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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Swing, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: James Elliott, Marc Loy, David Wood, Brian Cole
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Java Swing is a MUST-BUY book for serious Java developers

This book shines the spotlight on the voluminous swing APIs. This book is a perfect cross between a reference and a tutorial. It not only contains full details on every public and protected method and member in the entire class hierarchy, but clearly and consisely explains how the class fits in and how to use it effectively. There are plenty of well written examples as well. Finally, the book is well-edited. Considering it was written against a late-beta version of JDK 1.2, it has remarkably few typos or errors.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Tao of Network Security Monitoring : Beyond Intrusion Detection
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Richard Bejtlich
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
From Security Analyst to CSO this is "the way".

Rich Bejtlich has taken a very common sense approach to Network Security Monitoring as he describes in detail NSM terminology, open source security tools, industry best processes, and provides valuable training suggestions for Security Analysts as well as well thought out case study information for Management.

The real world examples from Rich's extensive Incident Response experience highlight many crucial points throughout the book both from commercial and government perspectives.

Easy to understand network diagrams and detailed technical examples are prevalent throughout the book to illustrate each concept with great attention to detail.

The book wisely focuses in on a plethora of open source security technologies and analytical techniques but also go to great lengths to point out that process, procedure and methodology are equally important when preparing your organization for an eventual compromise.

Whether you are new to network security and need guidance in your career, setting up your own SOC or CSIRC capability, or a seasoned veteran looking for ways to improve your skill set or that of the organization you represent, The Tao of Network Security Monitoring is an essential part of your preparation!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
What a great book

I know I'll be labelled as a complete nerd for saying this, but I really enjoyed just *reading* this book. The style is amazing; I hope the authors are going to write more. It's really, really, clear and direct and without any "and thus it is therefore" sort of academic ponciness.
And maybe because of that or because they also know how to clarify technical topics really well, the light bulb really went on for some stuff I'd been kind of fuzzy on before. I kept saying "so THATs how it works." You'd think I would have known these topics already a little better, and I thought I did, but these explanations gave me that last 30% that really solidified my *understanding* of the topics, not just knowledge of them. If that makes sense.
I REALLY like the Exam watch tips, there's a whole bunch of really good tips throughout the book, to make sure that you're getting it as you read. And there are a ton of practice questions which I found really helpful; I know the test is supposed to be screamingly difficult and tricky, and these questions seem to be a really good prep for it.
There's also a CD that has two more full practice exams on it. (Did the first exam and man, [I did not do well]on threads but sailed through garbage collection, thank god.)
A few typos but frankly, under par for the course given some of the other books I flipped through.
I really like this book and while I haven't read all the way through the other cert books, I skimmed quite a few and would recommend this way above any of the others.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Special Edition Using FileMaker Pro 7
Publisher: Que
Authors: Steve Lane, Bob Bowers, Scott Love, Chris Moyer, Bob Bowers, Scott Love, Chris Moyer Steve Lane
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

When I bought this book, I had absolutely no database experience. I now have some, but no thanks to these 1100 pages. I do have some programming experience, and I am used to using these types of books as reference instead of step-by-step, read-every-page instruction manuals. This book is simply not useful for that approach. An example: I tried to setup a simple form in which the value of one field was determined by the value of two others. I knew that to do this I would have to use conditional statements, but I was unfamiliar with the syntax in FM Pro. Flipping to "IF script step" in the index of this book took me to a page-long description of conditional logic in general. This useless review of very elementary basics ("If today is a weekday, then Dad goes to work") is then followed by a tiny screenshot of an actual FM pro script using conditional logic. I found it frustrating that the authors devoted so much space to the basics, and then made me squint to try to glean some actual information. After a few minutes, I finally gave up and figured it out myself.

I guess maybe what it comes down to is that I paid Borders' price ($45) for this, and for that much money, I expect to use the book more than I use google to find answers. Maybe I'd be a little happier if I paid $30, but I would bet there is a better choice if you are not a computer/programming novice.