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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Rise of the Network Society
Publisher: Blackwell Publishers
Authors: Manuel Castells
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Facts, statistics and determinism

First - someone in an earlier review said that this book is not for everyone, it's an academic book. Well that doesn't mean that only academics should read it, does it?
The book presents lots of facts and statistics, and then tries to explain "the informational economy" and the economic development. Many impressed academics have written many reviews on this one. It's not a bad book, but it's no "Das Capital" either. In 10 years it'll probably not be as "important". It's a very good contemporary piece though...
/JBgood, Kista

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Writing Excel Macros with VBA, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steven Roman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Only mathematician can write this book

I don't know why this book is labeled as "2nd Edition". The cover is the 3rd "face" I have seen. I did learn good stuff from the previous editions, but never recommend it to anybody for its' dry. The new edition has a big change. It is succinct, reader-freindly, but also contains many useful information you won't find in other books. For instance, there is no any other book goes so depth into Pivot Table properties and methods. Comparing with the Excel 2002 VBA books written by John Walkenbach or Stephen Bullen and John Green, this book definitely presents more real 2002 features. If you want to learn more about Excel 2002 objects, get this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Large-Scale C++ Software Design
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: John Lakos
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very useful

This is an important book because it flies in the face of much of academic wisdom. Most academic books seem to taget people who write example programs for a living. Mr. Lakos targets true professionals.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Flash MX 2004 : Training from the Source (Training from the Source)
Publisher: Macromedia Press
Authors: Jen deHaan
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not a productive way to learn

It's so hard to choke your way through this material. After four chapters the author has yet to let us run our work to see what we're doing. Tageting your concentration on a single task is a much more effective way to build enterprise applications. There are so many steps on so many pages that you forget some of them or why you did them at all.
We spent so much time creating buttons and graphics for the menu in the sample application. But why didn't the author just have us use the new menu object in 2004 pro? I think that the author is used to previous versions of Flash and all of the tricks they had to use. I don't want to learn those tricks. I want to use the new features in Flash today, and I want the features to be simple to use and hard to forget. Tricks seldom work that way.
Unfortunately, I think the authors were trying to make this book for both Flash or Flash Pro. If I had to build a menu, and some of the other objects in the book, the way they describe in the book I'd go back to using Java clients and Swing. We bought Pro because we went to be able to build web apps. I want to use Pro.
Not all is bad. You can pick up a lot of tips, but there has to be a better way than simply working through the book front to back. You may find yourself gazing at the pages without really concentrating on what you're doing, or searching for the Character button with your wife for several minutes. An audio tape, or a small video in the corner of the screen would go an awful long way towards alleviating some of the pain, and would be much more effective.