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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming with Visual Basic 6.0 Enhanced Edition
Publisher: Course Technology
Authors: Diane Zak
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Visual Basic 6.0 Enhanced Edition

Excellent book. Thanks Diane Zak for your innovative method of dealing with Visual Basic programming. Frankly, I have read many books about VB and failed to understand intricacies of the language. I always thought I would fail as a programmer. After going through her book and working on most of the tutorials I am now a confident programmer!!
I would recommend this book to every person like me out there!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Unified Software Development Process
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ivar Jacobson, Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
This is not about the software development process.

For three people as highly respected as Messrs. Jacobson, Booch, and Rumbaugh to have produced a book is so completely NOT about a software development process is a travesty. These gentlemen know about designing systems in an object-oriented environment. They seem to know nothing about obtaining and defining requirements for such a system.
They begin with the "use case". This is not an attempt to determine what kinds of automation are appropriate for a given business function. It does not ask the question, "Should this process continue to be done in a newly automated world?" It presumes the process and presumes a systems whose basic shape and technology were already determined by the analyst before he began. It then simply addresses the question of what the user interface would look like.
The appropriate place to start requirements analysis is with determination of the basic functions of the business, followed by determination of the extent to which current activities contribute to those functions. Many of the current activities only exist because of shortcomings in current systems. These should not be automated at all. They should be eliminated.
After extensively discussing use cases, the three gentlemen then proceed to wave their hands over analysis, briefly describing "analysis artifacts" as being "more abstract" than design artifacts, but never really coming to grips with what such artifacts are supposed to do.
Requirements analysis is the process of coming to grips with the fundamental processes, data structures and business rules of the organization. What is the nature of the company? How does it work? What is the true, fundamental, structure of its data? These are hard questions, and many books have been written on how to ask them. Unfortunately, this isn't one of those books.
Mr. Rumbaugh, in his previous book, did a better job of addressing what is to happen during requirements analysis. It's a pity that he didn't bring more of that work forward into this book.
We've heard a lot about "object-oriented analysis" lately. Unfortunately, not only does the "object-oriented" qualifier not mean a great leap forward in the way we do analysis - it means a leap backward.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
It was great! You can teach yourself JavaScript quickly!

Unlike other Peachpit Press Visual Quickstart Guides, this is a VERY weak coverage of the topic, which will leave most buyers wanting. Typical of the lack of content is the description of how to do loops. "The kind of loops used in this book is the for loop..." No other types of loops are even mentioned. Does JavaScript provide while loops or until loops - or even the dreaded infinite loop? You'll have to look elsewhere to find out. The part on defining functions says you usually use an event handler to call a function, and gives no hint of other uses for functions - and this is also the only treatment of event handlers! It's true that you can call a function from an event handler, but often you use functions in calculations of values or in the logic of if statements. These more normal uses of functions are only treated in this book by use in the example scripts. You have to discover them for yourself. Event handlers are presented as if the only thing you can do is call a function. Can you also put code right in the handler? You won't find the answer in this book.
If you're looking for a few useful but trivial scripts, this book is an awfully expensive way to get them. If you're after a decent language reference book, this definitely isn't it. Save your money.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Degunking Windows
Publisher: Paraglyph
Authors: Joli Ballew, Jeff Duntemann
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The title says it all

With all the software reviews I do, I'm constantly cleaning Windows because I hate clutter. The title of the book immediately caught the eye of this organized freak. Get on board with this 12-step program, or rather processes, to clear out the cobwebs and garbage hiding in the chips of your computer.
Unlike most computer books, it's strongly recommended to follow this one from front to back rather than skipping around. Tying a shoe before putting it on a foot is not as effective as doing it the other way around. Though it's possible, it's not going to fit as well and it's harder to put it on.
The book focuses mainly on Windows XP Home and Professional. However, if you're using an earlier version, you can still benefit from the general operations are easily adaptable to most versions.
Each jargon-free chapter with a dash of humor begins with a Degunking Checklist to prepare you for the chapter's content. No need to reinstall your operating system as the program avoids that dreaded step.
Those who rely on their kids' or friends' advice when something goes wrong with the computer will benefit from this book. After getting through the dumping files and programs, cleaning the emailbox, organizing files, tweaking the desktop and registry, and optimizing the hard drive; the computer will be a happy camper and like in those old `50s TV shows where everyone is happy at the end of the episode.
Still freaking out at the mention of "registry?" The authors provide cautions and warnings so you can ensure you're covered.
The formatting is in the style of the 1950s and on the front page is the traditional housewife of the `50s looking overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning up the big mess. It makes me want to put on yellow dishwashing gloves and take the pink feather duster as I get to work. Be gone, crowded Favorites. Shoo, unused programs and files. When you finish the housework, take a load off and treat yourself to a TV dinner.