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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PowerPoint Advanced Presentation Techniques
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Faithe Wempen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Complement to Tufte's classic text

This book wants to take you beyond simple bullet points of text in PowerPoint. Most of the discussion involves using images in some clean way. It is here that you might run into problems, when attempting this for the first time.

Wempen goes into a fair amount of detail. All the way from making artworking libraries to adding motion video. The latter can be especially attention grabbing to your audience, if done well.

I would compare this book to Tufte's classic "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information". That book is independent of any editing tool or software. Leaving it free to focus strictly on teaching general guidelines. Wempen's book does speak to some of these guidelines. But the bulk of the book concentrates on the details of using PowerPoint. A nice complement to Tufte's book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent
Publisher: Syngress
Authors: FX, Paul Craig, Joe Grand, Tim Mullen, Fyodor, Ryan Russell, Jay Beale
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Go for a hacker ride along

This is a fascinating book. You not only get in-depth material on the technical aspects of hacking, you also get an interesting ride along with the hackers themselves. Going deep into the hacker community. The book is well written and gripping for anyone who liked a book like The Cuckoo's Egg, but yearned for a little more depth to the technology aspect.

If hacking is your thing then you will really enjoy this book. If you are a security person and you are interested in learning more about how hackers operate, then you should give this book a good look.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Maximum PC Ultimate Performance Guide
Publisher: Que
Authors: Maximum PC
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Vivid descriptions

This glossy book has some of the ambience of a computer magazine and a Sharper Image catalog. Very visually appealing. There has been careful attention to make what might often be bland subjects like optimising your file view or removing unnecessary DLLs into something that grabs your attention.

While I compared it to a magazine or catalog, I should add that there is a lot of solid material here, that is technically accurate. Plus the choice of topics is clearly contemporary. You are shown how to overclock, which helps gamers, amongst others. Or, you can see how to use your PC for digital photography or digital video. These are now burgeoning fields, as photography and film both make the transition to digital formats. The authors are hitting all the prominent market segments for a consumer PC.

Though, after reading the book, you might yearn for the quiet of a plain black and white printed page.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C by Dissection: The Essentials of C Programming (4th Edition)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Al Kelley, Ira Pohl
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Tremendously impressive!

One of the best intro C books I've seen.
Any hardcore programmer will tell you: the best way to learn is to look at somebody else's code. It helps if the source code is clearly designed, clearly written, commented, well documented.
C by Dissection does just that, by describing a concept, showing you example source for a program that puts that concept into practice, THEN, unlike so many other books, going over the example almost line-by-line, to explain what's going on, and why. Too many programming books briefly describe the concept, list a hundred or more lines of source code, then move on. This book walks you through the code and shows you both theory and practice.
The only regret I have about C by Dissection is that there isn't a companion volume, Advanced C by Dissection, or perhaps Data Structures and Algorithms (in C) by Dissection.
Note that two of the worst reviews above are from an experienced C/C++ programmer and from a Cobol programmer (presumably very experienced; I don't know many young Cobol programmers coming into the industry these days). I'm not surprised they didn't like the way C by Dissection approaches the topic. I'm not a beginner anymore (I read this book in 1992) but I still like this approach best - I came across this book on Amazon because I was hoping to find "Java by Dissection" by Kelly and Pohl! :-)