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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Information Security Policies, Procedures, and Standards: Guidelines for Effective Information Security Management
Publisher: Auerbach Publications
Authors: Thomas R. Peltier
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent practical guidebook

This is the best book I've seen (so far!) about writing infosec policies and associated materials. Tom Peltier refers directly to the ISO 17799 structure and gives helpful advice on what to include under the ten sections. More than that, he guides the reader through the *process* of writing and implementing policies, even including a brief chapter on my own specialism, security awareness, and suggestions on writing style.
My main quibble with the book is its inconsistency in the level of detail e.g. 41 of the 191 main text pages are devoted to information classification. There are perhaps too many lists and tables for my liking, but these may be useful as reminders of things to include.
Overall, the book is helpful if you are about to write infosec policies and want to avoid some of the more common pitfalls.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Fundamentals of Database Systems, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Ramez Elmasri, Shamkant B. Navathe
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Fundamental, though not overly friendly

I used FUNDAMENTALS OF DATABASE SYSTEMS (Third Edition) in a graduate class I took on databases, and I've kept referring to the book since then. As a student, I'll admit that it was tough to get through this book at times. It's dense and almost impenetrable, but it packs a huge amount of information and is amazingly comprehensive.
It puts theory well ahead of practical matters, which gives the novice a good foundation from which to really get a firm handle on how all these pieces fit together. The assumption is that the student knows nothing, even B-trees are devoted several pages of explanation. The student who does know nothing will doubtless find this wealth of data to be overwhelming at first (as I did). But stick at it. This textbook is not for people looking at how to simply plug things into Microsoft Access. It's for programmers seriously looking to gain a strong background in what the fundamental elements of database components and systems are.
The text starts off simply, merely explaining in general terms what databases are and who will use them. Then we quickly move into modeling how relational databases work. Data Modeling and Entity-Relationship Models are described in-depth, and the book comes back to ER modeling and mapping repeatedly. Object Models are covered, as well as the best ways of sorting records and the best way to index tables. The authors offer a wealth of information concerning the SQL language -- so much so, that there's much that I simply haven't used since reading about it, although I'm sure that more advanced database programmers in the audience will find it very enlightening.
It continues on with Object-Oriented Database technologies, functional dependencies, and normal forms (first, second, third and Boyce-Codd normal form). Higher system views of database architecture are also discussed, giving us an understanding of how different parts are working together. Optimization, recovery, maintenance and security are naturally touched on, as are distributed databases and the basic client/server architecture relationship. As you can see, this is all very theoretical, although some real-life explanations and examples are brought in. But it is by building up a solid knowledge base that will allow the reader to truly understand systems when encountered in the classroom or in the workplace.
I've only touched on a handful of things that the book details in its 1000+ pages. It's packed with mathematical formulas, computer science algorithms, schema design, and the minutua of every database operation. Its approach doesn't make things easy, but it does contain everything you'd want to know about a given item. I had to read various sections multiple times for my coursework, obviously, but every time I studied a passage, I would uncover details and concepts that I had missed the last time. Even now as reference material, I always find myself learning (or relearning) something when consulting this book.
Although in my current job I don't require a massive amount of database knowledge, I still find this an extremely useful reference guide. To be perfectly honest, I don't know if I would find this text helpful if I hadn't taken a course that taught from it. It's certainly intimidating to a beginner. But if you're a moderate to intermediate database programmer, you'll find this an invaluable guide to filling in the gaps in your knowledge. It may be a bit too dense and scary to serve as your only teacher, but you'll probably find it an important one.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition with CD-ROM and Online Subscription
Publisher: Merriam-Webster
Authors: Merriam-Webster
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
With words like "mcjob" and "wack" how can you go wrong?

The new Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary is an excellent dictionary indeed. Not only can you look up just about any slang word you hear on the street, you can learn new one's that you've never heard before!
This package is a great value too. It comes with dictionary software for your computer so you can look up things by just typing a word and pressing enter.
You also get a one year subscription to their website where you can hear audio pronunciations of the words.
If you're going to buy a new dictionary, it might as well be one that's up to date like this one. Otherwise, go to the used book store!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML 4 for Dummies, Fourth Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ed Tittel, Natanya Pitts, Ed Tittel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5

I brought this book and in a few days I was using HTML like it said I would and I'm not even pass Chapter 6 yet! Talk about a book for the layman, buddy this one is it.Try it-you'll like it :) GREAT WORK GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!