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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Introduction to Algorithms, Second Edition
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great reference, but verbose

I am currently enrolled in MIT 6.046, which uses this book as a textbook. The course covers a substantial portion of the textbook, Chapters 1-17, 21-26, and 33. This means that I must read several chapters per week. Reading sessions take much time, because the authors have made the book very verbose. The same book could have been written to better effect in about four to five hundred pages.
The material covered is very broad, and most algorithms are nonobvious. Every once in a while, there is a simplification that is simply 'slick'. Definitely one of the textbooks that I will keep. For those who mention that the book is too difficult, I must comment that they are not ready for algorithms. Strength in mathematics is obviously required to be a good programmer.
And remember, as Prof. C.E. Leiserson mentioned in the first lecture, "Speed is fun!"

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Systems Analysis Design
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Alan Dennis, Barbara Haley Wixom
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Great and Concise Introduction to SDLC

I was introducted to this book as a student of DeVry Institute of Technology. I think the book provides the most concise, yet informative theory of the System Development Life Cycle. Those interested in project management, infrastructure management, etc. would find this book extremely concise and "to-the-point". The book also provides an array of examples, including case projects and questions. I think the only thing missing from this book is an interactive CD or software such as Microsoft Project or Visible Analyst. But we know how Microsoft is about licensing and purchase standards. Anyway, the book is an excellent resource for those interested in information systems management.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Nice production values, bad organization

While the writing is good and the production values utterly lavish, the maps are a disaster -- labelled with letters and numbers that don't often correspond with the legend, when there is a legend at all. More typical is the beastiary in the back: every monster has a pretty picture, but it's almost impossible to understand the icons used to show the enemies' attacks and what they're vulnerable to. Not the most practical guide, but a nice souvenir nonetheless.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ColdFusion MX Web Application Construction Kit, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Macromedia Press
Authors: Ben Forta, Nate Weiss, Leon Chalnick, Angela C. Buraglia
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Planning/Decision-Making Guide for ColdFusion Dev't

This book is exactly what I needed. After a couple of weeks of stumbling through ColdFusion applying only my background in other programming languages and the Macromedia-supplied reference books, this book has provided me with a real understanding of ColdFusion design principles necessary for effective programming. It's best read chapter-by-chapter, better as a guide to planning and making decisions about development than as a comprehensive reference. For example, the chapter on Development Methodologies provides an overview of Fusebox, but then discusses the pros and cons of this and alternative methodologies. The chapter on Data Validation describes client-side validation, server-side validation, and then explains that good design may entail a combination of both.
If you're a book learner, and prefer a self-paced book to an overpriced class, this is a great book, very readable. This in combination with the reference guides packaged with ColdFusion should get you where you need to go.