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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Essential Guide to Telecommunications (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Annabel Z. Dodd
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
This Book is OK if you are looking for a General Guide

Is good for Marketing persons not engineers. If you are looking for telecom general concepts this book is the best. However if you have a solid Telecom background you will not find this book helpfull at all. It covers with simple concepts the evolution of telecom to this days.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Building The Perfect PC
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Robert Bruce Thompson, Barbara Fritchman-Thompson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
If you buy it, you will build it

I've been fiddling with the innards of PCs for about 10 years, but have never built one from the ground up. That's about to change, thanks to this MARVELOUS book. The first 80 pages or so of the book are devoted to justifying why you OUGHT to build your own PC, how to design the PC and how to choose the various components. I've never seen this approach before and it is extremely well done. Don't skip over these pages! Then the authors go into the details of building a "mainstream" PC, a server, a "LAN Party" PC, a home theater PC, and finally, a small form factor PC. There is something here for everbody. Everything about this book is a pleasure to behold, from the color photographs, the clear and lucid prose, and the layout and typography. This book has given me the confidence that I can, indeed, build my own PC, and I am going to do exactly that. You should, too.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Applying UML and Patterns : An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and Iterative Development (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Craig Larman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good book on OOA/D

This book helps introduce OOA/D, UML(very thoroughly), software patterns, use cases, iterative development, and other topics. It also gives insight on object oriented programming issues. One of the best features of the book is that you're able to read it and not have to illustrate by one programming language. I think the author using POS example was a good idea but could used couple more to add diversity. This book makes object oriented programming seems easy! Good start for students wanted to be software engineers.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition (All-in-One)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Shon Harris, Shon Harris
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Took the CISSP exam 9/31/02 and PASSED.

The CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide was the best of the half-dozen sources that I used. I'd rate it a must-have if you want to take the exam. I also used the The CISSP Prep Guide but switched to Shon's book halfway through.
The CISSP exam is immature; that is, many of the questions appear convoluted for the sake of being obtuse. I doubt seriously if your score on this exam corralates to your true ability. That said, it is a necessary benchmark of a very broad subject. And having talked to people taking the test for second time, I'm told the test is improving. That's about all I can say about the test; you have to sign in blood not to discuss it once you take it. Most people walk out having no idea if they did well; my peers were no exception.
I took the course that Shon teaches at the Intense School (see cccure.org for a link and useful study materials). It is a great course and a terrific value. Everything is taken care of in the course cost (hotel, food, snacks - and they don't skimp). Shon is an excellent and patient instructor with an in-depth understanding. Her pointers on the test were worth about 15 extra questions right; possibily the difference between passing and not for many of us. But the course is not for the meek. It is 8:30 to 6:30 for 6 days, followed by the exam. By the 3rd day most of us (including kids 15 years younger than me) were feeling beat -- only 500 pages and halfway thru the course material. But everyone I talked with though that it was well worth it.
The only critism of Shon's book is that her sample test questions were far easier than the actual test. She admits it; her questions are to help you know if you understand the material. If her questions were like the test, everyone would think she couldn't write a decent test question (and they would be right!). But her material is dead-on.
I should have studied operational security more than I did. There was far less on cyptography - the hardest subject - than I expected. With over 20 year experience in 9 of of the 10 domains, the exam wasn't a cakewalk. But Shon's CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide did make me much more confident about passing the exam.
I have no financial or other interest in the Intense School or Shon's book. I'm just a very satisfied customer (and hopefully a CISSP now!).
Update: Got my CISSP and so did everyone is my 4 person study clique - including one person who was sure that she wouldn't pass becuase she didn't have a strong security background. So the Intense School course was a big gain for her.