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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mastering Windows Server 2003
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Christa Anderson, Michele Beveridge, C. A. Callahan, Lisa Justice
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A well written practical book


Once again SYBEX shows that you cannot go wrong with their books.Mark Minasi has done a great job and especially in one of the topics I have always suffered headaches, DNS.Split "Brain" DNS is something that really splits your brain but with this book help I managed to get it going.I am a MCSE and books like this help to quickly stay in the game especially when CLEAR explanations are put together.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe Photoshop CS One-on-One
Publisher: Deke Press
Authors:
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Basic photoshop use from end to end


This book is organized as lesson plans, which is great if you like that sort of thing. I don't, so while I will try to be fair I am a little biased.
Lesson plans aside I would say the book is a cut above the average. It gives ample space to the philosophy and doesn't just concentrate on technique. There is value in understanding why something works and not just the key combinations.
There are lots of helpful hits. The examples images are great. Though some turn out a little cheezy after too much digital work. The chapters are pretty consistent throughout, no one topic stands out as either getting too much attention or too little.
If you want a book on basic Photoshop use from end-to-end you should seriously consider this one. There are lots of books on Photoshop out there, but this one has O'Reilly's attention to detail, fine writing and editing.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing with Web Standards
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jeffrey Zeldman
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Authoritative, tongue-in-cheek, wordy


Jeffrey Zeldman is an authority on the topic. You should read this if you develop Web sites...but be prepared for a Frodo-like journey through Middle Earth to find the tokens of wisdom in Zeldman's circular, cliché-per-minute writing style.
Don't get me wrong, it's better than boring, but it could have used a wave of the wand by a concise-thinking (redundancy-slashing) editor. After reading the book, you'll know your stuff, understand the history, and be prepared for productive future-minded, accessible, and tidy XHTML coding.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Authors: SIMON SINGH
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
SFBE UIJT CPPL


This book is a eclectic mix of codemaking, codebreaking and the use of ciphers throughout history. For a beginner in cryptography, some of the technical stretches are a bit tough, but well worth the effort. I learned a lot from this book.
The first 100 pages cover the history of (western) cryptography from ancient Greek steganography through the end of the 19th century with Marconi & the invention of the Wireless. In between, he speeds through Arab cryptanalysis (a real revelation to me), the Vigenere Cipher, the Great Cipher of Louis XIV (invented by the Rossignols and broken by Bazeries), Samuel Morse & the Telegraph (better communication needed ciphers), Charles Babbage, and the Beale Papers. The author gives equal respect and technical coverage to both the cipher 'creators' as well as the cipher 'breakers'.
The next 200 pages cover 20th century topics, events and famous characters in cryptography. The Enigma Machine/Code -- designed by the Germans, then cracked by Poland (Marian Rejewski) on the eve of the German invasion; refortified by the Germans, then cracked again at Bletchley Park during WWII by a wondrous team, including Alan Turing. The Zimmerman Telegram and the Navaho Code Talkers each receive very nice treatment. Even the history of the decipherment of Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Linear B (both, as it turns out, 'phonetic' codes) receive technical treatment.
Singh rounds out the historical discussion with the discoveries (or re-discoveries) of 'key exchange' by Diffie-Hellman-Markle, and complex cryptographic systems like DES and RSA encryption architecture. Phil Zimmerman and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) rate more than a dozen pages, bringing the book right into the Internet age.
The author concludes with a discussion of the Future of Cryptanalysis and Quantum Computing (including a brief tutorial on Quantum Physics for Dummies).
The book has swell appendices, a glossary, a comprehensive bibliography and an index. The author generously points the reader to David Kahn's mammoth 1200-page The Codebreakers as an "invaluable resource" (pretty classy stuff).