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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Hardening Cisco Routers (O'Reilly Networking)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Thomas Akin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Book


As a professional, I feel the ratings on these books can be very important. In the case of the reviewer Ron C., who doesn't really have a use for the book, should not give books a low rating because the information isn't useful to him but recommends it highly for someone who is interested in the topic. I do need the information in this book and it is an excellent book with pertinent information.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Linux Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Richard Stones, Neil Matthew, Alan Cox
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent book on Unix/Linux programming


This book is the first book I've seen that delivers what the Title and Cover promise. I have been working as an application programmer on other platforms for several years and this book has been great for me. Unlike some of the other books on this topic that limit themselves to things like using editors and compilers, or describing basic progamming concepts in detail, the authors expect the reader has some familiarity with these topics already, and provide an example application that is developed using many of the different tools and facilities that are available on the Unix/Linux platform.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Overrated...


Assumptions: If you don't like the works of Peter van der Linden, (or Jason Hunter and Brett McLaughlin, for that matter) stop here; you have no business reading my review.
Level of experience: Tech writer, not a programmer
Strong Opinion: Along with "Just Java", this is absolutely the best general book on Java ever written. Like Peter, Bruce has the twin gifts of clarity and context. He presents the material in clear, clean, precise and lively prose -- and he puts every concept into context. That is, he doesn't just explain "what" Java does, he explains the assumptions underlying "why" Java does it. One (albeit deluded) reviewer of this book complained that Bruce included info on the Internet and background on Client/Server in chapter one -- a chapter on objects. Well, duh! In this incredibly concise, extremely well-written chapter, Bruce stitched together the evolutionary threads that made Java make sense as a web programming language. Later on, in chapter two, Bruce presents *memory* in its full context: registers, stack, heap, etc. and talks about why java does things with memory the way it does. I don't know much C or C++, but I think -- in many circumstances -- it's quite valuable to understand the way Java operates vis a vis these other languages. It brings context to the table and, for me at least, context is vital in understanding concepts. Another reviewer (to remain nameless) complains that bruce repeats himself, citing references in several different chapters to garbage collection (instead, apparently, of putting all the references in one tidy gc chapter). Well, once again, this completely misses the point. Bruce talks about garbage collection in several different chapters becasue it lends context to the topics he's discussing. You have to wonder about some of the people who write these reviews (present company excluded!) I could go on and on about this book, but the point by now is obvious. If you value clarity and context and want to know not just "what" Java does but "why" Java does it, read this book. It's a masterpiece.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Overrated...


Assumptions: If you don't like the works of Peter van der Linden, (or Jason Hunter and Brett McLaughlin, for that matter) stop here; you have no business reading my review.
Level of experience: Tech writer, not a programmer
Strong Opinion: Along with "Just Java", this is absolutely the best general book on Java ever written. Like Peter, Bruce has the twin gifts of clarity and context. He presents the material in clear, clean, precise and lively prose -- and he puts every concept into context. That is, he doesn't just explain "what" Java does, he explains the assumptions underlying "why" Java does it. One (albeit deluded) reviewer of this book complained that Bruce included info on the Internet and background on Client/Server in chapter one -- a chapter on objects. Well, duh! In this incredibly concise, extremely well-written chapter, Bruce stitched together the evolutionary threads that made Java make sense as a web programming language. Later on, in chapter two, Bruce presents *memory* in its full context: registers, stack, heap, etc. and talks about why java does things with memory the way it does. I don't know much C or C++, but I think -- in many circumstances -- it's quite valuable to understand the way Java operates vis a vis these other languages. It brings context to the table and, for me at least, context is vital in understanding concepts. Another reviewer (to remain nameless) complains that bruce repeats himself, citing references in several different chapters to garbage collection (instead, apparently, of putting all the references in one tidy gc chapter). Well, once again, this completely misses the point. Bruce talks about garbage collection in several different chapters becasue it lends context to the topics he's discussing. You have to wonder about some of the people who write these reviews (present company excluded!) I could go on and on about this book, but the point by now is obvious. If you value clarity and context and want to know not just "what" Java does but "why" Java does it, read this book. It's a masterpiece.