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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Python, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Mark Lutz, David Ascher
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A good overview that can be used to learn Python

As someone who works with and trains people in many different programming languages and techniques, it is necessary for me to always keep an eye on new things. I had heard a great deal about the Python language and most comments were positive. Therefore, I read this book for the purpose of simply learning what the language had to offer rather than to actually learn how to program in it. I found the material to be well presented and informative, but certainly not for anyone with a limited programming background. There are many references to what is done in C, which helped me, as I have an extensive background in the language. However, if you do not know C, then they are somewhat helpful filler at best, confusing chaff at the worst. The examples are in almost all cases very short, which makes them toys of limited use, but that is how learning a programming language is best done. It is possible to use this book to learn how to program in Python if you already know how to program in an object-oriented language. There are exercises at the end of each chapter and solutions to all are in an appendix. The exercises are at the level that they should be for beginners and the topics are standard learning material. Since my goal was to simply learn something about the Python language, I extracted the desired information when I read it. If my goal would have been to learn how to program in Python, I could have also done that if I had read slower and did the exercises. It is a language with many interesting features and since it is also a scripting language, Python could be used for many things. No doubt I will have to learn it in the future and this book is where I will start.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Building the Data Warehouse (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: W. H. Inmon, W. H. Inmon
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Missed the target

This book did not have the basics for data warehousing. The conecpts were not clear, transition was very poor. Overall, I got nothing from that book.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis : Techniques for Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation, and Modeling
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: R. K. Jain
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very useful book for real life situations

While reading this book, I went back to my university years, and I realize mathematics can help a wide of real life situations.
As the author states, one of the common mistakes of recently graduated students is to think a real life easy problem with a complex mathematical model; I think one of the major problems with the IT mature professionals today, is that they try to solve complex problems following somekind of a deductive method; usually we override any kind of analysis because we think mathematical models or anything related is for university people....
While this book is very practical, it's also very impressive with it's mathematical rigour. For any performance consultant (database, server, network, etc) this book is very valuable guide for developing capacity planning and performance projects.
Don't expect to find very updated examples, but surely you won't need them if you understand the idea behind the concepts.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Little SAS Book: A Primer, Third Edition
Publisher: SAS Publishing
Authors: Lora D. Delwiche, Susan J. Slaughter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great to have

This book was highly recommended to me, but I have been a little disappointed so far. I do like the concise (2 page) sections, but following the examples is tedious. Every section has a different example and creating the raw data file to be read in using the INFILE statement takes a significant amount of time that would be better spent on actually learning SAS. This book could be improved a lot by building on just a few example data sets, or having a web page available for downloading the data.
The book also moves too slowly and covers too many initially extraneous details. Chapter 2 is almost 40 pages long and covers every imaginable way of and inputting raw data. I would rather get to the material on manipulating the data much more quickly.
Also, there are no exercises which is a big drawback. Virtually all science and mathematics texts have exercises.
In summary, I wouldn't say not to buy this book, but I think you would have to have at least one other source of information, such as someone else who knows SAS, to learn the material properly.