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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Data Warehouse Toolkit: Practical Techniques for Building Dimensional Data Warehouses
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Ralph Kimball
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Second Time is Charmed

This book will be helpful for people who are tasked with building Data Marts that could benefit from the use of dimensional modeling and can also be represented as a dimensional models.
Dimensional data models, which have been around for a very long time, have proved quite useful in a number of business decision making scenarios where decsision making power - through an intentionally limited but versatile set of information - can be made available to business users.
This book focuses on the data modelling for decision support in a Data Mart environment, and also where star schemas - intuitive data models - are used to represent business information in a business-people friendly structure and format. In this area - dimensional modeling and sophisticated use of SQL - the author is probably the best around at this moment in time.
So yes, buy this book if you need a rapid learning aide for dimensional modelling and if you want to know more about the general area of Data Warehousing and some of is best principles and practices then also go for a couple of books by Bill Inmon - the father of data warehousing.
Best regards,
Martyn R Jones iniciativa

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: OCA/OCP: Introduction to Oracle9i SQL Study Guide
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Chip Dawes, Biju Thomas
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An elegant entry point into the SQL and Oracle Universe

I am an applications developer (insulated from extensive SQL usage) who use little bit of SQL
Ex :select * from contact order by created desc,
select * from contact where row_id in (select row_id from another table etc)..

Nothing complicated..

I purchased the book (with the thought that my knowledge with SQL is above average)..Did the first assesment test(chapter 1) in the book and failed disastrously. Having been brought to the harsh 'reality',started studying the book, religiously answering the questions in the chapter etc.Completed all the chapters, took the bonus exams(from the book) ,again took all the chapter exams ( at the sametime referring to sections where i made a mistake).redid the assesment test as well

Best of all, my friend who also passed the exams sent me a question paper ( that be purchased in ebay) based on Jason Couchman's book OCP Introduction to Oracle 9i:SQL Exam guide. Took that exam( about 111 questions)..and everytime went back to the book reading the chapters and sections where i got it wrong

So on a net scale, studied the book twice

Appeared the exam yesterday and passed with 85 %..all those which i got wrong were obscure topics (ex :view name that u will use to find constraints in a column, syntax for modifying a constraint etc)There was not a single questions on roles.privileges,grant option,admin option etc. I will also not agree with those who said the book was over emphasising aggregates,group functions etc. there were quite a few questions in the exam and u will use it very often

As a matter of fact, the question paper from jason was very very closely aligned with the questions i got in the exam.My objective b4 going over the certification was to learn the basics..and i am not sure if any other book could have done a better job. Examination was secondary for me..

If passing the exam is primary for u..don't miss the simulation exams of Jason Couchman ( of course u need to study )..but if u want to learn every aspect of SQL ( ex :Soundex which even a senior DBA might not use once a year)..go for this.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The ones who need it most won't read it!

I'm a professional UI designer, and Cooper's book seemed to come right out of my very own experiences. He has successfully carried out his own recipe for good UI design (providing power and pleasure) in his writing. This book is funny, yet real and practical. Humor in storytelling often delivers the most truth with the least effort in the most memorable form.
He goes out on some long limbs, and that is precisely what impresses me the most about his writing. He has the courage to present his often contrarian, polemic ideas as what they are: Opinions, or theories, based on experience. Theories are judged by their usefulness, and his are useful.
No, all programmers are not guilty. Yes, MBAs have also screwed up products. At least Cooper targets a real, known issue and has drawn attention to it without biting off too much. His anecdotes are memorable fables of the software design industry, which I already find myself dropping in conversations.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface, Third Edition
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: David A. Patterson, John L. Hennessy, Peter J. Ashenden, James R. Larus, Daniel J. Sorin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good technical introduction to computer organization topics

I use this book as a reference in my technical writing.
I recommend this book to everyone who have a basic Assembly Language programming background and want to understand everything behind the Machine Language Operation Codes decoding process.

The authors build from scratch (and you learn from scratch):

* How to build a complete Arithmetic and Logic (ALU) Unit
- Basic Logic Gates processing
- more advanced topics as Ripple Carry

* How to build a complete Control Unit to guide the ALU Operation
- Microprogramming vs. Hardwired Control Implementation

* Assembly language examples for programming the Control Unit

It is a good Technical Book in this area.

Complement the study of this book with the Assembly Language Programming presented in the book "The Art of Computing Programming", Volume 1 by Donald Knuth (also, if you need more application examples of low level programming, review Volume 3 "Sorting and Searching"). This is a very good study track.