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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SQL Queries for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Data Manipulation in SQL
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Michael J. Hernandez, John L. Viescas
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
So so

This is my second SQL book, and I selected it because it provides a lot of examples to work through. Generally it is well written, and I have referred to it often. This could be an outstanding book for novices IF the authors would provide simple examples and problems when they introduce a new topic. Too often however, they rush to include previous concepts which can inhibit comprehension of the new topic and present unnecessarily complex examples. I have had to consult other SQL books and resources to gain a clearer understanding of some of these topics.
Also, I have found several instances in the exercises wherein the solution code appears to be incorrect - it does not generate the correct result set, such as producing 0 rows instead of 2, etc.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop Elements 3: The Missing Manual
Publisher: Pogue Press
Authors: Barbara Brundage
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Exactly what I needed

I also purchased "The Photoshop Elements Book for Digital Photographers" by Scott Kelby and "Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements 3" by Richard Lynch to help me learn this software, but I found both books to be unsuitable for a beginner like myself. After spending a week struggling with these two volumes, I happened upon "...The Missing Manual. I haven't been able to put it down since. I am now learning exactly the basics I need to start using the program with some confidence. Perhaps those other books will come in handy later on when I gain some experience.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Hacking Linux Exposed, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Brian Hatch, James Lee, George Kurtz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Buy two of these

I wasn't a fan of Hacking Exposed, largely because its Unix section was a mere 50 pages of superficial, outdated, and obvious fluff. Hacking Linux Exposed makes up for that lack by digging into Unix in much more depth.Though it is modeled after the attack/countermeasure style of the original HE, this book includes a whole chapter of security measures at the beginning that you can implement instantly to get your machine locked down before getting into the nitty-gritty detail about other things in the hacker's arsenal.I was particularly enthralled with chapter 10, which talks about what the hacker will do after they have gained root access, from simple things like adding accounts to complicated issues like kernel modules, complete with source code. Chapter 7 includes some really wonderful examples of how the hacker can abuse networking protocols themselves, something I haven't seen covered in such depth before.The book is logically organized. The first part covers the way the hackers find and probe your machine. The second talks about getting in from the outside, be it network or physical. The third part talks about gaining additional priveleges, and the last part of the book is dedicated to mail, ftp, web, and firewalls. The appendicies are actually useful. They seem to have dropped the small 1-page case studies from the original book and replaced them with longer hacker-eye-views of real attacks which are an interesting read, and really tie the book together.This book is Linux specific in it's countermeasures, but I'd recommend this to any unix user. They do a good job of discussing differences between Linux variants as well, they don't just assume everyone has a RedHat box on their desk. Very refreshing.This book is great for both the theory and practical uses. I could spend weeks implementing all the suggestions they have, but they seem to have thought of this because their risk ratings let you know where you should concentrate as you secure your systems.Like Hacking Exposed, this book also has a website, (...) but it seems more up-to-date -- for example when the ptrace bug in older kernels came out, they posted a kernel module you could compile to protect your system until you could upgrade -- and includes all the source code contained in the book.I bought two of these, one for home and one for the office, and I suggest you do the same.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Mathematica Book, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Wolfram Media
Authors: Stephen Wolfram
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
THE Referrence Book to Mathematica

This is the most complete reference book for the Mathematica system. However, be aware of the fact that it doesn't treat any topic in great detail (for instance, it doesn't provide a single example of a complete Mathematica program). There are many texts available for specific purposes, but this is the one that gives you the broad picture (version 3.0 comes with the Mathematica Book on line, but studying something from the screen can be a bit annoying).