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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Andrew Koenig, Barbara E. Moo
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
doesn't work for me but clearly has substance to it

i tried this book and became frustrated with learning c++( i quit at page 67 and began c++ primer plus). you had to take too much on faith. their approach of not starting at the beginning doesn't work. at least for me. also they don't give answers to the questions at the end of the chapters. what if i can't answer the question but want to learn from the answer? this isn't though one of those ... "for dummies" books. the authors clearly know their stuff and there is a good amount of information in this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: William R. Stanek
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Truly Excellent Guide!

This is THE book that I grab everytime I need to learn how to set something up. William has this incredible ability to feel like he is right in the room with me, looking over my shoulder. His explanations are great. Thanks William. You made my life much easier.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective STL: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of the Standard Template Library
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Scott Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good book for experienced stl user

Frankly this is not a beginner's book. You need some deep knowledge of c++ templates and working knowledge of stl to make the best out of this book.Aside from introducing some caveats in STL programming, the main achievement of this book is to introduce the more descent part of STL which is less commonly used.
If you only use STL in the same way you use traditional data structure interfaces, this is the book for you.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, Don Roberts
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
rare combo: authoritative, original, and well written

I needed to buy the book, to begin to get serious about the topic. Since it is the original, I expected it to be authoritative and useful, but perhaps somewhat dense and a bit hurried. Well it's not. It's extremely well-conceived and well-executed. The language, organization, and scope are all excellent. Fowler begins with and continually provides good examples, and always chooses a clear narrative arc through the theory and practice of this new discipline.
He makes a single book serve equally well as tutorial and reference, which is danged hard to do. The style of writing is confident, unpretentious, crisp as a Granny Smith apple, and occasionally witty. What issues he chooses to argue forcefully are few, and are not beaten to death. What a relief.
As a result, the non-reference sections are a much quicker and easier read than I expected, and one can actually browse the reference on refactorings usefully. The net effect is quite a convincing case that software engineers will inevitably become expert with refactorings, as we are required more and more to design our code according to objective standards for excellence, keep our code maintainable, and review it among peers. In any case, I am now among the converts.
If you found Fowler's UML Distilled to be well-written, you will like this one even better.
I think it is a gem of a book. I will read it many times.