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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cocoa(R) Programming for Mac(R) OS X (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Aaron Hillegass
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The most illuminating book on Cocoa

I already understood object-oriented programming and was eager to learn about Cocoa. I read this book and the O'Reilly books. "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X" was clearly the best. Judging from the Cocoa mailing lists, everyone seems to agree that this is the best place to start with Cocoa programming.
I was worried that it might not be ready for Mac OS 10.2. A few of the screenshot are clearly dated, but overall the book is completely 10.2-compatible. Also, there was extra information at the Big Nerd Ranch website to ensure that I had no problems using the book with Mac OS 10.2.
I like the clear, readable style, and I thought the material covered was truly useful. I actually emailed the author, and I found him quite pleasant and helpful. I hope he writes an advanced book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Java(TM) Programming Language (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Arnold, James Gosling, David Holmes
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Concise semantics, but very conceptual

As an experienced C++ programmer, I'm happy I picked up this book for the Java language semantics (the syntax and keywords and stuff). It has proved very useful for translating what I know how to do in C++ to Java, but the wording is often difficult to understand. Whereas books that taught me how to do things in C++ were written for an audience migrating from a top-down, procedural coding style (aka Pascal or C), - logically wrapping functions and variables together into C++ classes - this book teaches one how to design from a purely object-oriented approach. In other words, a book on OO design is almost required reading in order to understand this. To the author's credit, he is very good at describing how to tie everything together semantically given the incredible flexibility of the Java language. I had to look to examples outside of this book for the fundamental class design of a simple GUI. That's not that bad really, as the online Java Tutorial complements this book very well with the old AWT and the new SWING trails.
All in all, very comprehensive! Doesn't have much detail on the AWT or SWING Java packages and won't teach you how to design a simple GUI application. Otherwise, excellent.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop Elements 2 Solutions: The Art of Digital Photography
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Mikkel Aaland
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
OK - but...

This is a wordy introduction to Elements 2. Mr. Aaland provides a good rationale for improvement with photographs and how they may be accomplished. This is important - as it is not immediately obvious what improvements need to be made to a photograph when starting out in digital photography.
However, his approach is wordy - and you have to plough through a lot of (unnecessary) text to go through the individual steps. Some people like wordy explanations, others a more visual guide to a visual medium.
Secondly, and this is a personal feeling, it is clear that Mr. Aaland makes his living by writing computer manuals and not in graphics or as a photographer. The photographs supplied on the CD and in the book are of the mundane snapshot variety. This may be fine if you are simply working on mundane snapshots - however, for me (and I am sure others), I am looking for approaches to improve more artistic photographs. (If you are looking for help with this and you are visiting the UK, I recommend you buy a copy of Digital Photo magazine [not Digital Photography or other similarly named magazines] - you will get a lot of clearly, explained advice there).
So a mixed bag. If you are looking for a reasonable comprehensive 'textbook' on PE2 then consider this. If you are through the basics and are looking for a deeper explanation of advanced features and artistic management, then I suggest you look elsewhere. For me, the book falls short of my needs and interests and the CD photographs are disappointing.
Hope this helps!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Crystal Reports .NET Programming
Publisher: Bischof Systems
Authors: Brian Bischof
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Crystal Reports .NET Book

I'm new to Crystal Reports .Net. To be more precise, I'm new to the whole .Net framework. Currently i'm using the book at my internship and it's helping my out ALOT. I've read several of the reviews for this book from grammatical errors to the author used the wrong font.
First of all, the author wrote this book about Crystal Reports .NET, not Crystal Reports 9 or 10. There is a difference.
Secondly, the author has a section within the first few pages of his book addressing the grammatical errors called "Grammatical Errors" (In Bold). After all, he did self-published the book and editing your own work is extremely hard. So those who were commenting about that are taking this review a little bit too seriously.
Yeah, the terminology ("web page" should be "ASP. NET Web App") is probably wrong but as you read on you'll know exactly what he means.
As far as examples, when you install Crystal Reports .Net it comes with example reports to work with. The author guides you on how to retrieve them in the first chapter of the book. He even gives you the full file extension (if you didn't change the default) of the report's location.
Anyhow, Crystal Reports .NET programming is an excellent book/reference for first time users AND professionals even though I don't consider myself to be one. He goes into detail as to what each Taps, components, viewers, and other features do; and how and when to used them.
The codes given in this book are well explained and easy to follow. Most codes access features that other books do not go into.
It is a well written, extremely thorough and comprehensive yet not too technical for first-time users to understand book to have and its well worth the listed price. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to use Crystal Reports .Net.