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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Authors: SIMON SINGH
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Takes me back... and ahead


When I was a boy, I was obsessed with secret writing (as, I imagine, almost every child with at least one nosy sibling becomes) and read everything the local library's Juvenile section had on the topic. I was disappointed to discover, when I went looking for more material, that there was apparently more cryptography material for kids than for grown-ups! This book not only took me back to those days with its discussion of secret writing throughout history (scytales, Playfair, Vignere...), it's also got an excellent section on cryptography in the World Wars (an excellent companion to Neal Stephenson's novel "Cryptonomicon" in that regard!) and also explains the fundamental concepts of public-key cryptography in a readable, understandable format. As in Singh's earlier work on Fermat's Last Theorem, the people involved in creating and in breaking codes are often the focus, and some of these peope are fascinating. (Singh takes a break from strict cryptography at one point to discuss the "breaking" of ancient writing systems such as Egyptian hieroglyphics and Linear B, and this reminded me most strongly of "Fermat's Enigma," as Singh's narrative carried the mysteries of interpretation from one researcher to the next.) The final chapter on quantum cryptography is a fascinating glimpse into what may be the "final frontier" of cryptography. Of course, any book like this one that discusses a still-evolving field gets dated pretty quickly; it is silly to expect Singh to mention the recent expiration of RSA's public-key patents or the relaxation of US export restrictions on strong cryptography, since these have all occurred within just the last few months, but the book nevertheless feels somehow incomplete without them!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Authors: SIMON SINGH
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Takes me back... and ahead


When I was a boy, I was obsessed with secret writing (as, I imagine, almost every child with at least one nosy sibling becomes) and read everything the local library's Juvenile section had on the topic. I was disappointed to discover, when I went looking for more material, that there was apparently more cryptography material for kids than for grown-ups! This book not only took me back to those days with its discussion of secret writing throughout history (scytales, Playfair, Vignere...), it's also got an excellent section on cryptography in the World Wars (an excellent companion to Neal Stephenson's novel "Cryptonomicon" in that regard!) and also explains the fundamental concepts of public-key cryptography in a readable, understandable format. As in Singh's earlier work on Fermat's Last Theorem, the people involved in creating and in breaking codes are often the focus, and some of these peope are fascinating. (Singh takes a break from strict cryptography at one point to discuss the "breaking" of ancient writing systems such as Egyptian hieroglyphics and Linear B, and this reminded me most strongly of "Fermat's Enigma," as Singh's narrative carried the mysteries of interpretation from one researcher to the next.) The final chapter on quantum cryptography is a fascinating glimpse into what may be the "final frontier" of cryptography. Of course, any book like this one that discusses a still-evolving field gets dated pretty quickly; it is silly to expect Singh to mention the recent expiration of RSA's public-key patents or the relaxation of US export restrictions on strong cryptography, since these have all occurred within just the last few months, but the book nevertheless feels somehow incomplete without them!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional SQL Server 2000 DTS (Data Transformation Services) (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Mark Chaffin, Brian Knight, Todd Robinson
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
No rush to judgment


I am new to DTS and VB. This book was a big help in the early chapters. It got me using the basic DTS features. Now I'm up to page 308 and have just spent 1-1/2 hours keying in a VB example. It doesn't work. I went over the code; I've keyed it in as it is shown and it still doesn't work. I do not have the expertise to troubleshoot it. I'm beginning to have my doubts about the next 800 pages. Sorry, guys. Before you publish you should try this stuff out on real world users.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: An Introduction to Database Systems (Introduction to Database Systems)
Publisher: Addison Wesley Longman
Authors: C. J. Date
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Definetly a must-have


What the Torah is to Judism, what the New Testament is to Christianity, so is "Intro" to relational database theory and practice. One can not reasonably consider themselves a competent practitioner (or even student) of the topic without thorough mastery of "Intro".