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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Access 2000 Bible
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Cary N. Prague, Michael R. Irwin
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
This is okay

I pick up on software packages pretty quickly, but I find this book to be more advanced for my taste. It took me a while to find out how to do something pretty simple. I had to purchase another book for quick reference look ups.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Regular Expressions, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Such a good resource on Regex.

If you are an experienced programmer, then you have undoubtedly heard of the power behind regular expressions. Unfortunately, even for seasoned developers, becoming very proficient in regular expressions is no trivial task... or is it? Sure most regular expressions look very arcane and are even harder to write, but luckily there is at least one good resource to help bend the learning curve. I am talking about Mastering Regular Expressions by Jeffrey Friedl. This book breaks down regex to such a trivial level that you can't help but learn how to harness the regex power. Jeff takes you step by step through regex land and holds your hand throughout the whole trip. Next thing you know, you will be crafting high quality regular expressions and you will learn how to truly harness such a powerful tool.

Unfortunately in every programmers life there are mental blocks that keep us from truly progressing. For some it's pointers or OOP concepts and for others such as myself its regular expressions. This book took that mental block and smashed it, then it paved the way to regex land. Now I feel much better! HIGHLY recommended!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, Dennis M. Ritchie
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great for the non-beginner!

This book is very complete and will help clear up any questions you have. After you have an understanding of C functions and syntax, you should definately purchase this book. The best beginners' book, that even a non-programmer can learn C from, is Teach Yourself... C (Second Edition, By Charles Siegel).
Bottomline: This book is compact and complete, and is a must have for anyone serious about programming in C.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Concurrent Programming in Java(TM): Design Principles and Pattern (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Doug Lea
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Not light bedtime reading

I have both Doug Lea's "Concurrent Programming in Java" and Oaks and Wong's "Java Threads". Doug Lea's book is by far the most comprehensive. The book focuses strongly on applied uses of locking mechanisms and covers a great deal of the theoretical basis of monitor-based locking schemes. The book is not easy reading though -- it is extremely dense. It has applicability outside of the Java programming environment and I recommend it to you if you are interested in the theoretical side of concurrent programming. Oaks and Wong's book is far less academic. It is an extremely easy read. Notwithstanding the fact that it is 250 pages, it can easily be read (and understood) in an afternoon. Their approach is much more practical and focuses on Java's support for concurrent programming. If you need to dive into multi-thread programming in Java then I heartily recommend this book to you as it will get you started quicker than Doug Lea's book. If your interest is in concurrent programming in general or if you are using a different language, then Doug Lea's is probably the more suitable.