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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Kalen Delaney
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Extremely useful and a pleasure to read.


What I love about this book is that it really shows you the full story of SQL Server, starting with a broad history of the product, and eventually delving down into the deep internals of the system.

I recently had to to deal with an old Sybase database, and found this book helpful, because Kalen's discussion of the internal storage and retrieval of data really applies across many database technologies. And of course, it has also proven invaluable for working with SQL Server too!

This book is directed to people who want to know what SQL Server can do and how to use it. No marketing hype here, just good solid material.

The only downside is the index, which for MS Press books, is in a too-large text, does not indent things well, and does not always group things in the most useful fashion. But this is not a fault of the author, and does not lessen the greateness of this book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Office Document Designer: Your Easy-to-Use Toolkit and Complete How-To Source for Professional-Quality Documents
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Stephanie Krieger
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great integration of programs, Excellent CD


I have trained over 3,000 people in Microsoft Word. None of them had ever heard of or used styles. Styles are necessary if you're going to use Word correctly. So, I bought this book for two reasons. First, I find that a woman writes a better book about learning software. I think women authors seem to explain software in better detail, especially for beginners. Second, the back cover describes a CD that has "Dozens of professional designs and layouts." I like examples for learning.

So, I opened the book. It looked very good. Good topics, easy reading, nice coverage of Word, Excel,and PowerPoint. But, not a single reference to Word styles. Did I waste my time? No. I then looked at the CD and guess what? There is more information for Word users on the CD than in the book. Don't get me wrong - the book is good. But the CD has articles that explain more about how Word works than most people know. And as for styles, I found them when I loaded the samples, they were filled with styles. And, the CD tells much about their use.

How about Excel and PowerPoint? They are also covered very well on the CD, along with great examples in the book.

So, this book is about integration of three programs, yet each is covered very well. In today's world of business, if you know how, you can always find a job. You will learn the "how" with "Document Designer." You'll also learn the "why", and, if you know why, you can always be the boss.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: OCA/OCP: Introduction to Oracle9i SQL Study Guide
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Chip Dawes, Biju Thomas
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Use as a reference -- not as your sole study guide


There is no such thing as an error free technical book, but this one sets a new high-water mark for errors. Don't even begin without incorporating all the changes from the errata - which cover perhaps 3/4 of the errors. And there are even errors in the errata! The book has lost so much credibility with me that I find myself reading with considerable skepticism. Fortunately I have several years of Oracle SQL experience, so if something looks suspicious I just go to OTN to check.
All that said, the book is well designed as far as subject presentation (tho I would move data types to beginning), uses lots of clear (& usually correct) examples, and covers most of the material needed. I would probably purchase it again.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Access 2002 Developer's Handbook Set
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Paul Litwin, Ken Getz, Mike Gunderloy
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Absolute Must-Have


Without question, the finest books available on Access database programming. I've purchased (and held onto) each edition since 95. I really cannot express in words my enthusiasm for this series. They aren't traditional 'learner' or traditional reference books, but they meet both needs -- read them once and refer back to them for years. Full of code samples that drop easily into your applications. If you work with Access on a regular basis, you REALLY, REALLY NEED TO HAVE the Access Developer's Handbook set.