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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Security+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Gregory White
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Timing is everything these days.


One thing about certifications and study guide I have seen over the years is he who gets there first is the book that most people choose. While this is the generally accepted rule, rules do have exceptions.

Having worked on and currently working on Security+ material, this book is objective complete. Greg White, the author, has an excellent grasp of the material. He uses excellent examples and note to illustrate his points.

For he most part the book is detailed, I was especially impressed with the Cryptography section and the algorithm breakdown. I have never seen this in any book before.

There are certainly a good number of practice questions both in the book and on the cd-rom, and they appear to have the exam covered. Overall the book is a good source of information; timing is the big issue here.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Applied Microsoft .NET Framework Programming
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jeffrey Richter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Essential .NET Book


As a highly experienced VB/COM developer, I have been making the move over the C# and .NET. I have spent hours at the book stores looking over nearly every book available. I have bought a bunch of books as well, but none have come close to this book as far as insight, depth of knowledge, and .NET fundamentals. Mind you, this book is by no means for programming or object oriented beginners. It is meant for programmers who really know their stuff, but now want to know their stuff on .NET. Expecting to create a .NET solution without thorough knowledge of the material in this book would be seriously shortchanging your app.
Each chapter of this book covers a different fundamental piece of .NET -- Methods, Events, Shared Assemblies, Exceptions, etc. Without getting too language specific, he writes thoroughly about how these fundamentals were meant to be used. It is clear that he spent a lot of time with the Microsoft .NET team, as much of the material in this book is unavailable elsewhere, to my knowledge. But this book is far from a Microsoft infomercial, as so many are. For example, he talks about C# primitive types and actually disagrees with Microsoft's C# language spec with regard to their usage.
In summary, I would highly recommend this book to any experienced programmer who is serious about getting up to speed with .NET.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Applied Microsoft .NET Framework Programming
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jeffrey Richter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best book on the details of .Net


I wouldn't exactly call this book an introductory level look into .Net. In fact, I'd recommend that you already be familiar with most of the core concepts of .Net before you try reading it. As a consultant to the .Net development staff, Jeff gives the details of .Net like very few other people can. Some parts of the book go well beyond what a "normal" programmer would attempt to do (like create unmanaged windows handles), but the examples are clear as to how it works and what best practices should be followed. It's by far the best .Net book I've read so far. Someone asked if they could borrow it now that I'm finished with mine and I told them to go buy their own. It's a great piece of reference material and the binding is well worn already from reading and referencing during my projects. Well done, Jeff. Well done.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mind Hacks (Hacks)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Tom Stafford, Matt Webb
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
a wetware book


Remember those optical illusions you read in books as a kid? If these were school books, they probably gave no deeper explanation than to say that these were just tricks that the mind played on itself. Now, this book offers to take you into a deeper understanding of those and other related phenomena.

The book is totally at variance with the other O'Reilly Hacks books. Those concern various hardware and software. Whereas Stafford and Webb discuss the wetware of your brain. Much of the text should be familiar to biology and psychology students. But not to programmers. The authors summarise what they consider salient concepts about the brain, in general language. Along with references to research papers in journals and websites. All this is shoehorned into the format of a Hacks book. Which is quite unlike a standard biology text layout. So the book is unconventional in several ways.

One of the hacks is famous in maths. There are three doors. Behind one is a prize, while the other two have goats [i.e. no prize]. You pick a door. Then the umpire looks behind the other 2 doors and opens one that has a goat. So do you switch doors or not, in order to maximise your chances of getting the prize?

You may well find the book unsatisfying. The authors make it plain that much remains unknown about the brain. A conceptual incompleteness that cannot be avoided in any text. Other Hacks books might have a solution to a hack that is code, say. Well, either it works or it does not. And if it works [the usual case], then that is that. Whereas in this book, an answer to a hack does give more information, but may often beg for deeper clarification that no one can furnish.