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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: High Performance MySQL
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jeremy D. Zawodny, Derek J. Balling
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must for MySQL Administrators

If you interact with MySQL on a regular basis, High Performance MySQL should be the next book that you read. High Performance MySQL does a great job at covering techniques on benchmarking your current configuration and how to increase performance at 3 major levels: 1) database architecture, 2) server tuning, and 3) scaling horizontally (with multiple servers).

Database architecture is where it really begins. Zawodny and Balling did a great job explaining the different storage engines along with their advantages and disadvantages, working with transactions, how to get the most of your database through indexing and how to optimize query performance.

Zawodny and Balling also did an excellent job on covering server tuning. It just wasn't a turtorial on 'this is how you should modify your configuration files.' The authors whent into great detail in explaining different hardware configurations, what to look for in RAID configurations and different filesystems, and how to solve various bottlenecks.

For the most part, the authors reserved a complete 60 pages of the book for Replicaiton and Load Balancing configurations. The authors provided several scenarios to choose from along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Oracle Certified Professional Application Developer Exam Guide
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies
Authors: Jason Couchman, Jason Couchman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A very good book, but not the perfect one

I got this book some six months back and starting preparing for the OCP ( Developers Track) and I must tell you that this book will help you very much in your prepartions for all the 5 exams. Yet there are a lot of things that this book does not supplement good. For example in the Reports Exam , the concepts were not explained in detail. For example there was no section featuring enhancement of matrix reports which has heavy weightage in the exam. Also, the CD which comes with the book has only those questions which we find at the end of the chapters, the authors could probably put some other questions in the CD so that the person who is preparing for the exams can be given some more examples for practice. But over all, this book has been very good especially the coverage for the forms exams was simply too good.
I think if you are serious about OCP ceritication then you should definetely have this book on your table.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try
Publisher: Velociteach Press
Authors: Andy Crowe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
critical success factor to pass the exam

I cleared my pmp exam on my first try yesterday. As you know, PMBOK is a reference instead of a textbook. It is very useful, but definitely not a good starting point to learn about the PMI methodology. I knew I have to turn to other sources, which eventually lead to a procurement process. My requirement is very clear, I need some materials which can enable me to clear the exam ASAP (i.e. a short payback period). The specifications of the materials are as follows:

1. Explain everything straight-forward, so that I can capture the key points immediately
2. Light in weight, so that I can carry it around
3. Without lengthy-case to confuse me, so that I can focus on PMI methodology and principles, not the background information of other companies

According to the comments (expert judgements) here, I "procured" two text books, one by Andy Crowe and another by Rita Mulcahy, the two most popular reference books about PMP. Two books were studied instead of one as I'm not sure whether one book is adequate or not, two books can mitigate the risk, the "unknown-unknown".

I finished both within one month and was fully satisfied with their contents. Their only drawback is, the exercises provided are much easier than the actual exam. But I don't blame on the authors because the objective of these questions is let you verify your understanding (inspection). I checked the questions I missed and clarified my misunderstandings steadily (progressive elaboration). PMBOK is helpful in this stage to provide the official definition of key items. We all know that PMP means Project Management Professional, but it also means Practice Make Perfect. I passed my PMP exam (objectives achieved) as promised by Andy :) Based on the score sheet, I understand that I have some weak areas where I need "continuous improvement". Unlike PMI methodology, there is no closing process in learning. We have many similar idioms in Chinese.

I've cleared the PMP exam on first try with both books. But I still believe that, the critical success factor to pass the exam does not lie on the tools only, but also the methodology how you prepared the exam. There should be many other textbooks available which can help. I am just lucky enough to use some of them.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy IX Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Brady Games
Authors: Dan Birlew
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Hey I didn't know

I was ashamed when i started using this guide. Who ever thought of the playonline thing is crazy. Thiis strategy guide is barley detailed. It just relies on going on the internet to find something!!! Here an example:the guide says search the area to find a very impotant item, to find and figure out what the item does go to playonline.com. I mean who wants to go on the internet when there sittin down playin there game. And the secrets sections are terrible. example: go to the town on disc three to get a new weapon this is very complicated so go to playonline.com. This strategy guide is terrible. The least i can say is you can get it just to move forward in the game but for anything else use it as toleit paper.