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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective Java Programming Language Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Joshua Bloch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Absolute must-have

Every Java developer MUST have this book. You will learn a lot with relatively little effort. I have worked with Java since late 1995, and this book has taught me a lot. If it taught Gosling, it will teach you.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Introduction to Algorithms, Second Edition
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
the definitive algorithms book

This is the best CS book I've ever seen. Clearly written, with pseudo-code implementations for all the algorithms it describes. Its coverage is incredible, to this day whenever I have a need for an algorithm no matter in what area, first thing I do is look in CLR, and chances are it is in there.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Excel 2003 Power Programming with VBA (Excel Power Programming With Vba)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: John Walkenbach
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
very disapointing...

I was very disappointed in the book. I have written some macros in VBA for excel and wanted to expand my knowledge while creating some useful macros for my company.
If one was intending to read this book front to back, I am sure they could learn quite a lot about Excel and VBA, but as for using it as a tool to expand on existing knowledge and/or as a reference...it falls short.
Most of the examples did some neat things, but trying to build upon them to fit a specific need indicated just how limited the explanation of how the examples work are.
I often ran across things in the examples that I would later find a use for, but then be unable to locate them since they were buried in some seeming unrelated portion of the book, and the index was just about useless.
If you want to start learning VBA or if the examples in the book do what you need then this may be the book for you, but if you are expecting to build upon the examples and/or use them as a reference for writing your own custom macros/tools, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Bill Hatfield
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Perfect ASP.Net starting point

For developers who have little or no experience with ASP.Net or developers who know a little bit about ASP 3.0, this is the perfect starting book to learn ASP.Net. Don't be fooled by "for Dummies" in the title, Bill Hatfield does a great job of teaching you the basic of ASP.Net amd then some. In the first couple of chapters, I learned several tricks to ASP.Net. For example, I didn't know that my ISP could provide me with a Web page that could run ASP.Net. When Bill mentioned it in his book, I checked with my ISP and found that it was true. I thought that I had to have IIS installed on my PC in order to run ASP. For people with Windows XP Home Edition that means upgrading to the XP Professional and that [costs a lot]. None of the other ASP books that I have purchased mentioned this. When you finish this book you will not feel like a dummy any more. The chapters are relatively short and I read the first 3 chapters in the first sitting. Bill Hatfield really knows ASP and this is his second book (ASP 3.0 for Dummies) that has obtained 4 or 5 stars. This is the first book you want to buy on ASP.Net. Then you can follow it up with the more advanced books on ASP.Net of your choice. The cartoons in the "Dummies" series really help to relieve the stress of studying.