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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Assembly Language for Intel-Based Computers (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Kip R. Irvine
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
It's pretty much ok

This book has a good opening. When I learn a programming language, I want to see a sample program as soon as possible. This book provides such a sample program immediately after a short introduction to hardware concepts. This sample program loads registers, changes their contents, and dumps them. One can type the program in, see how it works, and gain a good confidence for further reading.
The library procedures provided by the author are helpful for learning and debugging. Usually, programs in assembly languages are difficult to debug, and their execution is hard to track, even if debug software is used. For programs in high-level languages, one can easily insert into them input and output statements to track their execution. For assembly language, writing such statements may be harder than writing the program itself. With these library procedures, especially those for data input/output, one can easily track the execution.
The 4th edition of this book emphasizes programming in 32-bit protected mode. In this mode, flat memory addresses are used. Students do not have to convert a 16-bit segment-offset address into a 20-bit address. This tremendously simplifies the addressing concepts and eases the learning. This book does cover 16-bit real-mode in later chapters when students are more ready for it.
A good textbook must be easy for reading as well as for reference. This book has both features. It starts with short explanations, uses excellent diagrams, and discusses comprehensive applications for every topic covered. Topics are well classified into fundamentals and advanced, 32-bit Windows programming and 16-bit DOS programming, protected mode and real-address mode, etc. Important aspects of assembly language are all included, systematically organized, and well indexed.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle PL/SQL Programming, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steven Feuerstein
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book is awesom!

This book is great! Whatever I need about PL/SQL,
I found it in this book, with a detailed example,which fits
my needs exactly! It might not be suitable for beginners though,
you lose your patient reading before you learn the essential
of PL/SQL. Keep one on your desk for reference.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XML Bible (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Elliotte Rusty Harold
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good coverage of XML, but why bother?

ERH (the author) knows his XML terminology and concepts backwards and forwards - so if you want to learn what XML is all about you can do no wrong with this book. Stop reading here and buy a copy already. If you are not sure if you want to learn XML keep reading this review.
As a side note this book is HUGE.
After the first three chapters of this Bible you get into what is basically theory, since that is what XML is - theory (for most people anyway).
Now I'm a web developer, so I'm biased in that regard. If you are a web developer thinking of moving into the XML sphere - I have to ask why? Shouldn't you rather be learning some nice PHP or MySQL - stuff that will, you know, make your web site cool and useful instead of more (unnecessary) work for yourself?
Well I shouldn't say that (I did though didn't i?), you might be able to make an extremely complicated page out of XML if you are really, really bored. Or, you could just zap off some regular HTML that will actually work in most browsers for now and the forseable (?) future.
The best part of the book of course is that ERH (the author again) uses Baseball as his XML specification of choice - this makes it both interesting (as far as that is possible with this technology) and fun.
If you want to learn XML, pick up a copy of this hefty tome. If you aren't sure if you want to learn XML do not pick up a copy of this hefty tome as you will never read it, and even if you do you'll be unlikely to use any of it.
I like the cover - a standing robot. That's how you'll feel after 'reading' this incredibly large book. Actually you'll be sitting.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: User Interface Design for Programmers
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Joel Spolsky
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5

The book covers the basics of UI design. As a software developer I found it a good introduction to some of the basic principles involved. The book is not suitable as a reference work, as it only covers a finite set of ideas, and not in an exhaustive manner. However, the book is well written and does give one a solid foundation on which to build a more in-depth knowledge of UI design.