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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java (tm) Certification
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best JAVA book EVER!


I am trying to learn JAVA and have read numerous books. This is by far the best book on the market. It thoroghly covers every topic, the examples are great and everyone is complete. The review questions are very well thought out and the exercises helpful. Congratulations to the authors!



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Simulations and the Future of Learning : An Innovative (and Perhaps Revolutionary) Approach to e-Learning
Publisher: Pfeiffer
Authors: Clark Aldrich
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
An intelligent debunking book written with passion and verve


I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons, but primarily because it is iconoclastic. The author entertainingly recounts his disappointments with elearning. More importantly he exposes just how ignorant and herd-oriented is corporate thinking when chasing new wonder technologies. There are a number sketchy cases studies which reveal how mindful people are of others' opinions of their modernising outlook. Form replacing fuction, rather than following it. It is an easy to read book with lots of good snippets on the foibles of human nature.
The discussion of simulation was geared towards the management model and a number of key issues about testing and interaction are covered. A slight issue I would have is whetehr the motivational model implicit in the environmnet would translate easily to other domains. A question worth pondering.
The downside of the book, for me, was that I couldn't get a good enough handle on how the sytem was implemented. In other words the technical nuts and bolts that hold it together were not clearly grasped by me anyway. For example, the agent architecture of the system could be explained more thoroughly. If the environment has all the features described in the book, it is an absolutely staggering innovation since it appears to answer many of the most profound problems aggravating the Artifical Intelligence community for forty years, viz. knowledge representation and reasoning.
Overall I liked this book. However, I know enough about leadership to realise it isn't found in books. I would recommend this book, but for computer people like myself, a second edition expanding on the technology would be most welcome.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop Elements 2 Solutions: The Art of Digital Photography
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Mikkel Aaland
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best Way To Learn Photoshop Elements 2!


This is a wonderfully written and super informative book. Recently I bought Photoshop Elements 2 and just dived right into it with this book, without first checking the manual or other sources. It was an easy and fun way to learn the program. As a psychology professor, I often determine if instructional texts are written with the student in mind. Mikkel Aaland certainly did that every step of the way in this book, such as, repeating the same steps as they occurred in each subsection, so the reader doesn't have to look back in the book to find the steps. From what I can tell, this is not often done in instruction books on digital photography or computer programs. When I wasn't sure why Mikkel Aalnad did what he did in the book, even though I was able to do it, I checked the manual after completing the steps in the book. The explanation in the program manual typically made a lot of sense to me, after using a particular tool or technique from the book. I found it much easier to understand a tool or technique, once I had gone through the steps and had seen the result. One example of this is the use of a layer with a gradient mask and relating the gradient to black and white colors. I don't believe I would have been able to understand the sketchy way all of that is presented in the program manual without first having done it and seen the results using this book. This is a must have book for someone starting out with Photoshop Elements. More advanced users will also pick up some valuable techniques from the book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: Joe Celko
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must have...


Joe Celko is a very interesting author. His approach to teaching by using puzzles gets the mind thinking. He does not keep you guessing too long. I like his sense of humor as well.
I consider this book a must-have for all Database Administrators and developers...