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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop Elements 2 Solutions: The Art of Digital Photography
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Mikkel Aaland
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Useful - But...

I had very high expectations of this book based on the reviews I read so I bought it. It is a lot better than the User's Manual that came with PSE 2.0 but it is not "the one" that an "advanced beginner" like myself would need. Mikkel Aaland needs to expound more on "what happens in the background when you do this..." The Missing Manual people will do better job the way these group prepare a book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Definitely not scannable

The first 50 or so pages provide a good summary of the authors' advice on making web sites usable, and back some of it up with statistics. This is valuable information.
The remainder of the book is comprised of the home page reviews. On page 55 the authors state, "Some of our comments may seem picky; we have tried to comment on everything big and small. In terms of sheer volume, the smaller usability items dominate the reviews. Most of these minor problems will not prevent a determined user from using the site, so they are not true usability catastrophes like the ones we often find when we study people trying to complete an entire task on the web." This pretty much tells you what you will see in the remainder of the book.
Unfortunately, the reviews do not make it clear whether the authors consider each home page a usable home page or not. Positive comments and problems are both noted in the home page reviews, but not visually differentiated from each other. In addition, there is usually no indication as to whether a given comment represents a "minor problem" or a "usability catastrophe". Nor is there any indication as to which review findings are supported by research; many seem to be based purely on the personal opinions and preferences of the authors. I disagreed with many of these statements based not only on my own browsing experience, but also on my experience providing user support. These factors limited the usefulness of the reviews for me.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Cut Express 2 Editing Workshop (DV Expert Series)
Publisher: CMP Books
Authors: Tom Wolsky
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Just what I needed

I'm writing as someone new to Final Cut Express (and a veteran of 4 iMovie blockbusters.) After spending some frustrating time with printed out chapters from the long but not very helpful Apple supplied online manual, the light finally shone when Tom Wolsky's book arrived.
He writes well and organized the rather complicated material clearly and patiently. The included DVD is a great complement to the text, providing material for practice in each chapter. It felt as though I was working alongside Mr. Wolsky. The DVD also contains helpful examples of transitions and effects.
I'm still a beginner but I have completed 2 modest videos and a third is in the works. Final Cut Express Editing Workshop is just what I needed to get started with this fascinating software.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: IPv6 Essentials
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Silvia Hagen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An excellent resource for IPv6

This is an excellent book on IPv6 that does not shy away from providing details at every corner of the protocol. I've seen books in the past with twice the pages but hardly provide a fraction of the information you will find in this book, presented in a concise but comprehensive manner.
It is an excellent resource for IPv6 particularly to readers with background in IPv4. Not only does the author try to highlight the differences between the two protocols (take for example how the new header format has evolved), she also explains the motivation behind each change along the way.
Of course, the author's diligent quotation of all relevant RFCs, including the ones being obsoleted where applicable, turns the book into a valuable "hypertext style" reference for IPv6, where the reader can delve further into particular areas of interest.