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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Users first

Self-indulgent artistes hate this guy because his ultimate message is "think of the user first." Self-indulgent artistes believe that the incessant display of their own hi-bandwidth graphical prowess is the purpose of websites. That's fine for a college kid's personal site, but it doesn't work if you are desiging for a business. Those of us who have to work in the real world appreciate Nielsen's common sense and excellent priorities.
Besides, he may not be perfect, but he's one of the few web gurus who backs up his opinions with empirical data.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java How to Program (6th Edition) (How to Program (Deitel))
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Raised my Stress Level

I took a Java course in the summer of 2003 to prepare for a course I took during the second semester of 2003-2004. I understood it fine using different documentation.
The course I took in school required me to use the Deitel book. The book is written in absolute nonsense langauge. It's very verbose and hard to understand. The book I had contained two chapter sixes and no five--it had to be sent back. By the time I got the new book I was so fed up with Java that I had explored other books. Unfortunately my instructor wanted to use this book, probably because it is so expensive. The disc included with the book contains the examples and a compiler, but the compiler doesn't work on a Macintosh, plus it is outdated. The book doesn't even have any good humor, which is essential for me in a good textbook. This is a new edition of the book, but I doubt much was changed. My school actually got rid of this book, probably because of my violent complaining and destruction of the book's cover (it's paperback and it will wear out quickly if you throw it against the wall all the time like I did--and believe me, you will want to).
If you need a Java book try Barry Burd's "for dummies" series. They are well-written and funny.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ How to Program (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
C++ and the UML too!

Comprehensive, clear, and correct, this text demonstrates virtually every aspect of C++ with nontrivial examples that serve as models for both professional and academic coding. It also introduces the most important features of the UML, shows how to use them in object-oriented analysis and design, and then implements the design in 3000+ lines of well-crafted object-oriented code.
Anyone curious about C++, object-oriented design and development, or the UML should take a close look at this book. Anyone serious about developing object-oriented C++ systems should buy it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Joe Celko's SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: Joe Celko
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
typos typos typos & sloppy explanations

There is a lot here, some of it quite advanced and quite good. But well over half the examples I looked at had errors -- typos often, or repeated chunks of text. This made the examples pretty much worthless.
His prose explanations are often very unclear indeed.