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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Special Edition Using Microsoft Access 2002
Publisher: Que
Authors: Roger Jennings
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
I chose this over other books I could browse in a bookstore

Access 2002 is in it's infancy, as are the books being published about it. I have Access experiencing dating back to 1994, and am only rusty because I have been doing more client-server DB development in the meantime.
That being said, I recently chose this book in a bookstore, where I could also browse some other thick tomes, such as the Access 2002 Bible. From the table of contents, it just seemed this book would have more information than the others on advanced aspects of Access.
For instance of the 1400 (!!) pages, the last half are devoted to "Upgrading to SQL Server 2000 Databases", "Publishing Data to Intranets and the Internet", and "Programming and Converting Access Applications": these are parts 5, 6 & 7 respectively. The contents further indicate that these chapters will cover topics such as Transact-SQL/Stored Procedures, XML, Visual Basic for Apps, ADO, etcetera, all of which (except maybe XML) I'd touched on before in a prior Intranet/SQL Server application.
I have not yet read all 1400 pages -- I have a life after all! But after reading the first couple of chapters, I am confident this book will meet my needs. For instance, the first chapter provides a great overview of features new to Access 2002, with plenty of references to the points later in the book for those who want that extra detail immediately.
I also think this would be a good book for newer -- but still "serious" -- Access and/or Database users, because the first 700 pages are all about the basics of database design and the interface provided by Access, such as forms and reports. I will try to follow up when I have read more, but so far so good.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself Active Server Pages 3.0 in 21 Days
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Scott Mitchell, James Atkinson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Beginner Book

I didn't know squat about ASP, but I found this book very easy to follow. It takes you step-by-step through everything so there is very little that can go wrong. I was so thrilled the first time I got my webpage to read an Access database. I highly recommend this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle E-Business Suite Financials Handbook (Osborne ORACLE Press Series)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: David James, Simon Russell, Graham H. Seibert
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very impressive

.... Who has put every effort to bring this book in the market. This book is a one stop shop for businesses implementing Oracle Financials. It's time to come with similar books on other modules too. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Practical Common Lisp
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Peter Seibel
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
a language of failed dreams

The very title bespeaks the defensive nature of the book. So too are the several chapters of case studies of Lisp implementations, where these have titles beginning with "Practical". The biggest flaw in the book is what it does not describe about Lisp. It provides a good explanation of Common Lisp. And, yes, this language is probably the most powerful language generally available to anyone today. In fact, in Lisp's almost 50 year history, this has generally been true. Most Lisp proponents will readily tell you this, as does the book. Many knowledgeable Lisp detractors will also agree.

But there has been an enduring puzzle. If Lisp is so powerful, why then has it consistently failed to hit the big time? Newer, inferior languages can come from nowhere to overtake it, like C++, Java, C# and Perl. The book sidesteps this entire issue. It describes the 1980s as the era of Lisp Machines, when several companies made chips that could natively run Lisp code. Well, firstly, the book fails to mention that this was in part a response to the miserably slow performance of the Lisp interpreters or compilers of that time. Secondly, the book does not say that most if not all of those Lisp companies failed. Why? Could it possibly have been due in part to the very choice of Lisp?

The book asserts that many people's experiences with Lisp are with outdated versions. Whereas Common Lisp has none of those disadvantages. Humbug! When languages compete, what is often important is comparative advantage. Yes, the CL is better than 1985 Lisp, say. But CL today competes against languages like Java, C# and VB that are far more powerful in terms of expressive ability than languages in 1985. By the way, I'm not talking of hardware differences. At any given time, all languages have access to comparable hardware.

The book does not make a convincing case as to why CL should succeed now, against those formidable and entrenched opponents. Any more so than 1985 Lisp should have succeeded then against C or Fortran.

On the other hand, perhaps the author and other CL advocates have lowered their sights. No longer do we hear paeans to the wonders of AI and how only Lisp can be used for it. The "Practical" chapters of the book are firmly down to earth. Rather prosaic, actually. No more grand visions.