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Product: Book - Textbook Binding
Title: Cisco LAN Switching (CCIE Professional Development series) (The Cisco Press Ccie Professional Development Series)
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Kennedy Clark, Kevin Hamilton
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The "bible" on switching

This book is a must for every network engineer and designer! The content is very detailed and well structured, you may skip chapters and go back and forth if you don't feel that you don't need to read them (not suggested ;). The chapters on STP are probably the best material ever written.
It covers the whole lifecycle of a network - from the design to troubleshooting and every part of it is excellent and very well-explained which makes it easy to understand (as long as this could be "easy" ;).
Unfortunately the CLSC 1.0 test (from the CCNP track) focuses on a little different aspect than this book, which doesn't make this book less valuable. If you're planning on taking CLSC 2.0 (which is coming live later this year) this book fits so well like the test questions are written by the authors (quite likely ;).
In my opinion this book and "Routing TCP/IP" by Jeff Doyle are the best books on networking (and Cisco) ever written.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Programmer's Cookbook
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Matthew MacDonald
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fast answers to 318 problems

This is exactly the book I've been looking for. It has practical how-to code that covers every aspect of the (impossibly huge) .NET framework. Recipes are lean, well explained, and very practical. This is one book I know I'll return to again and again. And when I'm done with the 318 recipes in here, I hope to get more online (the author has posted new recipes at his website http://www.prosetech.com/vbcookbook -- hopefully more will come in the future). Overall, I can't say enough about this book. Highly recommended!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Excel 2003 Programming Inside Out
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Wayne S. Freeze, Curtis Frye, Felicia K. Buckingham
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Just a so so book...

Whenever I see a Microsoft Press book, I am cautious because their is usually less than expected. This is another one of those books. The topics covered are excellent, but their doesn't seem to be much attention to the details. What happened to the CD-ROM sample code for chapter 14? Buy if you must, but be warned.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Data Structures & Algorithms in Java (Mitchell Waite Signature Series)
Publisher: Waite Group Press
Authors: Mitchell Waite, Robert Lafore
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the best Data Structures books around

I am surprised that most instructors haven't banned this book! It is absolutely one of the best data structures references on the market and with answers provided with the enclosed CD, one perfect "cheat book." Virtually all the standard data structures for an introductory DS&A course are included here with a good explanation behind the rationale used in the implementation of the code. Lafore is a good writer and explains things well, unlike certain authors. The book isn't heavy on the mathematics, which is good for programmers who don't want to get involved with theory. The applets which implement the data structures are particularly nice.
As mentioned in a previous review, trees are not covered well in this book, but most introductory books don't cover them well either. I don't expect to see an analysis of AVL or red-black trees in an introductory book (Cormen's text, which is the standard for grad school, doesn't explain trees well either). In fact, only Schaffer's book does a creditable job of explaining AVL trees but the implementation of the code isn't the greatest. But for linked lists, stacks,queues, and the like, there are few books that are the equal of this one. Buy the book and you'll pass your DS&A class with flying colors!