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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Digital Photography Hacks
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Derrick Story
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Photo Reference

Digital Photography Hacks is a great book for the aspiring, or amateur photographer looking to flesh out their photographic bag of tricks. Though the book deals primarily with digital photography, several of the hacks are relevant for good old fashioned emulsion (film) photography as well.

The book is divided into 8 chapters:

- Digital Camera Attachments
- Daytime Photo Secrets
- Nighttime Photo Hacks
- Magic with Flash
- The Computer Connection
- Photoshop Magic
- Camera-Phone Tricks
- Weekend Photo Projects

Each of these chapters has a number of hacks, which consist of self contained tips, or suggestions for working with your camera. Each hack stands on its own, and can be read and used independently. This means that you do not have to read this book cover to cover, but can simply reference the tip that applies to your particular shooting situation. For example, if you need quick information on how to compose, light, and shoot a portrait, you can just pull the relevant information out of the book and get right to shooting. A definite plus for when you want to get right to shooting.

The tips for shooting daytime, nighttime, and flash photos are incredibly helpful, and contain information that will help eliminate the discrepancy between how you thought a photo should look when you took it, and how it actually looks when you print it out.

Overall, I would say this book maintains the standards I have come to expect from the "Hacks" books that O'Reilly has been publishing, and recommend it to new digital photographers and casual amateurs alike.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Servlet Programming, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jason Hunter
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
not so good

Unlike most of the reviews here, I actually started using this book with only a couple of weeks of Java experience. I found the book easily readable. I use servlets on the job and any real-life problem or question I've faced has been dealt with in this book. The general introduction to servlets chapters were great for comparing the technology to CGI, and they helped convince my management that my choice of servlets was a wise one. Also, the oreilly Java servlet classes that come with the book were helpful too, and I have relied on them for real business use. Servlets touch on many other Java APIs in the course of use and it was not the authors intention of putting in everything you need to know, but just about everything you need to know about servlets. For example, the chapter on JDBC doesn't exhaust JDBC, but it will give you a taste so you can figure out how it affects servlets. The author's website which complents the book is quite helpful as well. I would suggest that this computer book covers its scope better than any other computer book I've read. I highly recommend it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe Photoshop CS Down & Dirty Tricks
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Like Two Books in One

Here is another great book from the legendary Scott Kelby, Editor-in-Chief of Photoshop User Magazine. For those of you who bought his Photoshop 7 Down & Dirty Tricks, this is not a repeat. He says he trashed every technique from the Photoshop 7 version and started from scratch with this one.
I really like the layout of it. It's like two books in one. The pages are white with tan vertical strips almost two inches wide. In the white sections are the step-by-step, how-to instructions, with plenty of images that show the progress of each step. The tan sidebars contain Quick Tips.
I love the one on page 74. It says, "Want some cool metal gradients? You've already got `em!" Then it goes on to explain how to access them.
There are some really cool lessons, such as the one on popping out of a photo on page 23, Edge Collage technique on page 39, the one on making a filmstrip template on page 192, and the one on how to make a photo cube on page 230. There are multiple lessons on different 3-D effects, lots of cool type effects, and Advertising effects, like fancy product shot backgrounds, adding a window to another place and dividing a photo into puzzle pieces.
This book is fine for beginners, as the first time he has you do a new task, like create a layer, he tells in detail how to do it. But he doesn't tell you how to do it in every lesson, so the more advanced folks won't get bogged down and bored. And the Quick Tips in the sidebars alone are worth the price of the book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network Intrusion Detection (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Stephen Northcutt, Judy Novak
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The essential info you need to know about IDS

This books covers everything you need to know about Intrusion Detection. It deals with all kind of signatures, even the most recent ones. But more important, the book also includes chapters dealing with Intrusion Detection within a company's security organisation.
This book is really a must have in your personal library.