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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Step-By- Step.
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Michael Halvorson
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Very shallow. Great for beginners.

Like most step by step books from MS press this book is filled with lots of fluff. Just about everything covered in this huge book would be covered in the first chapter or two of most other VB books.
That is not always a bad thing though. If you have never programmed in another language before then the hand holding that this book gives you will really help you get your foot in the door although when you are finished you really won't know much more than the very basic concepts.
A good combination would be to read this book first and then to read "Visual Basic Programmers Guide" also published by microsoft press.

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
Use the Source, Luke!

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! :-)

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CIO Wisdom: Best Practices from Silicon Valley
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Dean Lane, With Members of the CIO Community of Practice, Inc. and Change Technology Solutions, Silicon Valley CIO Round Table
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I'm a new CIO

As an IT professional recently hired as a first time CIO, I was in need of a book like this one. As I began reading, it was actually eerie to see how similar my issues are to the ones addressed in this book.
The book does a great job of addressing issues; first by explaining them, then by giving real world examples of how the authors worked them, then by offering trouble-shooting advice and even offering templates where applicable.
I have shared several chapters with my direct reports and have already put some of the ideas into practice. Doing so has increased my effectiveness and therefore my chances of success in my new role. I would recommend this book to anyone else in a similar position.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows XP Inside Out, Second Edition (Inside Out)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, Craig Stinson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good overview of a sprawling software system

This book is a good overview of the essentials of XP and Office XP. It is well laid out and the general formatting is commendable. It is a 'nice' book to open and read. I don't have any regrets about the purchase.
However, it is not a book that will support many programmers and given its size, that's disappointing. For programming under XP you'll need to get an MS XP resource kit book. The book is also a bit deficient on the whole Media Technology thrust of MS, which is a bit surprising.
These points being made, it is a very worthwhile purchase.