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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional ASP.NET Performance
Publisher: Wrox Press
Authors: Matt Odhner, Doug Thews, James Avery, James Greenwood, Andrew Reid, K. Scott Allen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great book!

This book is exceptional. It provides several programming scenarios for different operations, then lists the good and bad points of each. It also explains in which situation they are best used. For example: .NET Remoting vs. Web Services vs. COM
There are several performance tips given that I never thought about and they really work . . . I, of course, had to test them for myself.
If you are like me, you don't have time to test every scenario to find out which technique is best for every situation, this book helped to guide me in the right direction.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Security in Computing, Third Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Charles P. Pfleeger, Shari Lawrence Pfleeger
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An outstanding text and reference in the INFOSEC Field

In 1989, I read the first edition of "Security in Computing" which was one of the best books in the information security field. Fourteen years later, I find the 2003 third edition even better. This is my primary textbook in a graduate course I teach. I also recommend this text to commercial students who are in my CISSP Common Body of Knowledge seminars. What I like best about this book is the index and the bibliography. Personally, I use this text as a reference to remind myself of the concise descriptions of some difficult security issues or protocols. I also recommend this book for managers to develop insights for interviewing potential candidates. The book, just like the field, is very broad and can assist you in understanding the big picture view in information security. It can help you focus on requirements in the development of a secure computing environment and develop some metrics as you define your security architecture. Having spent several decades in the information security field, I find this to be an excellent book for the classroom as well as the reference shelf of information security practitioner and manager in an enterprise environment.
J Holleran, CISSPRetired Technical DirectorNational Computer Security Center

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Step by Step--Version 2003 (Step By Step (Microsoft))
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Michael Halvorson
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Not even good for beginners

This is indeed a step-by-step, but moves so slowly that anyone with any experience with an object-oriented programming language is probably going to be ready to scream by the third chapter. The author also does even beginners a disservice when he defines objects as a "user interface element you create on a Visual Basic form with a Toolbox control" I guess that ADO.NET connection, record set and data set objects aren't really objects.
N-tier development and non-visual objects are not new ideas, even to Visual Basic programmers, and are concepts that should be taught to beginners from day one - old-timers (like me) have worked very hard to overcome those old ways of thinking, and I see no reason to encourage beginners to adopt such retro concepts, forcing them to un-learn it all when they become professional programmers. The author avoids discussing inheritance until the last third of the book, and then only spends about 20 pages on it, still describing it in the context of forms and form controls.
The C# step-by-step in this series is excellent. Maybe the authors of that book could be pursuaded to do the next edition of this one.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning UNIX Operating System, Fifth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jerry Peek, Grace Todino-Gonguet, John Strang
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
This book is a waste of money

This book covers many areas but only breifly at best. I do not recommend this book. I strongly suggest you look at other books. I found this book very frustrating and at times threw the book across the room in anger. I'm not sure who the intended audience was supposed to be, perhaps elementary students writing a book report on the Unix OS, even then it provides very little information.