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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential CVS
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jennifer Vesperman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great start to CVS


I administer our CVS server at work. We use CVS in the traditional way, to manage source code from a group of people working together on multiple projects. Before this book, I didn't have a single reference that explained all the basic functionality of CVS. Now, when someone has a question, I can pass along this book for a quick answer.
Most of the things you'll do with CVS are covered in sufficient detail in this book. I do agree with the reviewer who mentioned this is not the perfect reference for some tasks - like merging branches. This book will, however, give you all the background information you'll need so that you can effectively research complex topics like this on the web. The title is appropriate - 'essential CVS.' It's not 'everything there is to know about CVS' - and that's a strength of the book. It makes it small enough that the average developer can read the 'quickstart,' and have a basic understanding of how things work. They can then use the more detailed chapters to gain further information. Only the CVS administrator will need a little more. Even for them, this book will be a handy reference.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: CMP Books
Authors: Trish Meyer, Chris Meyer
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great book but...


Anyone using After Effects should consider this book a 'must have'. Written in an informative and relaxed style it immerses you gently, yet deeply into the world of AE and Motion Graphics. The book is unusual in that it works as an assistant to The Adobe Manual / Classroom in a book for someone learning AE yet offers them in depth information on all the problematic areas.. fields, 3:2pulldown, film resolution, motion math, masking, tracking etc. The tutorials on the companion CD are excellent and compliment the book very well. Beginner or expert you should definately give this book some serious consideration. Information is also given on integration with Photoshop & Illustrator, essential as the three programs integrate together so tightly.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Web Design, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jennifer Niederst
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
THE beginner's guide


Jennifer Niederst is just the person you want to write a book like this. Many readers of this page will already know who she is, but since this book is aimed at absolute beginners a short introduction may be in order.

Originally a graphic designer, in 1993 Niederst became one of the very first web designers when she worked on the world's first commercial website (O'Reilly & Associates' Global Network Navigator, which is no longer in publication but you can see samples of it on Niederst's own website if you want; write me for the URL). Since then she's been one of the best-known web designers around and she's written other books on the topic -- notably _Web Design in a Nutshell_, which I highly recommend you get as a followup to this one (but wait for the new second edition, due out in October 2001). Since Al Gore didn't even _invent_ the Internet until 1993, that makes Niederst the nearest thing there is to an "old-timer" in what is, after all, a pretty new profession.

Niederst has said in interviews that this book is the one she wished she'd had to give her web-design students. It won't take you long to see why; it's painstakingly thorough and detailed, just the ticket for somebody who has never written a speck of HTML code before and is a little fuzzy on just what this "Internet" thing is.

But it's also helpful to people at other stages of knowledge. The coverage (mostly HTML and graphics, with a little bit of appetite-whetting overview at the end about more advanced techniques like cascading style sheets, JavaScript, and XML) is so complete that if, like me, you learned this stuff on your own, it will fill in _lots_ of gaps in your education. (Over the last year or two I've gotten pretty proficient with text but I knew almost zilch about graphics until I read this book.) And even if you already know all this stuff cold, this book will probably still be handy as a reference and a source of helpful advice.

Then, too, it's also a handy rough-and-ready guide to the sorts of application software you might want to acquire if you're getting seriously into web design. Niederst not only introduces the major players among authoring tools and graphics packages, but steps through her examples more than once to show you how they work in, e.g., Dreamweaver and GoLive.

The style is breezy and chatty but with no loss of accuracy. You'll find out why Niederst thinks "web design is cool" and you'll learn some of "Jen's pet peeves" (e.g. spinning-globe graphics and rainbow bars), but you'll also get a thorough and accessible introduction to the nuts and bolts of web design.

If you're just getting started on the creation of web pages, this is the book to use first. As I noted above, you'll probably also want to get Niederst's _Nutshell_ book as a sequel. After that, you'll be well qualified to decide what else you need.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Special Edition Using Crystal Reports 10 (Special Edition Using)
Publisher: Pearson Education
Authors: Neil FitzGerald, Ryan Marples, Naisan Geula, Bob Coates, James Edkins, Michael Voloshko
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A comprehensive Report Design and Delivery Book


I had used Crystal Reports in a few projects previously and was tasked with using it again in a large upcoming initiave. I decided to review the current books out there to see what could best help me get back up to speed and give me a deep enough level of material that I could continuously learn from - this book is it.

The Book covered Crystal Report Design in a thorough way that let me get back up to speed quickly and the tips and tricks provided in the chapters were great in showing me how to create Crystal reports in an optimal way. The book took me through all the necessary preliminaries like data-source connections, field selection, grouping, filtering, sorting, etc and then led me to advanced features like Cross-tabs, Report Templates, Charting and Business Views (we use Crystal Enterprise too).

Unlike the other books I reviewed on the market, this one enabled me to not only create great reports using Crystal Reports but also taught me how to deliver those over the web through my custom application - a huge time saver and as mentioned provided great coverage of the other Crystal (or Business Objects) products so that I could actually construct a growth plan for my Crystal Enterprise infrastructure.

Over-all - highly recommended. AS