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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe Photoshop CS Down & Dirty Tricks
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent PS "Cookbook", Great for beginners


Adobe is used to having a lot of books written on its products. They tend to be the most complex of any program on the market, but it is because they are so powerful. If you have got the Photoshop bug and can't make pretty changes to your pictures or projects, this is a good book to start with!!!
Yes it will not teach you a lot of the "Why???" of Photoshop, that can take some years to learn anyway. A lot of Photoshop books come it two groups, those that know Photoshop and those who don't. Most of those that are for the expert expect you to know your Gaussian Blur from your Unsharp Mask and what kind of effect it will have on your picture. Photoshop "cookbooks" as some have called them teach by example, this author's "recipe's" are easy to follow and will give hints in the margins to learn more indepth or customize. Again you might be mimicing the author, but sometimes that is all you need to feel good about your investment in Photoshop. This book was a complete rewrite from the Photoshop 7 book, I own both because both have a lot to offer that was different enough to almost consider them volumes 1 & 2. Also if you are just needing digital photographry help, I would check out Scott Kelby's books on just digital photographry.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
a very good but seriously flawed book --Close your tags!


I have used this book as a reference source for over two years. Overall, I appreciate the clear way Ms. Castro has explained all of the programming concepts. The newer edition contains an excellent section on cascading style sheets, which is very helpful.
Unfortunately, this book is seriously out of date and may not be good for someone starting out. The newest version of HTML is really XHTML, a stricter form of html that insists on closing all tags. The W3 standards body is now pushing that and deprecating the use of html code without the proper end tags. But when Ms. Castro first wrote the book, it wasn't as important to close all tags, so all of her examples contain unclosed tags. The html may still work if you code with Ms. Castro's style in current browsers, but it is no longer the accepted way of coding. Don't just believe me; read any of the dozens of sites that talk about xhtml v. html.
This standard just changed a year ago, so Ms. Castro cannot be blamed for this problem. Undoubtedly now, she knows about the standard, and the latest edition must have come out before the examples could be changed. But actually the xhtml standard was announced in fall, 1999, so it's strange that the publisher did not delay publication if only to revise the examples.
Another problem with the book is that it really doesn't address browser differences head on. Nowadays coders have to face a seriously outdated netscape browser and an IE browser that uses a lot of proprietary tags. Often good coding depends on understanding how browsers treat things. This book needs a discussion of what style sheet things are supported in each of the browsers. Given web trends, it might even make more sense to try learning xml instead of having to deal with the vagaries of different browsers.
In summary: an excellent book, but her habit of not closing tags in her examples is seriously wrong and out-of-date.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Software Engineering (6th Edition)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Ian Sommerville
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent Textbook


As one of the previous reviewers said, it has broad coverage. But I think it's not that "concise and clear". Case studies are somehow trifling, and not easy to understand, because of the specific domain involved. Sometimes principles are not clearly identified. That's why I give it four stars. Mr. Sommerville is an English man and this book is not written in American English. Some readers might not get used to it. After all, it's worthy of spending money and time on this book.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Advanced Programming in the UNIX(R) Environment
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
"A Reader" from MI rates it one star?


How could anyone objectively rate this incredible text at one star!? Have you read any of it or do you just pick books to "dis"? This book, like all of Steven's books, is fantastic. And I'm not a Unix guru or a C guru.