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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Google Hacks, 2nd Edition (Hacks)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Amazing Google "Quick Reference"


Google is one of the (if not the foremost) most well-known search engines on the 'Net and this book of 100 "Google Hacks" makes anyone's forays into searching on Google much easier and fun. Among the hacks listed in Chapter 1 include "getting around Google's 10 Word Search Limit," Mixing Syntaxes, Date-Range Searching, Using Full-Word Wildcards, Tracking Stocks, and searching article archives. Perfect for "non-geeky types like me. But wait, there's much more! Chapter 2 discusses Google's Special Services and Collections, like the Google Directory, newsgroups and images. There's a chapter explaining the Google Web API and another chapter listing hacks for Google Web API programs. Chapter 7 lists a few hacks (ie. "pranks") you can pull on your friends if you're in a playful mood.
The authors have put the usual excellent and thorough job into this book that I've known to love and appreciate about all O'Reilly books. Not only do they take the time to thoroughly explain Google and topics related to Google, they also with a number of hacks show code examples, making it easy to implement them.
Hacks (and hackers, not crackers) in recent times have gotten a bad name as another reviewer pointed out. The 100 hacks this book lists are ones that are of benefit to all who use Google as their primary search engine.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: RHCE Red Hat Certified Engineer Linux (Exam RH302)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Michael Jang
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Decent Review could use a little more depth


I bought this book based mainly on the reviews on Amazon. For the most part I'm not dissapointed in my purchase. I would like MJ to edit the next edition by taking out a things like the unnecessary repetitive exam tips that keep stressing how command line tools are much faster than GUI tools.. The Prerequisite section Chapter one states that one must be an accomplished Linux Administrator to take the RHCE. As such you are well aware of this fact and don't need to be told over and over.

I wish MJ would have written this more for the accomplished Linux Administrator and not for somebody jumping from MS technology.. you will be hard pressed to pass if you aren't very UNIX and RedHat savvy. Add more complex labs with better answer details.

He has laid a good foundation here and I'm hoping to pass this test soon by self study and lots of practice (and several years of on the job redhat). Hopefully the next edition will be more focused and geared towards Linux Administrators.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very well done


This is one of the better Overview Java books I have yet to read. I recommend this book to any programmer who knows the basics but everything just doesn't make sense. This book puts Java into perspective. Good Job Bruce!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Telecommunications Essentials
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Lillian Goleniewski
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The best telecom reference in print


Lillian Goleniewski has done the IT community a service. She's written a coherent, comprehensive guide to the telecommunications world. "Telecommunications Essentials" doesn't omit technical details. It frames them within a business and historical context that similar books lack. I've read and reviewed three other recently published telecom titles, and this one is clearly the best. Some of the details I enjoyed were descriptions of how fiber is manufactured, the number of wire pairs associated with various transmission media, and specifications for various global television standards. The telecom world is full of agencies, standards, and products, each referenced by a three- or four-letter acronym. Lillian guides the reader through this technology jungle, offering clear descriptions and historical background. She also provides a thorough glossary (87 pages) and index. Another of the book's impressive features is its global focus, with attention given to E- and J- carrier, as well as T-carrier, systems. Other examples include cellular telephone frequencies used worldwide. Numerous diagrams and figures illustrate the author's main points. The book is not perfect enough to merit five stars. It suffers from minor typos and at least one technical error. Sadly, like many networking books, "Telecommunications Essentials" states that TCP sequence numbers count individual packets. This is false; TCP sequence numbers count bytes of data. Although I am not qualified to critique the accuracy of the phone-related information, I was pleased to see the remainder of the networking material was correct. "Telecommunications Essentials" is a must-buy if you want to learn about the telecom world. Although the author devotes too many words to describing the use of technology, and future trends, overall the book is excellent.