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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop 7 for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Barbara Obermeier, Deke McClelland
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Author Stars In Another Medium; not this one

I do not care for this Dummies' approach to Photoshop at all. It is very non-visual and it is laced heavily throughout with attempts at humor, all of which should have been editied out of the book. However, I've discovered that this author's, McClelland's, strength is not here but in the videotape series he does for Adobe, some of which can be seen online at Adobe's main site. I've taken some of his tutorials there and they are excellent and extremely visual. My guess is that he got locked into this Dummies' book format, which may have worked for another topic, but does not work for learning the most visual graphics program in the computer world. Bypass this product and investigate this author in other, visual media he uses for teaching you Photoshop instead.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies
Authors: Roger S. Pressman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Get it, read it, do it

This book teachs you how to write hundreds of pages of documentation before writing even a single line of code. If you work for the government or a bureaucratic large company, you may get a promotion for the documentation. If you work for an effeciency oriented small company, you will get fired. My prediction is: any company that fully implements the author's method of project management will lose in competition and have to lay off half of its programers within 5 years. This was what happened to IBM 5 years ago and may soon happen to Motorola. As a consultant, the author knows very well how to make a simple problem very difficult to be understood: unnecessary classifications, unnecessary introduction of not well defined abstract new terminologies and so on. Just look at a couple of examples: A control is in fact just a binary (true of false) data. Seperating it from other data doubles the pages. A data transaction differs very little from a data transform, but seperating them doubles the pages again. A good point is: if you don't know how to communicate to your customer, the author teachs you how: You may send him a short memo, or a report, or a request, or a documentation, ... You may have an informal chat with him, or you may have a formal meeting with him, ... You may send him an e-mail, or you may fax him, or you may have a video-conference with him, or you may simply give him a phone call, ... (you may leave him a message in case he's not in, this is all I can think of to append to the author's list.) All these methods are well categorized in the book. Hope all readers can benifit from the instruction. Xiaolong Wu Loyola Univ. (Chicago)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Managing Contacts with ACT! 2005
Publisher: Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade
Authors: Edward Kachinske
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must have for the latest version of ACT!

This book is great! The new version of ACT! has been completely overhauled, and while the folks at Best Software did a fairly good job of "preserving the ACT! experience", there are enough new features and changes in the product to warrant a little guidance.

The format of the book made it easy to find just what I was looking for, exactly when I needed it. It is well written and I enjoyed the author's style.

I live and breathe in my ACT! database, and the book is sitting on my desk next to my laptop. I could not imagine navigating the new version of ACT! without this trusty guide.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Authors: Michael Dell, Catherine Fredman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Dell has the gift of listening to what customers want.

An interesting perspective from the man himself. Dell goes through how he started the company.