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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fantastic! Easiest book to learn HTML from

This book can turn a complete novice into a person who can write great web pages in a day. It is very easy to follow and gives you visual examples every step of the way.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Basic 6 How to Program
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Tem Nieto, T.R. Nieto
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Not a good read without some outside help.

Poorly organized and poorly presented, if you're new to programming this is not the book for you.
Much like a disorganized instructor, the lack of focus and coherence was a constant frustration throughout this book. Typically, in an introductory text a topic will be defined, explained, then presented by example. This is not just good teaching practice, but also creates a structure that can be used to create a usable and efficient index -- something invaluable for a begginner. Unfortunately, this book does neither. The general trend in the presentation of material in this book is to simply drop in long snippets of code, followed by a rambling discussion on the topic of interest. This technique left me constantly attempting to parse the code example to make sense of what the author was talking about. And not surprisingly, the index is also very poor. If you look up a topic and go the page reference, it's likely you'll find yourself dropped into the middle of another rambling discussion, forcing you to backtrack and foretrack through the text.
Lastly, the authors do a poor job of introducing topics conceptually. For example, the section on Control Structures pretty much just dives in to code using various techniques without ever attempting to explain, to a reader with a beginners perspective, what a control structure is and in what types of situations you would want to use them. If you're looking for a first book in VB and you're new to programming, save yourself some heartache and major bucks--don't get this book. There are several others head and shoulders above this one.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java (tm) Certification
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Passed first try

I have never written a book review on Amazon. But, I just got home after passing the exam first try and I had to comment on how good this book is. I booked the exam about a year ago after taking a Java unit as part of my computer science course. Since then I have had very little Java exposure. I brought this book a little while ago, read it while on vacation, and passed the exam with flying colours. You probably need a little bit to get you on your way. But I believe it certainly isn't a prerequisite for making it with this book.One of the nice things is that it gave me some exposure to UML. This made learning the class packages and hierarchies a piece of cake.Here's my tip: GRAB THIS BOOK...read it thoroughly and spend time memorizing class hierarchies, rather than just learning language fundamentals. You need to know how to use stuff in the various packages to pass.This book is so well written. When I was reading it, on numberous occasions I felt like the author(s) was answering my questions as I they occurred to me. It's a bloody excellent book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution, C# Edition
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Marco Bellinaso, Kevin Hoffman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book is the best ASP.NET book out there now...

FINALLY!!! A book that tells you how to intelligently put everything together. This book goes through a complete and well thought out architecture of a book and DVD website. I will admit I wish they did a e-com example, but the example they demonstrate was done well enought that it could be applied to an e-com site. The book flows very nicely and it seems as if the authors actually understand what they are typing. It was very refreshing to read a book written by authors that have been programmers in the ASP arena and understand the nitty gritty details that most "non-programming" authors would fail to recognize. If you are wondering how you would go about setting up a good architecture for your website, this book is what you are looking for. A true "must have" for someone that needs to setup a well architected website. Like any technical book, I would strongly recommend you do the sample programming with the book as well.