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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft SQL Server(TM) 2000 Administrator's Pocket Consultant (It-Administrator's Pocket Consultant)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: William R. Stanek
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good book for intermediate level users.


Book works pretty well as a pocket consultant. Easy to reference and it's certainly small enough (especially if you're moving from 7.0 to 2000)that you can carry it around. If you're looking for in-depth information, look somewhere else.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaServer Faces
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Hans Bergsten
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A Great Introduction to JavaServer Faces


In this book, Hans has provided us with a good starting point to using JSF, including the Servlet and JSP systems on which it is built. This is of particular value to those of us coming from an ASP.Net background who so often are given a book that looks at just one small piece of the J2EE picture, leaving us to feverishly google for answers to questions regarding underlying java technologies.
What you should bear in mind with this book is that it is all-inclusive: a lot of the book's documentation can be readily found online--as long as you know where to look (and, believe me, coming from a Microsoft background it takes a while to know where to look--eg. "sourceforge, what?"). Including all documentation for JSF gives the benefit of not having to look for it yourself.
Remember also that JSF is a very new technology and not all of the details have been fleshed out about it (generating custom errors for validation is sorely lacking). As such, I would imagine it to be hard to write a book full of those "watch out" tips when the framework hasn't been widely deployed on various environments and in divergent situations. Hans' book reflects this by appearing to some to be overly general.
I really appreciated the chapter showing how to plug in custom renderer code into JSF, it shows that Hans recognizes the shortcomings of JSF and points the way to fixing them.
Overall, if you are a top-notch Java web app builder familiar with Struts or Tapestry, okay, you would get just as much benefit downloading the spec and reading it. If, however, you are a relative newcomer to java-based web apps--or just someone who wants to have it all in front of you--, especially if you're coming from the Microsoft world, I would recommend this for you.
A final note: I'm an average guy who picked up this book. I have no affiliations with Hans and yet, when I sent emails asking him questions on hang ups I found using JSF, he responded to me with detailed information about my issue. Not only that but Hans has been very vocal in pushing to make JSF better by publishing articles (...) and trying to get the Tapestry folks to help.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Understanding .NET: A Tutorial and Analysis
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: David Chappell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
.NET in a Nutshell. What more could you ask!


If you looking for an easy to read, a quick, and concise primer on Microsoft's .NET there is no need to look anywhere else. Just a quick scan of the table of contents convinced me to take the plunge and purchase the book. Before I read this book, I had read some of the white papers on Microsoft's web site. Wow, was that tough reading!! Some of the information was good and yet it was really too raw to be an "easy read". I was looking for something that would begin to put some of my .NET puzzle pieces together. After reading David Chappell's book I now have the puzzle together with a very clear picture. I liked the balance he gives to the treatment of .NET vs. Java. He values both environments and understands the competition between both can only benefit software development going forward. I really liked the margin notes on each page of the book they are a real aid to capturing the main points from the adjoining paragraphs. Well, still thinking about whether to buy the book. If you consider your time valuable you will be repaid many times over because you have in a very concise and time sensitive treatment, .NET in a "nutshell". You can't get much smaller than that!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Andre Lamothe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very cool:)


I always have a problem reading big fat books... I start a few chapters, then give up!
Anyway, this is the first big fat book I've ever read from start to finish!
Andre has a cool, very readable style of explaining things, some quirky jokes here and there, and cute quotes from movies at the start of every chapter:)
So yeah, to summarise, it's cool!:)