the Illustrator Visual Quickstart books are excellent. I require them as well for use as a "shop manual" -- but the Illustrator WOW book is the one that inspires the students to greatness.
If you've never purchased an Illustrator WOW book, then you MUST. We at the Design-Bookshelf.com believe that no matter how many WOW books are on your shelf, if you paid your blood-money to Adobe for the CS version, your investment in software will go much further by adding this new WOW book!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Moving to VB .NET: Strategies, Concepts, and Code
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Daniel Appleman, Dan Appleman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best VB.NET Book I've Ever Read!

Well, so far it is the only one. But that does not lessen the appeal of the book. The book is also being handed out by Microsoft as part of the package given away at the "0 to 60 .NET" sessions underway this fall in over 30 cities. It is an interesting choice for Microsoft, because Dan is a Microsoft technology guy, but he is not blind to the weakness of poorly designed software.
I enjoy the writing style of Dan, as well as his knowledge of the subject manner. I respect Dan for his honesty and technical knowledge.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Steve Krug
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is how it should be done

The "show me" what you mean book of web usability review. I particularly like the common sense handling of the main web problems.
Some of the key things that are pointed out in this book are:
1. Don't make me think: Basically the web user does not want to venture into a site that requires them to figure it out. It should be self-evident. How do we use web pages:
a. We don't read pages, we scan them
b. We don't make optimal choices, we satisfice
c. We don't figure out, how things work, we muddle through
2. It doesn't matter how many times I click as long as each click is a mindless unambiguous choice
3. Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what's left.
The first 5 chapters clearly illustrate the three "Krug's Laws of Usability" listed above with lots of pictures and examples. Well done.
His chapters on navigation and finding your way around are a cookbook on how to do it right. He finishes the chapters with several examples, first asking the reader to look at the examples and then discusses how he feels it should be redone. Excellent teaching tool. Similarly, he broaches the topic of the Home page and how it should be structured and the various forces pulling in different directions. The examples he gives at the end here too are a good teaching tool.
The remainder of the book discusses the design processes and the usability tests. These are excellent chapters in the forces at work and it is evident, he has done this many times from the information he has gathered.
He provides specific suggestions for web usability testing for various stages of sites as well as for various problems. This is wonderful guidance if you are new at this. He also provides a guideline on scripting and report writing. Nice job.
He winds up the book with recommended reading and also providing a website for readers of this book: http://www.circle.com/krugbook/

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Microsoft ADO.NET (Core Reference)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: David Sceppa
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
ADO Core Requirement

Definitely is THE core reference for using ADO.NET. The book thoroughly covers the general usage of ADO.NET in using direct guidelines and examples for developers to quickly grasp the basic fundumentals and to use it more efficiently.
The materials covered are carefully thought out. Each chapter focuses only on the subject at hand and ends with some very interest FAQ questions which also serves as an exellent chapter 's summary! The code examples are also very good, and are given in both VB.NET and C#. Their average lenght are about haft a page long, which makes them easy for the brain to compile and comprehend. The texts are printed on high quality paper and are well written which makes this book very friendly to read too.
If you are new to ADO.NET and want to get a solid footing on using this technology, this book would be a requirement!