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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Java, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Newbies recommended book - Stater!

Well...this book is very perfect for those newbies who want to really gain understanding in Java. Sierra and Bates are just awesome in detailing the theory of Java. They both know how to make Java looked a little bit chilled. If my suggestion is allowed, I would really suggest them to write more codes in their book. Somehow, their theory is great, but I feel programming needs more example to foster our understanding and experience on the codes. Overall, this book is RECOMMENDED for OO Java programming.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential C++
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
At last!

Finally we have a short, concise introduction to C++. As Stan himself mentioned, it follows the "Learning Perl" approach. Thus this book is not meant to be an exhaustive treatise of the language, but should give a working programmer a chance to start using this complex language. It takes the Perl approach in saying: use as much as you feel comfortable with to start, and as your knowledge progresses expend on your technique. I have seen some complains about number of errors in this book. For an errata please go to http://www.develop.com/hp/slip/Errata_1st.pdf. Also http://www.develop.com/hp/slip/windows.zip contains the source code for this book. In short (literally) we have a great book, which does a great job introducing C++ and at the same time, it is small enough to be carried around. I highly recommend it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Companion
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Sharon Crawford, Charlie Russel, Jason Gerend
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
An administrator's viewpoint

You need to understand the technology, not just the Microsoft how-to. Unfortunately this book doesn't give you much of the reason behind the decision to make a mouse click. It's basically click here for 1570 pages and way too much o f it. It has 250 pages on IIS and 20 pages on automated installs most of it is here's how it works stuff. There's a clustering chapter but the "real" clustering discussion is 10 pages half of which are screen shots! Much of this so-called administrator's companion is like that.

Try learning about the registry from it. It spends 10 pages telling you the registry is where windows stores stuff then goes on a socalled "whirlwind" tour of the registry. I found nothing useful. I'm not making it up its chapter 39 read it for yourself.

Try to learn about group policy? It is in a chapter on file resources! Again, I'm not making it up its chapter 10 and the whole entire group policy discussion is 10 pages.

Windows Administrator Companion is full of chapters that introduce stuff. Chapter 12 talks about scripting windows. Its 20 pages and can be summarized by saying WSH WMI ADSI can be used for scripting. Try to learn about network stuff like DNS? DHCP DNS WINS are lumped in one chapter with enough detail only to get you into trouble. Want to use disk quotas? There's 3 whole pages on it. Want to use EFS? There's 1 whole page on it. Want to use shadow copies? There a half of a page on it.

Some of the stuff in it doesn't even make sense. There's a chapter on configurnig mail services which seems only there to pad page count. It is 60 pages on Outlook 2002 and Outlook express if you can believe it???? Maybe it could have been chopped out and saved on the whopping $70 price.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A wonderful IQ test

Hofstadter brings three of my heroes Godel, Escher and Bach together and has become my hero number four.