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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the CISSP and ISSEP Exams, Second Edition
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Ronald L. Krutz, Russell Dean Vines
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Best available so far!!

It's been said many times that the vast ocean of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is fifty miles wide and two miles deep and preparing for it can be quite an overwhelming endeavor. Various on-line study groups and web sites have numerous suggestions and links where freely available materials and helpful hints may be found. Individuals share there study guides and suggest the best books to procure for the study quest. I myself have participated and contributed in these vibrant forums. It's been said many times over that NO one book can effectively cover the CBK and to prepare the CISSP candidate for the exam. I too have amassed a large collection of the most suggested tomes. Well The CISSP Prep Guide almost negates this statement. The CISSP Prep Guide is now the FIRST place to start! I wish it had been in print a year ago when I began my quest for the CISSP. It is a complete and affordable textbook covering the MEAT of the CBK. This book completely defines and explains the major points of the CBK. It is an extremely readable and understandable text. If you can't afford attending the ISC2 CISSP Seminar either because of cost or time away from work this book is for you. If you have already attended the CISSP Seminar this book is for you. I was blessed by having the opportunity in attending the CISSP Seminar yet I am still finding that The CISSP Prep Guide is building upon the materials presented in the seminar. I can see where my copy of The CISSP Prep Guide will quickly become a dog-eared reference text that I use to refer to while carrying out my duties as an Information Systems Security Officer with the U.S. Government.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft(r) SQL Server(tm) 2000 Analysis Services Step by Step
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: OLAP Train, Reed Jacobson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Nice walk-through if the examples fit your needs

The book covers Analysis Services quite well if you are willing to go through the steps that they have for each section. As the name implies it steps you through examples and is NOT a reference guide by any means. It is also not a step by step guide that you can just read. You must be working through the examples while you read or you will get lost pretty fast because many examples build on previous ones. Their coverage of MDX is fairly weak unless you need exactly what they query on. Other than that they cover the topics pretty well.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Numerical Recipes in C : The Art of Scientific Computing
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Authors: William H. Press, Brian P. Flannery, Saul A. Teukolsky, William T. Vetterling
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent reference, but poor writing style and license

I had to endure reading this book for 2 long semesters, and I've come to know some parts of it pretty well. I'll try to be short and say that the book is an excellent reference for the practicioner (and for the poor student:) - however, the ill-placed "jokes" have terribly annoyed me and my fellow class mates. Entire pagagraphs in almost every section dedicated to some second-tier humor were not so helpful in solving numerical problems.
The license for the code is just bad and I found it rather pointless, given the cost of the book (for me it's expensive; and I know it's downloadable). The authors should maybe reconsider this at a later stage...
PS: The GNU Scientific Library implements most, if not all, of the NR routines. It might be worth checking out, since it's also in plain C.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Creating Photomontages with PhotoshopA Designer's Notebook
Publisher: O'Reilly
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
subtle methods of composition

Ever wonder how to compose a funky digital montage? Perhaps like those you see so often in magazines. Well, Photoshop has many ways for you to accomplish this, as demonstrated here. Other simpler books invariably show how you can include various image files into a Photoshop document and then do some elementary special effects. Trouble is, such efforts often yield crude results.

By contrast, artists in this book explain far more graceful techniques. Such that, collectively, a final image may reasonably be regarded as artwork in its own right.

The nine example chapters let you see different methods and together they demonstrate not a single correct way, but a spectrum of approaches. Which may encourage you to experiment. In this sense, the book is open ended, if you adopt this attitude.