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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Amazing Content, Questionable Writing

Stroustrup clearly shows that his expertise is in computing and not in writing with this book. If you comprehend everything that is in this book, you will definitely have an unbelieveable knowledge of this language. This book *might* work for a beginner to C++ but has significant expertise in other programming languages, but is certainly too advanced for a person that is new to programming altogether. His writing style leaves something to be desired. Stroustrup sometimes phrases ideas an an unnecessarily obscure/long-winded manner when concise wording is available. Sometimes his choice of adjectives/adverbs is questionable. This book can benefit from the input of someone with more expertise in writing. To his credit, I have yet to find anything actually *wrong* in this book, so at least the book is well-proofread (which, unfortunately, is not true for all C++ books....)
However, his writing flaws are nothing that cannot be overcome by a technically competent reader with a reasonable amount of diligence, and I strongly recommend this book for someone looking to take their C++ skills to the next level.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy X-2 Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Brady Games
Authors: Dan Birlew
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

First of all the good thing about this book is that it has a lot of color pictures. Other than that, this book is a bit of a mess. The problem comes from the layout of the book. The game itself is a nonlinear game, and the book tries to be a nonlinear book. THe problem with that is that it jumps around too much. Using this book, it's difficult to follow the course of action, and impossible to get a 100% complete. It would have been better if they had chosen a certain course, and then presented a walkthrough for that course.
Another thing which wasn't very good in my opinion was that the item list wasn't very helpful. If an item isn't sold in a store, then you wouldn't know how to get it. You'd have to spend about 15 minutes looking through the creature list to find out if you can get it from a creature or not. If you can't, then it would be impossible to find where to get it using this book. You'd have to find it by chance.
Basically, I found that this book gives you lots of information that you already know, or is in the game, or is easy to figure out. The really difficult things are hardly covered and the detailed information that you need isn't even covered. I would pass on this. You can find better guides elsewhere.

Product: Book - CD-ROM
Title: Cisco CCNA Network Simulator: CCNA Self-Study, Router Simulation Software for Hands-On CCNA 640-801 Skills Enhancement
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Boson Software Inc.
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great investment

I bought and used this product to prepare for my CCNA exam, and found it to be a wonderful investment (I passed with a 933 on my first try). I did most of the labs and created some of my own. I used this simulator while reading through the Cisco Press Certification library, testing myself in areas as I read. I had no problems installing the product and have had no problems running it. My only "gripe" is that it doesn't support as many features as I would like (for example etherchannel configuration). But for these features I will have to wait for Netsim for CCNP, still in beta. But I thought it was a very life-like product. For example, I learned to get up and get a drink of water or something while waiting for RIP or IGRP to converge, and I got to see OSPF and EIGRP converge very quickly. Overall, this product will prepare you and give you confidence for the simulator sections of the exams, and if used properly, the troubleshooting sections where you may need to be able to read output of a "show" or "debug" command and figure out what is going on.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not bad, but there is a superior HTML book out there.

I work in a web-page development company and we use this book all the time for a quick reference or to teach us what we don't know! What a great guide...the pictures show you how to do it and the clear concise instructions make web development simple! A must have!