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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How the Internet Works, Seventh Edition
Publisher: Que
Authors: Preston Gralla
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
very elementary and superficial

A brilliant visual safari revealing the digital, virtual and visceral all and everything of the Internet for people who want it clear, quick and colorful.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Java, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Nice Java book that really excites me

I had learnt a few procedural languages before and I forget most of them. I tried reading just about every entry level Java books and I kind of gave up because there's not enough stamina to finish.
Java is pretty much like C until the OO things comes in. That's where I find it difficult to remember things: the method name, the variable names alone are too much too remember. So any book on Java that writes two paragraphes without finishing telling a concept/point is not going to cut it for me.
I ran into this book and I find it very concise and fun. All the little rules are presented so neatly together. I like it a lot and finished 80 some pages without a break. I am in Chapter 7 now and I can tell you I am kicking without real efforts. I shall write a complete review if that's allowed. Happy reading!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Ben Laurie, Peter Laurie
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Book Review - Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition)

This is a fairly comprehensive, 600-page guide to the Apache web server software. The book begins with an overview of what a web server and browser clients do, how they work, and planning/installing Apache. The book covers versions 1.3.x and 2.0.x, and the differences between them. After installation, the next few chapters explain the initial configuration required to get a working webserver, including the various directives blocks, access control, and setting up virtual hosts. Chapter 5 discusses how to implement authentication, passwords, and more on access control, such as using .htaccess files. Following chapters describe how to change settings for various web filetypes, indexing, imagemaps, and redirection of web page requests. Chapters 9 and 10 explain using a proxy, and the multitude of logging and status options which can be configured. One of the longer (and important) chapters, Chapter 11, goes into excellent detail about the security aspects of running a webserver. It includes discussion and examples on signatures, certificates, using SSL, and firewalls. General security precautions, real life scenarios, and even potential legal issues are addressed. The next section goes over building and administering a large website, and the issues associated with that. Also there is a chapter on adding web applications to your site to allow flexible user interaction, such as forms submission. There are then several chapters regarding add-ons and extensions to get even more from the webserver. These include PHP, CGI, Perl, mod_perl, XML, and Cocoon. There are numerous examples of coding provided, although most of them are somewhat basic in nature. One subject that I thought should have been addressed more was integrating the webserver with a database (such as MySQL), as this is a very common requirement. The last two chapters go over the Apache Application Programming Interface (API), and how to write Modules for Apache. This may be useful to more serious developers, but is probably too technical and difficult for the average casual user. The book closes with a good Index and there is also a very handy foldout inside the back cover which contains quick-reference data for the most commonly used configurations and commands. Overall this book seems to "cover all the bases". It was useful to me as a beginner to set up a testing webserver, and yet has extra details and information for those more advanced webmasters. The quick reference section especially, should be very useful to experienced Apache users. I would highly recommend the book for anyone wanting to start or improve their knowledge in running the Apache webserver.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes, Third Edition
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Ben Forta
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good as a basic intro, but don't depend solely on this book

This book is clearly aimed at the beginning SQL programmer with little or no knowledge of relational databases. It's a good intro that will quickly get the reader up to speed at writing some very simple queries and updates on an existing database.
However, in working with other programmers, I've learned that it's true about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. If your only knowledge of SQL and relational databases comes from this book, you're in danger of missing out on some very basic information, such as how to normalize a database or perform an outer join.
If you learn SQL from this book, you'll quickly want to get another book on SQL that's more complete to fill you in on this missing critical information. Unless for some reason you need to start programming in SQL as soon as possible (in other words, before you understand what you're doing), just skip this book and buy just the more complete book.