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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Problem Solving, Abstraction, and Design using C++, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Frank L. Friedman, Elliot B. Koffman
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not for the Beginner / Advanced

This book was required for the first semester programming class. Now I was able to understand 'cause I was in CS and had been programming for 10 years. But the history majors in my class were crying cause this book couldn't really explain the basic concepts. many of the intro to programming classes are core classes in Univs in US. So, a guy who's in CS, I assume wouldn't have any problem cause it's way too low level for him. Whereas those who really need this book..Art majors, or those who want to learn what programming in C++ is..will have a tough time..
I wouldn't recommend this book..cause it's too poor for a guy who knows C++ and too tough for those who don't.. They haven't been able to get that balance.
Another interesting point I was able to observe was that this text gives all source code example with Visual C++ in mind. Most of the Univs in US prefer to teach this course on Unix platforms, and so a book more relevent to Unix would be appropriate.
I give it 2 stars, cause it isn't all that bad a book that doesn't make sense. I still go back to it sometimes to look up the syntax and some basic stuff..But nothing more than that.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective Java Programming Language Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Joshua Bloch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the Best Java References for Effective OOD

This book has proved to be one of the easiest to read out of the Java books I own and have read. Bloch does an excellent job of defining a straightforward methodology to OOPing. This book is probably not for a beginner in Java, but rather for someone with 1 - 2 years Java under their belt and serious about true OO.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Foundations of Service Level Management
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Rick Sturm, Wayne Morris
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Much-needed book on a neglected topic

There is a real dearth of books that deal with service level management from an IT pespective, which makes this a "must-have" for consultants, production services managers and others in IT whose job involves service delivery.
The book is straightforward and puts service level management into perspective. It addresses all key process areas for establishing, implementing and managing service delivery. Also provided are artifacts from the authors' web site that are invaluable to anyone who is in the process of implementing SLM.
I especially like the business case approach taken to quantify the value of a sound service delivery program, and also thought that treament of how to negotiate a service level agreement was a highlight of this book.
Why 4 stars instead of 5? Some of the URLs provided in the book either were dead or led to sites that did not provide valuable content.
If service delivery is your business I strongly recommend this book. There are two companion books that should also be on your book shelf: IT Services Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing (the material complements this book) and Mission Critical Systems Managemet (also complements this book, but also has an excellent SLA template and addresses SLM in a comprehensive manner).

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web
Publisher: Pearson Education
Authors: Christina Wodtke
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The "Don't Make Me Think" of Information Architecture

Christina Wodtke has done for Information Architecture what Steve Krug did for usability - produce a practical and accessible introduction to the field. 'Blueprints' provides a pragmatic look at the practice of information architecture, illustrating a solid "toolbox" of techniques and methods useful for web designers, producers, developers, and others involved in the creation and evolution of web sites.
Wodtke's quirky humor and light tone make the book an easy read, but don't let the fresh style convince you that the content is lightweight. Behind the breezy prose is solid instruction in methods that hit the sweet spot of effective tools that still work with limited budgets. The "How-to" coaching is coupled with reasonable explanations about why and when to apply the techniques...Ms. Wodtke doesn't just prescribe methodology, she informs the reader with enough theory behind the practice to explain and justify it to management, clients, or other team members.
The tools taught in the book all center on creating a web site with great usability and findability - where things are easy to use and content is easy to find. While the "toolbox" isn't complete, it's a great foundation for pursuing a user-centered approach to creating web sites.
The book's biggest shortcoming is inevitable - IA is a complex field, and there could be so much more detail on some of the topics. Sometimes I felt that I wanted more on a particular subject, and it wasn't there. But to keep the book readable and accessible, some things have to be left out. The book's recommended reading list does go into more depth on many of the topics, providing an avenue for people to learn more once they've absorbed the lessons here.
Overall, this is a great debut and a valuable addition to the field of information architecture and the broader practice of web design and development. Experienced information architects will find little new here, but it's great to have a book that acts as a gentle on-ramp to IA and puts so much into one package. If you're new to the field, work in a related discipline like graphic design, or want to have a quick explanation of various IA methods for colleagues, I highly recommend Blueprints for the Web.