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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: How I Trade for a Living (Wiley Online Trading for a Living)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Gary Smith
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

I read this book after losing tonnes of money in the bubble. This was AFTER the fact. However this book revealed so many layers of professional trading to me that I was surprised. It was a revelation. I have read many many other books afterwards but even then Gary's book was my FIRST (very much like first love), and I highly recommend it.
Though I will say that much of the material is not original. Most of the indicators are taken from somewhere else, and Gary has provided appropriate references as well. Beauty lies in summarizing and presentation of the indicators that will save you invaluable time taken to read numerous other books.
Gary is a perma-bull. That is somewhat surprising, as that will not be "trading" at all. Nevertheless, the indicators outlined in this book will keep you in sync with the market. Sometimes it is very difficult to remember all this information, though this stuff really WORKS.
This is one level above trite technical analysis.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Multimedia for Learning: Methods and Development (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
Authors: Stephen M. Alessi, Stanley R. Trollip
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent breadth and and depth of coverage

This is an excellent text in terms of coverage and pacing. If you are interested in human-computer interaction, this is a 'must have' text. What astonished me about this book is that it covered more issues in HCI than many dedicated user interface design books. The text admirably blends practical considerations with theoretical concerns and trends. It strongly focuses on motivational issues surrounding users of learning packages(an area largely ignored in the bulk of standard HCI texts). Don't pass over this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PMP Exam Prep (4th Edition)
Publisher: Rmc Pubns Inc
Authors: Rita Mulcahy
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Pass the exam!

PMP Exam Prem helped me pass the PMP exam AND provided sound project management concepts that I'm using daily to lead a global program. The book and the companion CD really focus on tested material. Fopllow the author's recommendation to review each section three times and you'll be ready to pass the exam.
I also tried another exam review program but found this one better organized and more focused.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Oracle SQL, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Sanjay Mishra, Alan Beaulieu
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

This book has been intentionally "crippled" to limit it to the category of introductory overview. But at the same time, it tries to cover all the extended functionality Oracle has put into 9i and 10g. The result is that a lot of very basic information is omitted, only to be tangentially included in an advanced topic. For example:

* DDL is generally ignored. This leaves you clueless about the CREATE OR REPLACE FORCE... statements that you will encounter and use daily as an Oracle developer. But there's lots of DDL in the sections on classes and objects, hierarchical queries, collections -- stuff that you'll use infrequently if at all.

* Most technical books begin the discussion of each new operation with a syntax diagram. Not this one! All you get is a code example or two to support the text.

* There is nothing about performance. Yes, a full discussion of tuning is beyond the scope of an introductory text, but jeez they don't even discuss indexes, except in the section on partitioning!

* There is nothing about relational integrity (or constraints of any kind) except in the section on hierarchical queries. Again, they strangely choose to omit the basic information, only to include an odd bit or two with the extension.

* There is little discussion of built-in functions beyond the date/time ones.

* The index is very skimpy. It doesn't even contain all the Oracle reserved words that are used in the text. For example, has the use of the SIBLINGS keyword slipped your mind? Don't expect any help looking it up again! Heck, there aren't even entries for DUAL, COMMIT and ROLLBACK, or COUNT() !

* There isn't a single word about materialized views, which is something you will need to know about in the real world.

It's clear O'Reilly wants you to buy this expensive but slim volume as part of a set, with a "nutshell" book to cover syntax and options, a DBA book for basic information about DDL and indexes, a performance/tuning book, and a PL-SQL book.

A second area of major weakness might not bother a reader who is completely new to relational databases. But if you are coming to Oracle from DB2 or SQL Server, this book is not much help. Oracle SQL is only superficially similar to ANSI SQL. This book uses half its 450 pages on features Oracle added to SQL, but unfortunately, makes no mention of the things Oracle left out. Two big issues for me, were that Oracle won't let you write an outer join that uses both join-conditions and where-conditions; and Oracle has no simple way to insert into one table from a join with another table. I wasted several days in anguished de-bugging of SQL logic that I "knew" worked in all DBMSs -- NOT! (Now I know why Oracle code so often consists of a mess of layers and layers of inline views).

There are other, less-major problems with this book that I might as well pile on:

* There is too much explanation of how things used to be done in 8i. Hello, that version is five years old! If any shop is still running 8i, they have lots of dusty manuals laying around. 8i shouldn't take up more than a paragraph or two in a book that purports to cover 9i and 10g.

* There is no discussion of the various Oracle clients available (Toad, SQL*Plus, SQL Navigator, etc)

* The author's coding style is idiosyncratic, in my opinion. Is it too much to ask that elements at the same logical level be indented to the same number of places??

To sum up, this book is like a series of magazine articles describing *what* you can do with Oracle SQL. But it doesn't do a good job of telling you *how* to do it.