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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Photoshop 7 Wow! Book
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Jack Davis
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Worth the purchase

I admit to buying this book because of the glossy graphics but I got in way over my head. This book is a bit too advanced for someone just getting started with Photoshop. I have used some of the techniques and instructions offered but it has been tedious. I will not give up on this book, however, because after many readings and trial and error, I am making some progress. (...)The CD could include some better photos to work with but "c'est la vie."

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Good reviews; mediocre book

I script web pages for the US Navy, and I own many HTML books. I use two: Peachpit's HTML for the World Wide Web -- Visual Quickstart, and O'Reilly's HTML -- The Definitive Guide.
When I need a quick reminder or a visual example of how something will look, the Peachpit book has never let me down. When I need to know every gritty detail about a particular HTML tag, or how to use HTML more effectively, I open the O'Reilly book.
If you are just starting with HTML, come back for this book later. You'll want it! But not now.
If you want to KNOW HTML, this is your book. I would use the first three chapters as a text for an introductory HTML class. And the subsequent chapters cover every topic imaginable in complete detail.
If this book is lacking in one area, it is its coverage of Cascading Style Sheets. But if you are going to be using CSS, you will want Lie and Bos's book anyway.
Sooner or later, buy this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Laura Lemay, Richard Colburn, Robert Kiesling
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great companion for a Perl/CGI course

I am currently using this book as a companion for my Perl/CGI course. It is an excellant book. When I have problems understanding what the professor talks about in class, I just come home and go over the similar topics in the book. If you are a student planning on taking a Perl/CGI course, you should purchase this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: User Interface Design for Programmers
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Joel Spolsky
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Microsoft what?

if i had to use one word to describe this book it would be brevity. the chapters i cared about the most were more like quick summaries of 3 - 4 pages mixed with some large photos. i also didn't appreciate most of the examples being microsoft products. i realize they rule the world, but their software is pretty much all the same. i would have appreciated more examples. additionally, i have to design for pc and mac-based computers. this book is primarily for the pc user/programmer.
i would have appreciated much more on how to design for the fringes (e.g., people with disabilities now constitute about 1/5 of the population). instead, i got 3 pages and a big 1/2 page picture of a cheese slicer. huh? and, it appears that nothing is based on actual research beyond the author's own experiences. i like a book that thoroughly reviews the research in the field and brings in the work of other experts to solidify positions and advice. that is quite missing here. his bibliography includes 6 books and no journal articles.
perhaps i was too generous with the 2 stars. perhaps, i just had different expectations and this book actually does what the author intended. who knows? it just didn't work for me.