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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HP-UX 11i Systems Administration Handbook and Toolkit, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Poniatowski
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent


I used this book to learn HP-UX while setting up a new HP server (the A500). At first, it served as an intuitive "quick start" guide and later as my favorite reference book--being comprehensive enough to resolve every issue I came across. The author demonstrates a great understanding of HP's operating system and unlike most computer savvy folks, he is able to impart that knowledge in a way I can easily understand it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Applied XML Programming for Microsoft .NET
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Dino Esposito, Dino Esposito
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
For Advanced readers only


I am a proficient MSXML coder but i can't get what I want (knowledge about .Net XML programming objects) from this book because the author habitually relies on advanced concepts from related technologies to explain things. So unless you are a pretty competent .Net programmer and already proficient in ADO.Net/ADO you will struggle to understand this book and struggle to understand the significance of what you are being told and why. I gave up and resorted to looking for articles on MSDN. Undoubtedly there is good stuff here but Mr Esposito writes as an extremely knowledgeable person for the already extremely knowledgeable person only.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Andrew Hunt, David Thomas
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Old dogs and new tricks


I came to this book at a low time in my life. I had been working in software for over 12 years and I was beginning to think that I was an old fossil that no longer knew anything about how to write code "these" days. This book reassured me that I still knew what I was talking about and that my experience still had relevance in today's software environments. For that, I cannot thank the authors enough.
What I liked most about the book is how it is based in the real world. This isn't an airy-fairy book about how things should be done but what the authors have discovered as they have progressed through their careers. I must admit that a lot of it strikes a resonance within me, especially the areas that I feel that I am weak on.
In many ways the book confirmed many of my long-held beliefs (e.g. the command line is a "good" thing ... for developers). However, it encouraged me to think more about documentation (i.e. building it in) and meta-programming (to cut down on duplication and ease code generation). I have thought about this issues from time to time but Andy and Dave help you to realise that this can work for you, and cut down the overall amount of work you have to do. I had always avoided meta-programming since getting the immediate task completed always "seemed" more important at the time.
I cannot praise this book enough. It covers the praticalities of working in software in a way the Steve McConnell's Code Complete does not. I think the chatty style is what makes the difference. Code Complete, which I admire in many ways, seems far more dry than The Pragmatic Programmer. I would recommend that a engineer read both books since CC covers so many basic issues that it is difficult to fault (expect for the positioning of braces in C code) whereas TPP is ground in the practicalities of what does, and does not, work within a wide variety of environments.
I would heartily recommend TPP to anyone, especially to those that have been working in software development for a few years.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: eBay for Dummies, Fourth Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Marsha Collier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Updated and still tops


Grammatical nuances aside, this book is the only book to bring us simplified, up to date information on the ebay site. In Dummies style, its fun and informative and is a solid starting book for the beginner. I found step by step instructions for the the important tasks necessary to be sucessful on ebay. Even though I have been a casual ebay user, I found tips in this book that I couldn't find elsewhere. I recommend it highly for the newcomer to ebay's world.