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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCIE Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: A. Anthony Bruno, Anthony Bruno
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Win - loose. Cisco Press wins, you loose on this title.

This is simple, this book seems to follow the CCNP 2 track of exam preparation information, which would be good material for the CCIE written, except, according to my understanding, they have upgraded there exam outline and created a new version of the CCIE written test. I like Cisco Press Titles, but I have seen Cisco Press behind like this before. That's why I take the time to read these book reviews and look at the test material before spending any denero on exam guides. It's been worth the hour of research to save seventy dollars on less useful info. My conclusion - I won't be buying this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCDBA, MCSE, MCSD, MCAD Training Guide (70-229): SQL Server 2000 Database Design and Implementation
Publisher: Que
Authors: Thomas Moore, Ed Tittel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Solid Guide, Watch the "Peripheral Details"

The book does a nice job of interspersing just enough personality to keep you reading when you're about to "hit the wall" without reading like a "...for Dummies" book. The content seems to be well represented and explained well overall with the beginning (broad intro) and end (security, measuring, etc.) chapters a bit sketchy-but these generally seem the hardest to write meaningfully while being concise.

The organization is occasionally a bit off. There are a number of cases where the author discusses a concept and how it applies to certain objects, but has not yet covered those objects. Rather than referencing a later chapter, I'd prefer to see the core components discussed first then the additional features added on. As intertwined as topics can be, there may be no perfect answer, but I kept feeling like there might be a better one.

The first two chapters cover a lot of the necessary basics and details that likely won't be tested on directly. The final chapter deals with monitoring, troubleshooting and optimization--a broad and amorphous topic that despite more pages than any other chapter, leaves you feeling like you've learned a tenth of what is there. Much of it is probably more admin and less programmer so glossing over is somewhat appropriate, but in many sections, there's no real information and barely even enough to lead you to the help file.

Everything else in between is discussed generally well, and should be both relevant to the exam and informative for learning the technology on the whole. It gives a solid level of detail while reading like its trying to teach you something rather than the one M$ book I've used that seems to solely want to give you enough to pass the exam. Many earlier chapters could use more of the guided practice, but are otherwise fairly instructional.

This book does a much better job of deciding when to direct you to other resources, especially Books Online, than the one M$ Press book I've made the mistake of using.

The only really serious issue I had with the book dealt with some of the questions at the end of chapters. Review questions-those designed to make you think through the general concepts, e.g., "Describe the difference between x and y"-are sometimes a bit sparse or focus on a very specific, minute point.

The worst of it seems to be in a few of the "Exam Questions", which attempt to simulate what you might see on the test. In some cases the right answer was never covered in the text or worded too vaguely to really choose one answer. At least one presented two correct answers but only one indicated as right. 80-90% of the questions are just fine. But the occasional bad ones can cause you to spend an unfortunate amount of time researching your "errors" only to find out they weren't your errors.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Official Strategy Guide (Signature)
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: Tim Bogenn, Rick Barba
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5

OK, if you want 100%, you will probably need to buy this guide. Being somewhat a purist, I waited until I had finished all the missions before I bought it, just for "clean-up". I don't think I would have EVER finished without it. Oysters are a great example, jumps as well.

HUGE GRIPE: There are SO many mistakes in this thing. They must have been on a super-tight deadline, had a fourth-grade class proof it, or both. Body armor that is on the map, but not in the game. Body armor that is in the game but not on the map. Same is true for wanted stars, and I understand photo-ops as well. VERY annoying!!! If they are going to call this the OFFICIAL guide, proof the sob!

It is, however, like a mechanic. Eventually you will need one to get from point A to point B. It also tells you what is, and more importantly, what IS NOT necessary for 100%. example: I spent many hours trying to find all the unique jumps (good luck on your own, you'll need it) only to find out they are not required for 100%.

Brady should be FORCED to issue an ammendment with ALL corrections to everyone who payed way too much for it. My advise? Get one at Target or someplace other than a game store with a minimal markup. I'm out!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Version Control with Subversion
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: C. Michael Pilato, Ben Collins-Sussman, Brian W. Fitzpatrick
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Well written manual for a solid software program

If you develop software of any type you quickly learn the importance of a good revision control system. Sometimes a minor change that fixes a bug at one point causes other portions of the program to have problems. Revision control systems allow you keep various versions of your program and go back to a prior version easily. If there are multiple people working on the project then the ability to commit changes and see what happens but easily get back to where you were becomes even more important. If you are writing a modular program then as each person or group changes their module you may need to get a current version of the project with a prior version of a module. A revision control system handles all these problems easily. Subversion is an open source version control system that can be used on any operating system that supports the Apache httpd server including Windows, Linux, and NetWare.

Version Control with Subversion is a highly useful book written with a slant toward the Linux OS. It is easy to read and understand if you are at least familiar with version control software at a theoretical level and is highly recommended. One really nice feature is an appendix covering the differences between Subversion and the popular CVS software. If you are used to CVS then this appendix makes the switch to Subversion much easier.