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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Embedded Hardware
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: John Catsoulis
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very well done ! Way more interesting than I imagined...

I've only read half of it so far, but it's been exceptionally good to this point. I can't say enough about how informative the first chapter "Introduction to computer architecture" was. The author seems excessively leary of noise in the circuit design chapter and a bit picky about how you draw your schematics, but I suppose these things come from experience.(or maybe just being paranoid and anal-retentive!) I may have jumped the gun reviewing it so quickly, but I highly doubt it's going to go bad all the sudden. Great book! :)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages, Vol. 1: Core Technologies, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Solid Book, good tutorial for the exam

Best web programming book i've ever bought. Simple, concise and explains everything important that you should know to use Servlet and JSP in a production environment. I also passed the Sun Certified Web Components Developer exam last week just using this book and reading the Sun's specs.
Can't wait for the new version covering Servlets 2.3 and JSP 1.2.
Thank you Marty, keep up the good work.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Art of Modeling with Spreadsheets : Management Science, Spreadsheet Engineering, and Modeling Craft
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Stephen G. Powell, Kenneth R. Baker
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
nice use of a spreadsheet

Powell takes the interesting approach of showing how to model a solution to a problem, and using a spreadsheet as the engine within which to embed the solution. Who would have thought in the 70s, when the first computer spreadsheets arose, that one day they could be applied to this?

Much of the book revolves around the issues of modelling. How to extract this from a problem. Here, this is as in many other texts. But we then see how a spreadsheet can be built up, with the equations that relate a group of input cells to write a value in an output cell, being those that model the solution.

To a computer programmer, this use of a spreadsheet might seem a little confining. After all, shouldn't you write code in some general purpose language like C++ or Java, to do this? But the number of programmers who can do this well is fairly small. Whereas spreadsheets have a far broader audience, even in terms of who is able to program them. That is the audience Powell writes for.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Alan Cooper, Robert M. Reimann
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Tought medicine for most software developers

When Alan Cooper wrote the first edition of About Face in 1997, the software industry was in the midst of its biggest change ever. Just about every new user interface was being created in the context of a Web browser. Cooper was the leading advocate to persuade software developers, graphic artists, usability designers, and interaction designers to avoid bringing the mistakes that got baked into desktop application software developing into Web development. His impact has been profound, but not very easy for most software developers.
Key to this book is to understand that it challenges software developers to consider a user's goals first. And the book means "a user", not all of the users, but a single user. I've been to Alan's presentations and you can see the software developers in the audience squirm in their seats. "Don't I have to build my software to work for the largest group of users?" they ask. Alan's book says "No. Instead, build for a single user, and make sure your work accomplishes their one goal." About Face might be better titled "User Goal Oriented Software Development."
The book's focus on "interaction design," as opposed to user interface design, matches the key theme of user goal oriented development. For example, when my printer runs out of ink a dialog box appears on my computer asking for me to put more ink into the printer and then click one of the following buttons: Finish and Continue. As the user, my goal is to Finish, but the software wants me to put more ink in the printer and then to Continue. Interaction Design addresses this problem, where user interface design would more likely tell the software developer where to place the buttons in the dialog box. Interaction design keeps the focus on user goals.
I loved the original book, and find the new release to be refreshing.
-Frank Cohen, www.pushtotest.com