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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCNA Certification Library (CCNA Self-Study, exam #640-801)
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Wendell Odom
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Easy to read, few complaints

I'm on chapter 15 of the INTRO and 9 of the INCD.

The books are very easy to read and understand. However, if I had to find flaws, it wouldn't be that hard:

There are significant errors here and there; E.G. the section on Classful vs Classless routing uses the wrong term in one of the sentences. If you were paying attention in the earlier parts of the section, the error will cause you to stumble enough to where it should catch your eye. There are probably one or two other errors of this type elsewhere in the book. Nothing fatal for those studying to get their CCNA, though.

The only other complaint I've had so far is that I'm making my own flash cards while I read, and were I to arrange the books myself, I'd do it somewhat differently. As an example, early in your reading (if you switch between books using the suggestions in the introductions, *if* you're taking the single exam), you'll hit Chapter 4 (Fundamentals of WANS) in the INTRO book fairly early in your reading, and then see much of the same information later on in Chapter 9 of the ICND book (Point-to-Point Leased Line Implementation). So if you're making your own flash cards, you'll either end up duplicating information a bit or you'll end up reordering your flash cards here and there.

Don't get me wrong: Odom is a good writer, and there's a lot of material that an editor would have to go through, so a misprint or two can be forgiven. And the best way to get something straight is to hear it multiple times. I can see how these books would be useful as both study guides and references. If you're going to read these books at a quick or even moderate pace, though, you will experience some deja-vu. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
be patient if you can

This book took me a while to get used to, mostly because you have to decode the thing before you can use it yourself. What I'm getting is that the writers don't really dissect each script, so you kid of have to figure out what goes where and why in order to apply it to your own work. It's a good reference for me now, but I do wish it went a little more in-depth script-wise.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Secrets and Lies : Digital Security in a Networked World
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Bruce Schneier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An Excellent Security Overview

This book provides a first-rate overview of security issues and problems that is well-written for its intended audience: from technical managers to senior executives. (And, although it is clearly not intended as a technical manual, it is nonetheless accurate from a technical perspective, as one would expect from an author of Schneier's stature.)
I've worked as a corporate security manager and IT director for 20+ years, and I have often wished for a book that would bridge the gap between the typical high-level board presentation and the technical nitty-gritty. Unfortunately, too, the point that many technical folks fail to grasp is that security is NOT primarily a technical problem -- it involves decisions that are fundamental to the working of the organization. _Secrets and Lies_ is, IMHO, just what the doctor ordered.
Yes, Bruce Schneier is human, and puts in a plug for what he's doing at the end of the book. But there is lots of value in this book.
Highly recommended.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PostgreSQL
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Korry Douglas, Susan Douglas
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
An almost complete reference

I really enjoyed the work of Korry and Susan Douglas, opening the world of PostgreSQL to me. I'd not considered the database a viable contender for my needs until I opened this book and saw all of the goodies it had to offer. The book explains the details of PostgreSQL in enough detail to get you going without bogging you down in the details, and I appreciate that, except for one thing:
1. I would have liked more information about installing and using PostgreSQL on Windows. They discuss installing with Cygwin, but don't cover downloading from Postgres' site, or any of the quirks that come from using Postgres on Windows. This is I'm certain an oversight and something they will correct or add to the next edition of the book.
Also, I can do without YASI (yet another SQL intro). I know SQL, I own SQL In A Nutshell from O'Reilly, I'm more than capable of working with databases, and I'd much rather they just explain what's unique and different about PostgreSQL instead of reviewing the SQL syntax with me.
Still, all those being said, I find this book to be informative and worthwile.