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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective STL: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of the Standard Template Library
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Scott Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
If you know what "STL" stands for, you NEED this book

I'm not a professional programmer, but I play one on... Okay, I admit I'm a pretender. I code when I need to, not as an end in and of itself. When I put digits to keyboard, C++ is my language of choice, but often things aren't as clear as they should be...like STL. You gotta love it. Somebody finally comes up with a standardized container library for C++, and it proves to be difficult to do anything but the most basic "stuff it" and "get it" operations...and getting it is sometimes not guaranteed.
Along comes Scott Meyers and Effective STL with 50 specific recommendations on using the STL. Bless you, man...I mean it. This book clears up many misconceptions about the STL and will tidy up your code. It will make you wiser, help you to do things with STL that you didn't even know were possible, and may even make STL...fun (shhhh!). Its like a slap to the face. It will pull you out of your catatonic state and make you...effective.
So put down the keyboard, stop fondling your mouse, and go read a book. If you know what "STL" stands for, you need this one.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ in a Nutshell
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Ray Lischner
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
excellent reference

I purchased this book after having come to rely on the pre-publication version posted on the web.
I usually use the book for its info on the standard library (particularly containers, which were incorporated from the STL to the language standard itself fairly recently, if I recall correctly). While not a C++ guru, the other material in the book appears quite thorough.
The book is concisely laid out, yet is easy to read; different fonts are nicely used to improve readability (e.g., program code is set in a different font, which is fixed-width), as is typical for O'Reilly books.
Like any reference book, not recommended for a tutorial introduction, though the book does have a few examples.
Finally, the index to the book is pretty thorough, which is a must for any reference text.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Kalen Delaney
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
It's good to have

This book is a great referrence... but I feel funny judging it. It's like judging an encyclopedia... just another one of MS 'Inside SQL Server' series books. It's a good referrence to keep around, has useful info, and I prefer to read paper over a monitor anyday.... I won't be returning my copy anytime soon. I only gave it a 4 star rating because there is nothing that jumps out and makes this a "gotta have this" type book... but, by all means, it's worthwhile keeping around if you work with SQL 2000 at all.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The CISSP Prep Guide: Mastering the CISSP and ISSEP Exams, Second Edition
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Ronald L. Krutz, Russell Dean Vines
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
The CISSP Prep Guide-- Did it make the Grade?

I Passed the CISSP exam using this book and Carl Endorf's CISSP Study Guide. If I can do it, anyone with a little experience (mine is in IPSec and firewalls) can pass the exam using these two books.