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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, Jon Orwant
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
It's so-so until chapter 5, then it's chaos.

O'Reilly is notorious for taking the cheap road when it comes to writers, and you really feel it when you hit chapter 5. They seem to be spitting every last little detail about packages/mods at you all at once, rather than starting with basics and building up. All I want to do is the perl equivalent af a simple #include, and it's taken me 4 hours to get a "hello world" function to be called from another .pl file.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Database Systems: A Practical Approach to Design, Implementation, and Management, Third Edition
Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company
Authors: Thomas Connolly, Carolyn Begg
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book is a great and comprehensive database book.

This book will teach you everything you need to know about databases from start to finish. The SQL sections have everything from the basics to more advanced queries. You really get more bang for your buck with this book!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Absolute Beginner's Guide to Computer Basics
Publisher: Que
Authors: Michael Miller
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
for an adult reader

[This is a review of the SECOND EDITION.]

Miller continues in his series of introductory computer books with this offering. An easy look at computers, aimed at the complete tyro. Slightly cartoony in some of the figures. But it is not aimed at kids, though they could certainly gain from it. A typical user is suggested by the cover. Like perhaps a middle-aged person who thus far has sat out learning this stuff.

Like I said, it is not a kid's book. The narrative is sober. Miller is careful to minimise the use of computer jargon. And when he does introduce such jargon, you get s clear explanation. Look, you're not going to feel like you're reading your child's textbook. Whether by accident or design, Miller seems to have positioned this book as somewhat of a contrast to a Dummy's or Idiot's book, even though all 3 might be aimed at the same audience.

By the way, he concentrates on Microsoft computers. Apple and linux users may gnash their teeth at this, but he is just following the market realities.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Tomcat: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jason Brittain, Ian F. Darwin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Concise, Organized and Well Written

This book is a great, concise guide to setting up and administering Tomcat. No assumptions are made that you have years of Java or system administration experience. The book directly tackles ninety-eight percent of the questions that the average Tomcat administrator is going to have without having to sift through thousands of pages of worthless fluff. I was able to sit down and read the book over a single weekend.
As concise and straightforward as the book is, it still takes on the more complex topics like Building Tomcat from Source, Tomcat Security, and Tomcat Clustering. But I imagine that, like me, you will end up permanently creasing the book binding on Chapter 7: Configuration Files and Their Elements. Especially if you actually end up setting up and running Tomcat.
In typical O'REILLY style the book is well organized and well written. It is not one of those technical books that require reading the same sentence three times just to understand its content. Instead the authors have an easy to read style that gracefully flows from topic to topic.
Thanks to the authors Jason Brittain and Ian F. Darwin and of course to O'REILLY for another worthy edition to my reference library.