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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Enterprise JavaBeans, 3rd Edition
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Ed Roman, Rima Patel Sriganesh, Gerald Brose
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best EJB Book


Easy reading. Very clear and easy to understand. Recommend it for anyone who wants to start EJB. Full of expert advice.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: BSD Hacks
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Dru Lavigne
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Mac-Centric Review for Darwin/OS X Hackers


Originally reviewied for the Lower East Side Mac Unix Users Group:
http://lesmuug.org/reviews.html

OVERVIEW
--
There is a type of information that I consider to be a gem, a kind of information that doesn't really fit anywhere formally. It's too small, or perhaps too esoteric, to fit in most places.
This makes it hard to find- though these info-gems can often can be the source of wild hacking inspiration, or solve my un-solvable problems in some elegant manner.

This kind of information sometimes gets collected and recorded, Some of us at LESMUUG have really enjoyed the Mac OSX Hints book, spawned from macosxhints.com website,

http://lesmuug.org/reviews.html#Anchor-Mac-49575

BUT, after plowing repeatedly it's one UNIX chapter in Mac OS X Hints, I found myself craving more...

A Problem with BSD books:
One of the quietly great things about the BSD family of UNIX Operating Systems, is the terrific documentation. The quality and consistency of the man pages, across every BSD I've ever touched, I painfully appreciate when I use man pages on other non-BSD systems.
The FreeBSD world has the FreeBSD Handbook project, a printed and free online resource which sets the bar for every fat FreeBSD book out there. OpenBSD and NetBSD both have amazing online tutorials and documentation projects as well. Even the fledgling DragonFly BSD project has a full-blown Handbook, modeled after its FreeBSD lineage.
In the OpenDarwin and OSX world we enjoy the legacy of solid man pages and solid HowTo's online from our BSD heritage, and of course free registrations to developer.apple.com to boot.

With all that great documentation, it's really tough to find a BSD book that's really valuable, especially for experienced users, and Dru Lavigne has made a valuable and fun resource with BSD Hacks. The book is an impressive compilation of BSD gems, and as it's written for newbies and hardcore hackers alike.

Dru is a Canadian BSD Rockstar, well known in the BSD world for her articles with O'Reilly online, including the FreeBSD Basics column for ONLamp,

http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/catalog/view/au/73

so who better to write a book that doesn't fit into traditional documentation?! Someone who KNOWS BSD.


ABOUT THIS BOOK
--
The Book is comprised of so many disparate yet complete ideas, It's hard to sum up exactly what's in there. From networking, to gems on system maintenance, and gems about basics that really get lost in man pages. There's information about things like keeping up-to-date, giving a tutorial-level big picture of what can be done to keep your UNIX system running smoothly, boot and Login gems, some good Security Hacks and hacks about system customization and shell tricks. There's even a tutorial for how to create YOUR OWN man pages.

For Mac/Darwin users, the majority of the book applies directly to Darwin UNIX! A section which by its nature is OS-specific, would be the hacks about various port and application-distribution systems. This includes a good how-to for DarwinPorts, right along with the usual ports systems for other platforms. The section on filesystems doesn't have anything on hfs+, but that can be excused, insomuch as many mac-centric texts do it the same injustice.

Check out the TOC online for a full description of the book contents:
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/bsdhks/toc.html


CONCLUSION
--
If you are a UNIX user who loves info-gems like I do, or you're a Mac UNIX user who digs macosxhints.com, (and the books published from it), I feel BSD Hacks will provide many weekends, and workdays worth of BSD gems- all written by a great technical author. This book now sits next to my printed FreeBSD Handbook, and since much of these gems are fairly timeless, I believe it will stay with me for a long time to come.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: STL Tutorial and Reference Guide: C++ Programming with the Standard Template Library (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: David R. Musser, Gillmer J. Derge, Atul Saini
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
I found MSDN more useful than this book


Whenever I need help with STL, I open this book only to find that it has nothing useful on it. For those who have MSDN don't bother to buy this book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe Creative Suite All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Jennifer Smith, Jen deHaan
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Pretty darn good for a "Dummies" publication!


I haven't always found the "For Dummies" books to be extremely helpful in the realm of software guides. This book, however, proved to surpass my expectations.
The language style was very beginner-friendly. The order of presentation of the programs and features in the CS suite made sense. The index was highly inclusive and helpful.
This book is geared toward someone totally new to the Adobe programs. It's a step-by-step approach to familiarizing the reader to the basics of the Suite's features and helping the reader recognize when the different programs can be used in conjunction with one-another for effective results. I would not recommend it for people who already have experience with Adobe Programs and wish to brush up on the new features in CS, but for beginners to Adobe it's a comfortable place to get your feet wet.