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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: William R. Stanek
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Bottom line: It's a must-have for anyone on Windows Server


This book really helped me get up to speed on Windows Server 2003. I was new to Windows Server 2003 and really in the dark about what to do as I had no access to the beta. But this book cured that problem. It is packed with useful information, well written, intelligent, and easy to read. This book is really worth every penny it costs. I highly recommend this book and all of William Stanek's work!



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Robert C. Martin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Question When Reading the Book.


First, I will say it is an excellent book, anyone who is looking at the front page and thinking about the payment should not hestitate anymore.
Second, I have a question hoping that someone can explaint it to me. When Uncle Bob talk about the LSP(Liskov Principle), he give an example----Line and LineSegment, if you remember that, read on...
This example confuse me so much, we use inheritation because the two class contain differences (at least one). If in this situation we cannot use inheritation, what else can we? Recalling the memory of most the codes I have written, the child classes have different behavior when comparing with its father class, in those situataions, I should do the drawing actions? Then in what situation should we use the inheritation?
If you have your ideas, please be free to contact me through email, I am dying to share the master's thinking with you!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning XML, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Erik T. Ray
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A Good Introduction for XML Authors


The book "Learning XML" by Eric T. Ray is a basic introduction to XML. It covers the markup elements, links, presentation, data type definition, transformations and programming for XML.
The book is truly for the novice. The very basic concepts are introduced and illustrated in great detail. The text is written quite well, and the illustrations do help to understand the presented concepts and examples.
The first chapters on the core concepts, the markup elements, links and presentation in XML describe all syntax elements using a graphical syntax illustration. The components of syntax elements are clearly labeled and referred to in the text. The application of all elements is further illustrated with simple examples that concentrate on the essence of the different markup elements.
The chapter on DTDs is equally well written and DTD concepts and syntax elements are introduced in the same careful way as the markup elements in the first chapters. I would have expected more than 4 pages on XML schema. Yes, it's still a draft, but the basic behavior and structure are pretty well defined by now, and parsers accepting XML schema are available.
The text has a couple of chapters and sections that disappointed me. The chapter on transformations isn't structured as well as the rest of the book and contains a 20 page long, undocumented and uncommented example of an XSLT transformation program. This example has not been written by the author, and that might be reason it is not explained in detail, but at least a few comments would have been nice.
The last chapter on programming for XML is the most disappointing one. The elements of an XML processor are only introduced very briefly. The chapter does contain a Perl example of a XML syntax checker but I don't think that developing such low level functionality is the most important aspect of programming for XML. A more detailed coverage of the APIs SAX and DOM would probably have been more important.
Overall, this is a good introduction or XML authors. The basic concepts are presented out nicely and the illustrations are very helpful. The book is not a great reference if you plan to learn how to write programs for XML.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Computer Organization and Design Second Edition : The Hardware/Software Interface
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: David A. Patterson, John L. Hennessy
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Quite unconventional, quite useful


This book is quite a strange case. For sure, it is the most widely used around the world for intro courses on Computer Architecturs (CAs). Could it be because Hennessy and Patterson are, at present and since a long time, two of the most prominent researchers in the field, Hennessy being now also President of Stanford University, Patterson a professor at Berkeley. But it would be too reductive to limit the view to this only. So we should move inside the book and try to understand the real (or other) reasons.
As an introductory text on CA, the approach is different than the somewhat classical one.
Those who'd expect a few introductory chapters on logic design (as, e.g., Mano & Kime's chapters or Murdocca's long appendixes) will find instead a short appendix that describes basic components (gates, registers, clocks and so on) at a high level (never mention digital abstracion & co.).
The path then is not a survey of general concepts & principles of CA with eventually some real examples as application. Instead, the process is a strictly step-by-step constructive one: they build from scratch a new system funding the design with plenty of considerations and tips, even with warnings on most common "fallacies and pitfalls". All this done through a very straightforward and clear language and with lots of figures, well paced and presented. As a result, coping with the topics is pretty an easy task, and the most likely result is a thourough understanding of what they present.
So what they present ? Substantially, the MIPS, a well known (thanks to this book and their authors too, of course) and widely sold (thanks to its true qualities) RISC processor. The authors have been leaders in the development of the RISC architecture, which admittedly is by now the only good choice for CPU designs since even Intel in its newest architectures reduce all down to the execution of RISC instructions. Anyway, the attention is not only on RISC (and MIPS) architectures: it's "mostly" on these, but there's space for short disgressions in the PowerPC, 80x86 and Pentium Pro (the book is dated 1997) field. This is done through a section named "Real stuff" in each chapter, where after they've extensively developed the subpart of the MIPS (be it the ISA, the ALU or Datapath & Control, the Pipeline and so on), they summarily look at how the same concepts have been developed by PowerPC and 80x86 or Pentium.
All in all, if the book has been assigned as a textbook for a course, little integration is needed to understand it and made it useful for the course; or if it is used a self first introduction to computer architectures and especially RISC architecture, the book will prove a very good choice. And this happens simply because the transfer of knowledge is effective as probably the authors have intended it to be.If what is needed is a reference, then perhaps the step-by-step approach would suggest other choices (e.g. Tanenbaum, Murdocca, Stallings or Mano & Kime).