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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learn to Program with Java
Publisher: Osborne/McGraw-Hill
Authors: John Smiley
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Not for experienced programmers, but...

I'm not an experienced prorammer, so it was perfect for me. This book has taken some criticism for how the college students sound like they are 10 years old, but as an instructor myself I know it is those "10 year old questions" that can really stump you. Mr. Smiley anticipates many of the questions a beginner would ask. This is where more advanced books like Deitel's "Java - How to Program" fail the beginner.
Another difference is Smiley's "single project" method. Deitel, like others, uses separate code examples to demonstrate separate concepts. At least for me, nothing sticks. With Smiley, developing one project throughout the book really reinforces new concepts. It also helps newbies learn something more important than language syntax, and that is how to program. I wish more authors realized that learning how to design and think through the solution to a problem comes before learning syntax.
I'm no expert after using this book, but I finally have a solid base and a sense of direction. Now I can use books like Deitel's to expend on my knowledge and fill in the details, and they will make more sense.
This books fulfills its purpose perfectly.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Flash MX 2004 : Training from the Source (Training from the Source)
Publisher: Macromedia Press
Authors: Jen deHaan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Well written training for Flash MX 2004 authoring

This is one of the best training books I have ever used. The book is targeted at someone with no Flash authoring experience, who wants to learn the most current version of Flash, MX 2004 and the Flash 7 Player. The author picked a sample project which she uses to illustate a wide variety of Flash authoring techniques. ...
In addition to teaching the basic technique, the author also explains how to organize and name the parts of the document. The CD ROM has the lesson document in all it's versions, so that you can jump into the lesson sequence at any point.
The author understands how to teach. The planning and organization of this book really stands out - you will learn a wide variety of Flash techniques in reasonable amount of time.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Jakarta Struts, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Chuck Cavaness
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Not just a Struts book!

I highly recommend this book. I have found it useful for not just Struts-related material, but programming in general. I have great respect for this author for publishing his chapters early and have followed this book from the beginning.
This book covers all of the 1.1 features in plenty of depth, but also covers good strategies for building web applications that are not solely struts specific ideas. If you are building web applications, using Struts or not, you should definitely invest the money in this book.
Kudo's to chuck cavaness for doing such a good job on Struts coverage as well as everything else!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Francesco Balena
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not for the rest of us

If you want to work at Microsoft maybe this is the book to study. If you are not a professional programmer and are trying to make a simple program, get another book. Amidst allthe unnecessary details, I could not find information on how to make a simple executable that could run without invoking the whole VB6 code.