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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cocoa Programming
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Scott Anguish, Erik Buck, Donald Yacktman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
From an author

Disclaimer: I am one of the authors.
Cocoa Programming provides intermediate and advanced programmers with the knowledge and techniques to produce powerful full-featured Cocoa applications. Cocoa Programming communicates the wisdom and design experience of three top-notch veteran Cocoa developers and includes technical information and insights that are not available from any other source.

Cocoa is Apple's powerful and mature object oriented development technology for creating Mac OS X applications quickly and efficiently. Apple recommends that all new applications written for Mac OS X use Cocoa. Cocoa is distinguished from other object-oriented development environments in several ways: Cocoa is mature, consistent, and broad. Cocoa is based on a cross-platform specification and has evolved from a cross-platform implementation. Cocoa is extraordinarily extensible, flexible, and dynamic in part because of Objective-C, the language used to implement it.

This comprehensive book covers virtually every aspect of Cocoa application development from the tools used to build programs to sophisticated multi-media and low level implementation details. Topics ranging from client-server networking to game development are covered. Examples that can be used directly in application code and a companion Web site, http://www.cocoaprogramming.net/, provide a treasure chest of reusable objects that illustrate the best practices developed through years of use.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Office XP Step-By-Step (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Perspection Inc., Online Training Solutions Inc., Curtis Frye, Kristen Crupi, Perspection Inc., Online Training Solutions Inc.
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Weak attempt from Curtis

First off, I must say I'm a big Curtis Frye enthusiast. He has penned some extraordinarily helpful computer books in the past. But, quite frankly, this is not one of them. Not to push the envelope, but, Curtis I'm deeply disappointed by your less than helpful latest effort(if you call it that). I wanted to learn about advanced filters, HLOOKUP, And VLOOKUP in Excel, but came away learning absolutely nada. While the individual Step-by-Step books are great, this insipid collaboration failed to advance my skills, let alone help me one iota.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Access Cookbook, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Ken Getz, Paul Litwin, Andy Baron
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book is the ticket!

I have been reading Access books for months now and this one hits the sweet spot that I needed. I consider myself knowledgeable in the basics of Access, but have been wanting to incorporate code to make my databases more user-friendly. I'm a network administrator, not a full-time DBA or programmer. Other books that I have read were either too basic, too theoretical, or too technical for me. This book gives dozens and dozens of practical problems that can be addressed with code along with well-written solutions and sample code that you can import and use in your databases. Thanks for a great resource!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C, Second Edition
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Bruce Schneier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very easy to understand, and complete

When I read this just after it came out, it was arguably the best, most comprehensive book on the subject. It may still be, but I haven't surveyed the field in the last year. But either way, this book is very easy to read, and makes some fairly complicated stuff easy to understand. This is a subject area that makes it real easy to be dry, boring, and all of that, but this book is none of those things. Applied Cryptography is fun to read, and makes the subject interesting. About 1/2 of the book is stuff anyone interested in the subject, or anyone that needs to implement some form of encryption or digital signatures will find very useful. The other half is the underlying algorithms and mathematics behind it, which to be honest I didn't read and didn't need to know to do my job. But this is a great book, and has both sides of the story.