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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java (tm) Certification
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The book's questions are harder than the real test

I got certified by only studying from this book. I had a school course background in Java. I had good structured programming experience before taking the Java course in school. This book relies on your basic knowledge of the Java language. I used this book by itself for the exam. It covers everything in the exam. Pay a lot of attention to the file system chapter, 10 - 15 % of my exams questions were about it. I listened to the reviews on this book & I passed the test after 35 days of studying. You need to do a lot of practice too (mock tests on the internet). If you pass the practice test in this book, the real test should be easy for you. I got 67% in the practice test in this book & 70% in the real test. Good Luck.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How Computers Work, Seventh Edition
Publisher: Que
Authors: Ron White, Timothy Edward Downs
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
It's really in beautiful, full color!

Hi! I'm Ron White, author of How Computers Work 6th Edition. If you look at Amazon's really helpful "Look Inside" feature, please keep this in mind: Timothy Edward Downs' beautiful illustrations are really in full, gorgeous color. I don't know what happened to the color in the Look Inside, but believe me -- and why would I lie? -- the art work is dazzling!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Bible with CD-ROM
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Paul Nielsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
From tactial to practical

This books reads like having a conversation with an old friend.
Nielsen is not afraid to sometimes wax philosophical, "staying current in the software industry is like river rafting" (p. 8). But he also gives practical advice, "If the user says that the object will always have a fixed number of related objects, just nod, say "I understand," and design for infinity anyway (p. 39).
It's not an A-Z list of commands, although you can find that in the index.
He goes from defining 1st Normal Form to some pretty complex ideas such as the Object-Oriented Database (OODBMS) mentioned on page 54. The CD includes real-life designs - the Material Specifications database.
I think it's a catch-all for everything he's ever learned about SQL Server, and then some.
Page 81 gives a great tip for speeding up MS Access forms.
There are many "Best Practice" icons scattered throughout.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, Jon Orwant
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good, not great, Perl reference

Hey, it's an O'Reilly and Associates book, so you know it has to be good. Nevertheless, I am not so impressed this 2nd edition compared to the 1st edition of this book. The 1st edition has more code examples (highly instructive) and has a much better layout. If you can get your hands on the 1st edition (covers Perl 4, not Perl 5, but almost all of Perl 4 code works fine with Perl 5) of this book, I recommend reading that one instead. The 1st edition is definitely a "10".