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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cryptography Decrypted
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: H. X. Mel, Doris M. Baker, Steve Burnett
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Easy to understand, fun to read -- a remarkable book!


I'm a publisher of military history (Barclay Ross Press, Inc. of Washington, DC) and I must say that "Cryptography Decrypted" by Mel and Baker is the best introduction to the subject I've ever encountered -- hands down. It's gracefully and wittily written, well-illustrated, and extremely layman-friendly. Amazing to find a book about cryptography and digital security pitfalls/safeguards that's full of both mathematical/technological revelations AND of humor. This book is thoroughly enjoyable, and astonishingly informative, even for those of us with no math/technical background. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John Mongan, Noah Suojanen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good to refresh lost touch!!


I have several yrs of programming experience and somehow I felt that I have lost the touch I once used to have and was feeling shaky. Got this book, so far its amazing. Ok I have not completed this book yet but so far whatever questions I have seen I was asked in some interviews and thats amazing. The only issue with the examples (thats y 4 stars) is examples are in C, cud have been in C++. But still its not a big deal and looks like it is done for more audience coverage. In an interview if u can find 50% of the questions from this book then u r almost done and sure to land the job.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Servlets & JSP
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Bryan Basham, Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
More fun from the Head First team


The Head First Team has created another excellent book for those developers seeking to gain the adulation and praise from their friends, family, and colleagues that comes with SCWCD certification (and financial considerations from one's employer). While the focus of the book is to prepare the reader for the certification exam, it is a great resource for someone that just wants to get a handle on servlets and JSP. The main prerequisite is a working knowledge of Java.

The book begins with a thorough presentation of how web applications work. The first three chapters are devoted to building a good foundation. The explanations are clear and concise. The illustrations with the handwritten notes really add to the learning experience. The chapters on servlets cover the request/response cycle, attributes and listeners, and session management in an equally effective manner. Scripted JSP (and scriptless), JSTL, and custom tags are the JSP topics covered. But the chapters on Web deployment and web security may be the most valuable to me. This book definitely cleared the fog for me in those areas. At the end of the chapters are mock exam questions to "tune you up" and to let you know if you need to "review before continuing".

Like "Head First Java", the topic is not exhausted, but rather what you need to know to start is included. The boundaries are set by the exam and the exam expectations are set by the real world. The book is fun to read and this is a good thing (750+ pages). The way that the book is written reinforces the learning experience to assist the reader in retaining this information, because there is a lot to know for this exam. Besides who can prepare you better for the exam that the people who wrote it?



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Java(TM) Tutorial: A Short Course on the Basics (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Mary Campione, Kathy Walrath, Alison Huml
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best Java book if you have a Visual Basic background!


Coming from a Visual Basic background, a lot of other Java books weren't as helpful as this one (I bought the 3rd Edition of the Tutorial). The beginning chapters on OOP were very well written, I think it was the only Java book I've perused where every sentence made sense the first time I read it. The authors' use of metaphors to help make a point is done just right, not too little and not too much. If you have *some* experience with programming techniques, even just doing some .BAT files, I think you'll do well with this book. I had started reading Bruce Eckel's "Thinking in Java" before this one, but I think the best sequence for anyone else struggling with the transition from Visual Basic, etc. to Java is as follows:
- first read the Java Tutorial (3rd edition) and work through the exercises at end of each chapter - second, read Peter van der Linden's "Just Java 2" for a very readable (sometimes funny) way to wade a little deeper into how Java does things. - finally, and I have yet to do this myself, read Bruce Eckels' "Thinking in Java" to really wrap your head around object oriented programming and thinking like a Java guru.