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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Maarten van Steen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
technical but well covering

This book is the next after the adorable "Modern Operating Systems" by Tannenbaum. The book is well written with a widest and broad view of this area. No wonder because the authors are running a project of building one. The books indeed touches the basic important ideas behind a distributed systems very well and try in later chapters to give some practical view of how it is done. The descriptions at some point are too technical (i.e trivial) and sometimes repeating. a load of some 100 pages could be cut off this book. I am in junior class and I learn it by myself (I couldn't take the course) with no difficulties. On the other hand some other "ACADEMIC", but important aspect are not mentioned at all. For example: Self stabilization. You will not find knowledge on J2EE or Web services in this book, but after reading it all these ideas should look very natural for you - as after reading a good book on a subject. Read it and enjoy, just don't dig yourself too much into dull technical details.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective C++: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Design (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Scott Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
No. 1 choice for smart C++ programmers

I bought the first edition 5 years ago, after 25 years of full-time programming (and 5 in C++). It paid itself back in the first 15 minutes. If you already think you're doing fine in C++, this is the time to buy this book. It will show you what you are doing wrong, and why. No.1 on my list.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCNA Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide, 4th Edition (640-801)
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Todd Lammle, Sybex
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
not that good

This is great simulator, works great, feels like the real thing. Does everything I need it to do to take the test. The only problem or really just an irritant was that the hands on lab in the 4th edition Lamle CCNA book don't quite match up to the Platinum Lab simulator.
I think they could of done a better job of describing the layout of the lab a little better, (basically none) maybe have a pictured layout of port connection with the available hardware in the lab simulator pages. I noticed quickly that the hands on lab in the book don't match head to head w/ the sim.. I figured it out, yes, It works? Yes. But when the book talks about switch(a) as a 2950 and the lab talks about the same devise as a 1900, its kind of thoughs you off because the commands are so different..
I found that if you save your work between Labs its much, much easier.. I don't know.. maybe it was planned like that to make me dig into it.. I did and I was able to make it work just fine..

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design, Second Edition
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Michael J. Hernandez
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The book for everyone who must talk design with their DBA

I'm buying this book a second time because I lent it out one too many times to people at my last job. I agree with the other reviewers that note that learning everything this book has to teach will not make you a DBA. But it will help you talk intelligently to your DBA. I highly recommend this book for Project Managers and Business Analysts that will gather end-user requirements for development projects that will entail building or revising databases. The highly detailed end-user interview method described is worth the price - its eessentially why I'm buying it, again. In that way, this book has a place in larger DB development projects.
But this book can have an even more prominent role in smaller DB development projects. The "Design" part of the title is justified because it does explain enough about normalization, referential integrity, and other technical topics to help a first-time, amateur database designer create a good design for a simple database. But be forewarned 1) it won't help you administer that DB over the whole software life cycle or 2) tell you how to implement your design in any specific RDBMS (e.g. SQL Server, Access, Oracle) - you'll have to get that from an RDBMS-product-specific title. And 3) you'll need more theory from some other book for more complex databases.
A lot of books that attempt to explain a technical topic to a wider audience leave the intended, amateur audience confused and the experienced professional bored. This book will bore any competent DBA, who should know all this stuff. But for "Mere Mortals", the intended audience, this book is a gem. That is why I rate it 5 stars.