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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Advanced Programming in the UNIX(R) Environment
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The most comprehensive book on UNIX


Very clear examples and a very good read.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cryptography Decrypted
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: H. X. Mel, Doris M. Baker, Steve Burnett
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best introductory book bar none


This book clearly explains the foundation of cryptography, numbers, and the techniques that have emerged to provide modern security technologies. The book starts with Part I, that sets the context by introducing terms and the basics, including ciphers, data encryption standard (DES) and secret keys. The authors did a remarkable job by making complex concepts easy to understand. The next two parts go into more detail about public keys and digital certificates. While these are relatively simple to learn on the surface, the details have always eluded me until I read this book because more papers and books on the subject get too deep into details too fast and assume knowledge of advanced math on the part of the reader. Not so this book - the authors make it easy through clear writing, illustrations that illuminate the textual descriptions and a knack for explaining the complex in simple and easily digestible chunks.
I especially liked Part IV, which covers secure electronic commerce because it covered the full spectrum of technologies and the information is immediately useful to all IT and security professionals. Like in the first three parts of this book I came away with a complete understanding of how everything works.
This book epitomizes clear writing. Moreover, it is simply amazing how much knowledge can be relatively painlessly gained from reading this book. Although I am sure the authors intended to make the inner workings of cryptography accessible to non-security professionals (which they unquestionably accomplished), they also set a standard of excellence in technical writing by producing a book that is, in my opinion, near perfect in its ability to seamlessly use lively prose and well thought out illustrations to convey highly technical information. If you need to learn cryptography but are challenged by the math and the impenetratable writing of other books on the subject, start with this one.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Pragmatic Version Control Using Subversion
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Authors: Mike Mason
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Subversion / Version Control questions? This is the answer!


When it comes to version control systems, CVS has long been the
workhorse of the Open Source and Free Software movements, but with the release of Subversion it's time to put the old nag to rest; and this book tells you what you need to do it.

Summary
Whether you're new to version control in general or just Subversion itself this book is highly recommended. Clear, concise and crammed full of useful, important and dare I say, pragmatic, advice and information. An excellent book in it's own right and a worthy addition to the Starter Kit Series.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Project Version 2002 Step by Step
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Carl S. Chatfield, Timothy D. Johnson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very good tutorial text for first-time users


This book is designed to bring you up to speed on how to use the various features of Microsoft Project 2002, and it achieves that goal well.
It contains a well written Appendix entitled "A Short Course in Project Management", and various "Project Management Focus" paragraphs throughout the book, but it is not really intended to teach you project management. For that, I suggest you read a project management text without a software focus, such as Project Management for Dummies by Stan Portny.
Just as you would not expect a book on Microsoft Word to teach you how to write using good grammar, you should not expect this book on Microsoft Project to also teach you all you need to know about project management.
I use this book to teach various Project 2002 courses, and I find it works well. However, a prerequiste for my classes is a project management theory class that uses only pen and paper. I have found this to be a powerful combination.