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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning C# Databases
Publisher: Peer Information
Authors: Jacob Hammer Pedersen, Jon Reid, Ranga Raghunathan, Scott Allen, Syed Fahad Gilani
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
A very Basic Book for Beginners

This book seems to teach the very fundamental lines of code to retrieve records from a database. It was a very good book for the beginner in databases using c#.
Although it teaches you the commonways of accessing information it does lack the insight how it would fit into a large applicationsThe create view and insight in indexes I figured was a complete waste of time for more experienced programmers as was the Sql queries section. I don't seem to see databases used with web services in the book even though I did not think it was that tough for a beginner to absorb. There were no examples where the database code was used in a class or in DCOM calls. All examples were simple standard exe type.
For the price of the book, I expected a lot more for my money.By the way chapter 1-10 could have been condensed to 2-3 chapters. It was very long winded and the climax wasn't there.
I did like the small section on sql error handling

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Financial Modeling - 2nd Edition
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Simon Benninga
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Real World Financial Modelling

Finally a book for the Finance Specialist using Excel. Fantastic explanation of every step, starting at the very beginning of each topic.
I Corporate Finance Models Basic Financial Calculations, Calculation of Cost of Capital, Financial Statement Modeling, Using Financial Statement Models for Valuation, The Financial Analysis of Leasing, The Financial Analysis of Leveraged Leases. Great basics from which you can build your own models, improvements etc.
II Portfolio Models Calculating the Variance-Covariance Matrix, No Short Sale Restriction, Estimating Beta & SML, Short Sale Restriction, VAR. Basic topics in PM, and less used on Excel in the professional world. But, very exciting to gain thorough understanding by doing it on Excel.
III Option Pricing Models My topic. Binomial Model, LogNorm Distribution, B&S Model, Portfolio Insurance, Real Options, Early Excercising. Again, great excerise to do it on Excel for learning purposes. Nice intro on Real Options using Binomial Model, but not my beloved B&S.
IV Bonds and Duration Duration, Immunisation, Modelling the Term Structure, Calculating Default expec.adj. Bond Returns, Cheapest to Deliver. Cannot comment to this topic.
V Technical Considerations Random Numbers, Data Tables, Matrices, The Gauss-Seidel Method, Excel Functions, Some Excel Hints. Matrices explained on Excel! Never seen that before. The rest almost replaces a single Excel Handbook.
VI Introduction to Visual Basic for Applications
User-defined Functions with VBA for Applications, Types and Loops, Macros and User Interaction, Arrays, Objects. The basics of VBA that help you to master many VBA problems.
Fantastic work Simon Benninga!
Check: http://finance.wharton.upenn.edu/~benninga/home.html

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Book for Profesional and Novice Designers

Superlatives fail me when describing the value of this book. It is no exaggeration to say that it is worth millions of dollars in the increased efficiency of web sites. Which may even be true if the recommendations are made to only the fifty sites examined in the book. The authors critique some of the biggest sites, such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Wal-Mart and eBay and a significant number of the errors are surprising in their obviousness. For example, many of the pages have titles that will be alphabetically indexed under words such as "The" or "Where." Others place the word "Online" in the title, which is of course the only way the page will be seen. Nielson is an outspoken opponent of any descent into cutesy images or dialog and he makes his points very effectively. I examined the first few pages very carefully before going on to the comments, trying to determine what difficulties the pages may present. Some were found, but most passed me by. However, after reading the author comments, I went back and looked at them again. When I did that, it was clear what the problem was. My examination was done from the perspective of someone who was experienced in web design and who was not actually using the site to do anything critical. Which is no doubt the reason for the problems and why the authors should be listened to. Nielson and Tahir have that incredibly rare ability to think like a novice while possessing the knowledge of an expert. Some designers may read their comments and consider them picky. Which is true, but only from the designers perspective. Looked at from the viewpoint of a user who wants something right now, they are a frustrating annoyance that is unnecessary. One that I find particularly aggravating is the size of search boxes. For some reason, the designers seem to think 15 characters is enough. Adding a few more characters to the size of the search box does not burn that much additional space and allows the user to see most of their entry. Few of the recommendations in the book would require a major redesign of the site. I took one site and went through a simulated alteration of the code so that it conformed to the recommendations by the authors and was able to complete nearly all of the changes in less than four hours. In contrasting the modified site to the original, there was no doubt in my mind that the altered site was a significant improvement. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone with a license to make a web page. It explains in simple detail what makes web pages work and simple problems that make them a pain in the personals to use.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PMP Exam Cram 2
Publisher: Que
Authors: David Francis, Greg Horine
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I passed the PMP the first time with this book!

I am so glad I made this purchase! Reviewing this book along with the PMBOK is an inexpensive, yet extremely effective way to learn what is needed for the PMP exam. The practice CD in the back of the book was also very helpful. The CD takes you through exam questions in the same electronic format in which the actual exam is set up. I would definitely recommend this book.