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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Flanagan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must have book!!

This book is a must for anyone wishing to add active content to their web pages. It is complete, very well written, and filled with code examples. I enjoyed it very much and decided to add it to my list of favorite internet programming books on my "Visual Basic Book Reviews" web site. You can't go wrong with this one!

Product: Book - Textbook Binding
Title: Design of the UNIX Operating System (Prentice Hall Software Series)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Maurice J. Bach
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Unix Internals in an algorithmic approach

The book explains almost every aspect of the unix kernel in an algorithmic fashion. All the system calls and explained as algorithms which is very useful if you want to implement some.
kudos to Bach for his great work.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET Unleashed, Second Edition
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Stephen Walther
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A solid first step.

Having come from a UNIX background, I needed a book that would help me get up to speed in developing web-based applications in the Microsoft world. I bought 4 other disappointing books before finally discovering this one. What I like about this book was that it does not necessarily assume that you have developed in classic ASP. Many books spend too much time comparing and contrasting ASP.NET with ASP.
The book is not a "how to program" type book. It assumes that you are an experienced developer who wants to learn how to use ASP.NET. There is not a lot of handholding or a lengthy introduction to the .NET framework. The book gets to business really quickly. I was a bit wary given the size of the book. But surprisingly, there is no frivolous filler just to make the book thick.
I found the coverage of ADO.NET to be very good considering that this is a book without ADO in its title. I will eventually buy a good book that gives extensive coverage to ADO, but this one has sufficed for my first project. I especially appreciate that the book shows how to call stored procedures.
If you are trying to figure out how to use Visual Studio to write your ASPs, this is not the book for you. This book could be used with just the SDK and not Visual Studio. Nevertheless, I had no problems using the examples from this book in Visual Studio. As a result, I do not use the ADO.NET drag and drop controls simply because I've learned how to do it via the keyboard.
The examples are designed to show how each feature works, not to show you how to write a full-fledged application. So, most of the examples mix the VB.NET code in with the HTML. This is fine b/c it saves space in the book and allows you to see easily the point of the example. But, you will most likely not mix your HTML and code in a real life project. Unfortunately, I've seen some who are using this book to learn ASP.NET assume that this is how applications should be written. (There is a section that explains how the code-behind works, but some people do not read cover-to-cover.)
I am doing all of my development in C#, but this book covers VB.NET. That is probably a good choice on the part of the author since most people that I've met who are doing ASP.NET development are using VB.NET. I had few problems converting the VB.NET to C#. If you are new to both languages, like I am, you'll spend a little time scratching your head trying to figure out how to covert to C# the code that extracts info inside a Dataset. But, once you poke around a little, it isn't too hard.
The end of the book pulls together many of the lessons learned by presenting two full web application examples. This is a good thing since, as I mentioned before, the examples throughout the book are very short and to the point. I like this approach versus the approach of incrementally building on to one very large application from chapter to chapter. Walther's allows you to refer to each chapter or topic as a stand alone entity.
I will be keeping an eye on Walther's future books. I enjoy his writing style. He does not waste words, but still makes concepts very easy to understand. He is truly gifted in this respect.
So far the only major weak point of this book has to do with the index. When I try to find something that I know that I have read in the book before, my search in the index often fails me. Keep your hi-lighter handy because you'll find yourself flipping through chapters trying to find something that you've read before.
Of course, the CD that he refers to was not included with the book, but that is no big deal. I'd prefer to download stuff from a web site anyway.
Though I will buy more books on .NET development, this one will be within reach for a good long while.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective C++: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Design (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Scott Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great book, esp. if you have used C++ for several months

I've looked at lots of C++ books, both beginning and advanced. This one was perfect for me to improve my C++ programming style, effectiveness, understanding, and power after I had been working in C++ for awhile. Yet it is very readable and interesting. This is in sharp contrast with most C++ books that are either too simple for a good programmer, or go into amazingly complex examples and programming techniques, thinking that THAT means they're advanced. I highly recommend this book.