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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Murach's Beginning Visual Basic .NET
Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates
Authors: Anne Prince
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good beginners Guide

As a professional developer, I am constantly looking to upgrade my skills. This time around, I chose .NET. Specifically, VB.NET and ASP.NET. I looked around grabbing every book I could on the subject to learn it fast.
Anne Price's book fell into my hands. At first, I first mistook it for a training manual from an expensive training seminar. It is written in a no nonsense format without all the extra filler. Each chapter covers a topic, with examples, exercises, objectives, and the necessary information to understand the topic.
Unfortunately, given the scope of VB.NET no one author can offer depth and cover everything. Likewise, Price doesn't delve deeply into ADO.NET, XML, web services, or ASP.NET. But you will get some exposure as she does cover them.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: DOS for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Dan Gookin
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Dos For Children

This book has little or no real content. It looks good on the surface but there is nothing underneath.
In the interest of system safety the author has left out so much information it leaves the book essentially useless. Worse, it gives the impression that some of the things you may need to do can't be done.
This book may be okay for teaching children a limited use of dos but anyone that has any judgement at all needs more information.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Protocols (TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Masterwork on the subject of TCP/IP

Having come from a rather diverse computer background, I have come accustomed to books being wordy, and sometimes grammatically incorrect. This book is the first in a long time to break that general rule. As a beginner to TCP/IP and the other topics discussed in this text, I have found this book to be concise and clear in all the items discussed. It is simple enough for anyone with some basic computer experience to understand. The book itself beautiful from the cover to the wonderful illustrations included. Though Hard Cover books are often frowned upon because of their size, this book will likely be a proud addition to your collection. I used this text as an adjunct to my CS 268 Class at WVU a class on internet programming and it follows beautifully not only with the lectures, but in the way the material is organized and presented. Don't let the price tag scare you, this book is worth every nickel and dime spent on it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Perl: The Complete Reference
Publisher: Osborne/McGraw-Hill
Authors: Martin C. Brown
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
An essential desktop Perl reference

After reading the first four chapters, I decided to return the book. The more I read the book, the more frustrated I became. The flow of the book was very poorly designed. It has many catch-22 scenarios, that is, when you look up explanation of concept A, it assumes you know concept B fluently; and when explaining concept B, it assumes you know concept A. It spends very little explanation and no examples on difficult concepts and terminology, but elaborates liberally on simple concepts such as "switch". The typos are unbelievable and they seem to happen at the right place at the right time. For example, I was puzzled by the sentence "You can use the next method to see the random number generator". I said to myslef what is to see about the generator, must be something really special to Perl. Of course, it turns out that it is "seed" not "see". I quite after the first four chapters. The book may be excellent from chapter 5 on, but the first four chapters are convincing enough for me to get my hard earn money back.