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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Secrets and Lies : Digital Security in a Networked World
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Bruce Schneier
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
For those who want to go beyond the mere technology...

Bare technology has never been enough to solve any business, let alone social, problem. The same holds true for security technologies that often create a false sense comfort in today's complex world. This book ruthlessly shatters such notions by exposing the limitations of technology as well as products hyped up by vendors. It portrays what an apocalyptic world we live in, when it comes to digital security. This book does not teach you the technical aspects of security. But it does a superb job of providing you with deep insights about the issues -- mostly non-technical -- surrounding security. Of course, sometimes Mr. Schneier seems to get a bit carried away with anecdotes in explaining certain issues; but such diversions can help stimulate the reader's mind.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, Dennis M. Ritchie
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
C is K&R!

When I started studying C programming this little book (compared to other "bibles") was the only reference I had. Well, if you really want to know how to program in C this IS the BOOK.
No "super-duper ANSI-POSIX-ISO standard lists of functions" (you can simply find them with the man pages or on the net, and believe me, it's a snap), just pure C programming problems and techniques: types, casting, pointers, memory management, character management, binary operators, macros, etc... just the real basics of what makes a good programmer. Later, if you're interested, you'll have the opportunity to use advanced super-ISO functions that do everything. But then, you'll know what you're doing and why.
The key point is: with K&R you are given the knowledge of C programming, not the recipe for doing some C programming.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Complete Study Guide, Deluxe Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Dan Newland
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good Core Prep, lacking on OS

I recently passed both of my tests with in a week under the 2001 objectives. (Core: 815/ OS: 750) Even though my scores are fairly impressive considering I only had this book as a guide, 1/8 of the Core and 1/4 of the OS portion was answered from personal experience and was NOT covered in the book.
The book contains errors and in some sections has a poor layout that can be confusing. If you pay attention between sections, they will contradict each other as to the "right" answer or in some cases have a completely wrong answer. (Ex. You can have a dual boot between 9x/2000 with the 2000 partition set to NTFS, you just will not be able to see the NTFS partition in 9x.)
If you visit the blueprints for the OS exam on the CompTIA website (Highly Recommended before the test), you will notice that there is material on the test that is not in the book at all.
Overall I am very happy with this purchase, but the OS exam is fairly difficult (more so then the core) and if you are not an avid windows 9x/2000 user, you may need extra study material.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A+ Certification for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ron Gilster
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Typo - please note. Final Review 8 wks after teaching book.

See author's comments[technician's]:
......Even if you aren't the most technically astute, or even if you are, you can prepare for the A+ exam and maybe smile once or twice while you do it. After the test, or should you not be interested in A+ at all, the book will work very nicely as a service techician's [technician's] computer repair reference. Enjoy!