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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C# for Java Developers
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Allen Jones, Adam Freeman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Ultimate Java to C# Book

I found this book to be a thorough and excellent insight in to the .NET world and is a must for Java programmers developing in C#

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Excel 2003 Bible
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: John Walkenbach
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Excellent - for people who never used Excel before!

Perhaps I expected too much, but this book is so voluminous that one assumes it should contain all the answers to Excel related questions (as many people believe the books of `Bible' type should :-). On my second try, I was greatly disappointed to find that the only reference on important programming function `ADDRESS' is a one-line definition! So, if you never used Excel before, I guess this book would be a good place to start. Otherwise, continue to search for the true Holly Book elsewhere.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Paul Graham
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Thus spake St.Paul ...

I have been reading Paul Graham's articles ever since he popped up on Slashdot a couple of years back. I was so excited to hear about the book, that I pre-ordered without waiting for the local edition that is 3-4x cheaper. I don't believe in objective reviews and ,strongly recommend this book to any above average nerd-types who have been suffering in silence in corporate software development environments. If you are deeply puzzled/frustrated with middle management, kool-aid languages/technology,etc., this book will provide you with deep insights into why things are the way they are.
The book is chockful of ideas and hints for getting out the nightmare, that a lot of dev groups are/have turned into. Start your own company , he says ! Why ? Because only in startups do measurability and leverage both ensure that you get what you are worth. In the typical corporate dev environment judging a person's worth or something more tangible like, contributions to specific projects is next to impossible for the typical IT manager. It doesn't matter how hard you work, since the average middle manager cannot measure your contribution. Forget leverage in large groups - you can do very little to alter the course of events in your dept. A few quotes from "How to make wealth" :
*'To get rich you need to get yourself in a situation with two things, measurement and leverage.You need to be in a position where your performance can be measured, or there is no way to get paid more by doing more. And you have to have leverage, in the sense that decisions you make have a big effect'*'Smallness = Measurement'* 'Technology = Leverage'* 'Economically you can think of a startup as a way to compress your whole working life into a few years. Instead of working at a low intensity for forty years, you work as hard as you possibly can for four. This pays well in technology, where you can earn a premium for working fast.'
This book is not crassly materialistic or anything of that sort - except for the chapters "How To make wealth", "Mind the Gap", and "Programming Languages explained" the other chapters are available on the author's website, and that covers a whole range of topics from LISP, the advantages of web based software, Design, etc.
The author does appear to paint with broad brush at times, but the book is overwhelmingly full of fresh insights ,and I think all the negative reviews are missing the wood for the trees.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Complete Digital Photography, Third Edition
Publisher: Charles River Books
Authors: Ben Long
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Complete Digital Photography - tells you what you must know

I've found Ben Long's Complete Digital Photography an excellent writing about today's superior digital imaging equipment! As an advanced nature film photographer, I've had my eye on the recent advances in digital photography for quite some time, and this book will help anyone, experienced or beginner grasp a good thorough understanding of what digital photography encompasses. This writing does not go into the specifics of all the digital cameras in today's market, there are plenty of excellent equipment review sites online to handle that task. Instead, the book provides excellent material regarding how digital cameras work; what components are common and present in the various models; how to match a camera to your particular shooting requirements; the "similarities" and the "differences" between digital photography and traditional film-based photography. It further gives a good basic understanding of photography fundamentals which apply to picture taking in any medium. The book includes a CDrom disk of actual sample photos, and is presented in a tutorial basis so that you can actually try out the explained techniques and examine for yourself on your own computer/monitor and or scanner equipment setup, the qualities and results from photo editing tutorials etc., that are presented in the book. There are some excellent Adobe Photoshop image editing lessons included as well as a demo version of this popular image program on the CD. I could ramble on about this book, but let me just summarize and say that if you are serious about digital photography and/or are interested in making the transition from film to digital photography or just want to get the very best results from your digital equipment, this book should greatly help you achieve your goals... highly recommended!