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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Regular Expression Pocket Reference
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Tony Stubblebine
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great reference, but not a tutorial


The editorial blurb on this book suggests that it can be used as a tutorial by those new to regular expressions. That's not the case. This book is strictly a reference, albeit a very good one. I bought O'Reilly's "Mastering Regular Expressions" to learn the area, and I use this book as a quick reference. It serves that purpose very well.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ActionScript Cookbook
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Joey Lott
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Better than OK


As the editor of the book, I have to take issue with the anonymous, 3-star review of December 23, 2003 entitled "An OK book for programmers"
A single book can't be perfect for every level of reader, but the near-unanimous 5-star reviews tell us we did a pretty good job. Certainly, there are occasional examples that mirror things that can be found in the documentation, because we strove to make the book as complete as possible. But I'd strongly disagree with the reviewer's statement that "A lot of the examples are obvious explanations of the AS documentation." The vast majority of the recipes are neither obvious nor found in the documentation.
Likewise, it is true that how to loop through an array should be known by skilled programmers, but the book also targets Flashers less familiar with ActionScript. Not every recipe is intended for every reader.
Lastly, the reviewer says that "Seemingly usefull [sic] functions, like recursively stopping everything in a MovieClip, are missing." Whereas it is true that the book cannot possibly cover every scenario, Recipe 7.10 describes how to recursively traverse the movie clip hierarchy to access nested clips. Furthermore, Recipe 7.3 discusses how to control playback, including stopping a movie clip. Any skilled programmer, as the reviewer puports to be, could easily combine those two techniques to achieve the desired goal. Had the reviewer written to O'Reilly or the author for technical support, we would have gladly clarified the situation for him (or her).
As a matter of principle, I have never before reviewed a book I've edited, but I felt obligated to point out the inaccuracies in the preceding review. Please forgive me, but I think the book is worth all of 5 stars.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: DOS for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Dan Gookin
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good for beginners...


This book has little or no real content. It looks good on the surface but there is nothing underneath.
In the interest of system safety the author has left out so much information it leaves the book essentially useless. Worse, it gives the impression that some of the things you may need to do can't be done.
This book may be okay for teaching children a limited use of dos but anyone that has any judgement at all needs more information.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Dan Verton, Dan Verton
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Media Hype - Cashing In


Black Ice reads like a Clancy or Dan Brown novel, but it is a well-researched, factual book about one of the biggest issues facing national security in the information age. I deeply enjoyed every minute of reading this book. So far, no other writer comes close to keeping my attention the way Dan Verton did in Black Ice.