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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Dummies
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Romilla Ready, Kate Burton
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5

This book is, I'm afraid, just as awful as D. Font claims.

Mr/Ms Font is also correct in saying that the quote from my website listed above has been cut short. What I actually wrote, at the start of a detailed review, was:

'If you buy a book with "for Dummies" in the title then I guess there isn't much room for complaint if that's exactly what you get.'

And that *is* exactly what you get here.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: CCNA for Dummies, Second Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ron Gilster
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Brushup Guide

I loved this book, it made clear several concepts that were worded strangely by Sybex and Cisco's Academy curriculum. However, the tests on the CD-ROM, while very well done for the most part, were also very buggy in places. Many questions began with "Given the following configuration example:" then nothing, then multiple choice answers! Studying primarily out of this book, and clarifying things and going deeper with the Sybex 640-407 guide, I was able to pass my exam on the first try with a 913. (and I'm only a senior in high school)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Linux Firewalls (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Robert Ziegler
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Obsession with details

Good points:
* Lots of details about how to set up packet filtering in Linux.
* Good reference material about various ports & services.
Bad points:
* The command lines in his "rc.firewall" scripts are long and thus wrap when printed in the book, making the scripts VERY difficult to read. A smaller, fixed-pitch font for the scripts, and good use of column alignment would have helped tremendously.
* Scant discussion of the "hosts.allow" and "hosts.deny" files, or of TCP/IP wrappers and inetd. Both are an essential part of Linux firewalls.
* The overall organization of the book is good, but some of the detail in the chapters is not well organized. Since he protects against invalid packets going OUT as well as coming IN, there's a lot of detail that many people will not want. That detail tends to obscure the WHY of what he's doing.
* In the appendix, he lists in exhaustive detail all his firewall rules, and then lists them AGAIN in a "better" order. Yes, the second order is better for BOTH efficiency and understanding, so why provide the first list? Actually, there are SIX complete lists in the appendix: three for ipchains, and another three lists for ipfwadm), but that's another story ...
All in all, a good book in spite of the above. There are a few typos, but once you understand what he's doing, the typos are obvious.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: C# and the .NET Platform, Second Edition
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Andrew Troelsen
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Where are my other 270 pages?

...The book covers a great deal of material and it addresses each point fairly clearly, but I would never call it "relentlessly complete." I found myself with questions about many of the features covered. For example, structs are described, but the example used is an "Employee" struct - just the kind of data that you would WANT that is a poor example of the use of struct because it's the kind of data you would want to use with inheritance.
That's essentially what I found missing. The features are not placed in context - they are simply delineated. When would I use such and such, how would I use it, what should I watch out for? I often found these questions unanswered.
There are some important concepts that are just wrong. For example, Troelsen gets the definitions of "shallow copy" and "deep copy" out of whack. On page 72, in his description of Object.MemberwiseClone() he says that a shallow copy creates "another reference that points to the same object in memory." ....
Another problem I had is one that I see in ALL of the C# books, and I've read most. It's a "relentlessly" positive attitude about the language. I never see one hint of a criticism or even a question raised about a design choice.
If you're looking for the equivalent of Scotty Meyers - this ain't it, and I suppose I'm being somewhat unfair because that's what I was hoping for. Where is the book on C# Idioms and Style for experienced C++ programmers?