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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Steve Krug
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Cuts through the clutter with practical advice

We've all see examples of good web design and of bad design. For a while it was everyone with a computer had a web site, so we were sick of the flashing doodads and the moving pictures. Now it's time to settle down to serious business.
Krug takes us through basic lessons on web design for usability in easy to digest and follow examples. Short chapters and extensive graphics of examples drive his point home in plain language. The book is not about the code - it's about what the user sees and how he or she navigates and operates. His lessons are no-nonsense and should be shouted from the highest mountain. Quick load, thought out arrangement of items, don't make the user think. His "secrets" are so obvious, they just get lost sometimes in the flash (and the Macromedia Flash).
Reading this book is an investment of a couple of hours that will help you look at web sites in a new light. If you have a web site you can't help but think about how your site stacks up to examples. It doesn't hurt either that he so extensively uses Amazon as an example.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Web Programming (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the most original web technology books

Sutructured in an uncommon way, but covering common web programming basics, is a good book intented for people interested in establishing roots on web history. Covering HTML CSS versions of the revolution, in the startings of cross browsing era, but without that view, still, serving as a fast non-comprehensive reference of Javascript and Java, network programming, and introducing CGI and servlet programming concepts, seems not sufficient for the fast and evolutive environment of XXI century programming. This plus some social culture stablished on divorcing HTML for marrying XML, makes that, even presenting the languages as problem solver, not like mere concepts, seems to be leaving the web novel category for entering the category of classic essay, on history of web programming.
But like all intended didactic books, and this one is a great representative of the category, it still remains as a starting point to view things from the basis, leaving preestablished concepts conditioned by the context of the tecnological environment at each moment, and establishing concepts that maybe useful for future learnings on this largely yet evolutive matter.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Pinnacle Studio 9 for Windows : Visual QuickStart Guide (Visual Quickstart Guides)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Jan Ozer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
More than just a how-to book

If you are new to Studio or for that matter new to digital video, this book is for you. Jan starts you out by giving you guidelines for creating watchable video before taking you through the nuts and bolts of the program. Knowing how to apply basic shot composition will help give your videos a more professional look.

The book's step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and are often followed up with additional tips and sidebars. In addition, the book is replete with screen captures which really helps if you are a visual learner.

The book has been immensely helpful to me and I feel that my money was well spent.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Eclipse
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steve Holzner
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A Powerful IDE

Holzner continues the O'Reilly tradition of concise books that span a subject. He has produced a How-To for Eclipse, geared towards the Java programmer. Eclipse is an Integrated Development Environment that is free. IBM is reputed to have spent $40 million in its development, before putting it into open source. Since then, the enthusiastic response by programmers has led to even more improvements in its functionality.
When Holzner calls Eclipse an IDE, he means more than just the ability to develop a standalone Java application. Some of you may have used IBM's Visual Age for Java. It was quite a nice IDE, and Eclipse is descended from it. But VAJ was really geared towards a standalone context. In contrast, these days you might have to build an application that will be used in a web server. Holzner shows how to do this, using Tomcat as the web container. Plus, if there will be several of you working on a project, and you need a version control system, he describes using CVS with Eclipse. Also, for an easy installation of your application, he gives examples of using Ant and Eclipse.
These examples (Tomcat, CVS, Ant) were chosen deliberately. They are probably the most common tools/programs in their fields. And they are free.
In this way, the "Integrated" in IDE takes on a powerful meaning to a Java programmer.