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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Practical Guide to Solaris
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Mark G. Sobell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A good bit of work

This book is unusually useful, complete, and easy to read. The author's writing is not only clear, but even kindly, as if he understands that one consults such tomes often in a state of mental confusion or perturbation, and the last thing one wants are more cryptic utterances. For example the various shells are clearly distinguished, not just by context. The first among the stack of Unix books on my desk.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCAD/MCSD Training Guide (70-316): Developing and Implementing Windows-Based Applications with Visual C# and Visual Studio.NET
Publisher: Que
Authors: Amit Kalani
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Greaty book for learning and passing the exam

I bought this book 3 months before the exam. Studying 5-6 hours 2 days a week for aboout 10 weeks really helped me to pass the exam for the very first attempt.
Presentation of StepByStep examples was very useful.Everything on the exam is thoroughly covered in the book.
I passed the exam, using just this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Data Quality : The Field Guide
Publisher: Digital Press
Authors: Thomas C. Redman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Essential Guide to Data Quality

This is an excellent everyday guide to data quality. Easy to read and filled with tips and techniques for starting and improving a data quality program. The field guide format makes it a great reference book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy IX Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Brady Games
Authors: Dan Birlew
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Where's the Beef?

The strategy guide business is one of being partly an aid and partly a souvenir. It's not often that a guide manages to fail on both counts. Especially when the underlying game is one as complex and varied an RPG as Final Fantasy IX. I'm not sure what was going on at Squaresoft's planning tables when they thought this out (other than a desire to save pages) but the guide is missing many of the key elements that should make a player willing to but it.
Rather than provide a detailed walkthru, the information is split between the book and an online web site. All the real details, advice, and solutions require stopping the game, going online to find something out and then returning to the game. Since my Playstation is in one room, and the computer is in another, I wound up using the guide for high level order of play information and figuring everything else for myself. Since the game isn't particularly hard to follow through without a guide using it to amplify the playing experience is a futile exercise.
In addition, in several places the guide has an irritating habit of telling you to do one thing and then telling you several pages later to do something else. I generally don't read guides through from cover to cover while taking notes. Instead I use the guide when I run into an problem or to make sure I haven't missed a side quest. One thing a guide should never do is cause a mistake that means I have to replay 10 hours work in order to correct a tiny omission.
The supplied charts are acceptible, but uninspired in the amount of detail provided. And there are no maps worth mentioning. Even the amount and quality of imagery and graphic design are mediocre. Couple this with the fact that the website is generally accessible (all the manual does is provide special search keywords that really aren't needed) and I honestly can't encourage players to buy this guide.