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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: AIX 5L Administration
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Randal K. Michael
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One with Experience and Enthusiasm


This is an excellent book. It was very well written. It is very hard to find good AIX System's Administration documentation. I found this book very concise and user friendly. I recommend it to the beginner as well as the advanced AIX System's Administrator.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The Book Delivers


I am a graduate student at the University of Totonto. I think that its a great book if you have a lot of experience with C++ / Java -- nice examples, tech vocabulary, good to learn some tricks, great reference. Beginners will not benefit from this book though. The word "introduction" is very misleading.



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
An eye-opener on how to develop usable software


While he may be a bit redundant at times (actually, people retain information when it's repeated to them so it may not be all that bad) and it may appear to "blame" the programmers, I think this book is an eye-opener and should be required reading for everybody involved in the software development process. I just wish that there were more interaction designers available.
I'm the CTO of a small software company, and we're going to use interaction design principles in the next versions of products that we develop - because we do want to deliver not only power but pleasure to our customers!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Love JN or hate him, you have to read Homepage Usability


A decent overview of the corporate homepage as first impression, with its own conventions and caveats.
Drawbacks: Each page -- all 50 of 'em -- is critiqued in unprioritized detail, the book's worst oversight. Most developers have mission-critical tasks, and some of JN's pronouncements are nothing but opinion, not proofs backed up by research. Minor proofing errors just aren't on the same level as critical path architectures, and the book doesn't differentiate this for readers.
Sheer volume does work in one area, however: the most interesting part of the book is the appendix, which offers side-by-side comparisons of all 50 sites that zoom in on particular aspects of design: page titles and taglines, screen real estate breakdowns, search features, and more. These comparisons reveal the homepage as a landscape with its own map, for good or ill.
The best reason for a web professional to read this book is that most decisionmakers for corporate websites will read this and declare expertise. It's good to be armed -- and love him or hate him, JN is quoted often enough that he can't be ignored. So read it, but make sure to pursue alternate points of view.