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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Understanding and Deploying LDAP Directory Services (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Timothy A. Howes, Mark C. Smith, Gordon S. Good, Tim Howes
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent one!

This book has everything you needed to know about LDAP, but didn't know to ask. Awesone technical coverage as well as some really good ideas for deployment strategies.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Object Thinking (DV-Microsoft Professional)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: David West
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Content-free grammar

I almost gave up on this book after the first 100 pages. I should have. I managed to hang on to within 25 pages of the end. That was where Mr. West presents the reader with the formula X=4q+(p*r), and solemnly announces (I'm not making this up) "4 represents a constant value," with the word 'constant' set in italics to emphasize its gravity. By the standards set elsewhere in this book, that qualifies as a technically profound statement.

At least it's not just plain wrong, as were statements elsewhere in the book. For example, p.270 asserts that "Ensuring that it's possible for two objects to exchange messages is a matter of visibility: the objects have to be able to see each other." Well, no. Systems like Linda allow objects to leave messages for each other at anonymous drops. Component systems like the Bean Box count on some third party able to see both, a 'Mediator' in the Gang of Four terms that West generally disparages. Heck, anyone who's ever seen a Unix command pipeline would know how silly that claim is. He also asserts (p.253) that over-riding a superclass method causes "cognitive dissonance." For those not familiar with psycho-babble, that means it confuses him.

Those are probably low points, since the rest of the book is so vague and philosophical that it neither informs nor misinforms. Mr. West goes on at length on the hermeneutics of objects and their postmodernist interpetations (p.59). He goes on about how Alexander's design patterns have been misunderstood by mere application, how their real purpose is personal transformation within the user. Mostly, he just goes on.

By now, I guess my lack of fawning shows that I haven't been born again into the mysteries of "Object Thinking," whatever that is. True believers initiated into the mystery will probably say that I'm not competent to comment on the wonderfulness of The Way of West. Well, maybe that's a good thing.

I wish Mr. West all success in his navel-gazing. Maybe if he's busy with that, he won't get in the way of people trying to get work done.


Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Digital Design: Principles and Practices and Xilinx 4.2i Student Package (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: John F. Wakerly
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

Some may disagree with MY statements because they are merely...just STUdents. I had this text as a student and have found it to be helpful in understanding Logic Design. I agree that the jokes were CORNY. However, the depth of material provided by Mr. Wakerly are excellent. Not many text discuss and provide timing diagrams and how such diagrams relate to the device. The concept of timing analysis and diagrams are far more important than the design methodology, besides Wakerly also does highlight the design process better than other text I have read. The only problem is that he does not state whether it is an example or not. I have used this text in class and at work, and I have found it a VALUABLE REFERENCE MATERIAL. I have used it several times as reference in CPLD and Logic Design.
If you believe any negative comments, I suggest that you try borrowing the second edition and skim through it...I WAS WORTH THE DOLLAR AMOUNT. Besides, a novice/student may not even know the difference since one is fairly new to the trade!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning JavaScript Second Edition
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Paul Wilton
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
It's worth it

I found the learning curve to be rather bouncy. Such as chapter 4 was easier than chapter 2. All in all it's a really good book. By no means a reference book, but a good intro.