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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A writer's writer

The thing that sticks out about this book is the quality of the writing -- it's par excellence. Computer books come and go, but this one has real staying power. It's a cut above the rest in terms of the prose. Unlike a lot of techie books out there, this is one you can't put down.
I picked up the book only mildly interested in the subject material and couldn't put it down. It took me a week or so to read through it all (the book is _really_ dense), and, once I had, I was half tempted to go through it again.
It's great to run into a technical author who knows how to write. In my view, this book is right up there with the best works in other genres. Kudos to Henderson for such a wonderful piece of work.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Modern Operating Systems (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Andrew Tanenbaum
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Comprehensive and Interesting, but Radically Restructured

The 2nd edition of this book is nearly as interesting and as much fun as the first edition, but it's a very different book. I liked the first edition for its case studies of edgy systems like Mach and Amoeba and was quite surprised to see them gone in this edition. Apparently, due to the expanding size of the overall material, Tanenbaum is only covering these in his Distributed Systems books anymore, and the case studies left in this book are UNIX and Windows 2000, OSes that I would classify as "contemporary" rather than "modern". Also, I was very disappointed not to find a single mention of MacOS X in the book.
Still, this is a superb book. It covers a wide range of material, and ties textbook material to the latest research papers in an area (for its literature survey value alone, this is a great starting point for any in-depth study of an OS topic). Tanenbaum also suffuses all of the material with humorous anecdotes and sly asides which make the book a delight to read cover to cover.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Red Hat Linux 9 Unleashed (Unleashed)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Bill Ball, Hoyt Duff
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A good introductory book

I was extremely disappointed in this book. I upgraded from 7.2 to 9.0 and some things have changed with Redhat 9.0 such as sendmail. I can except mail but can't send mail. This book tells you absolutely nothing on how to setup sendmail. As I go over the book it tells you nothing about any of the programs.
Don't waste your money.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Digital Photography Hacks
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Derrick Story
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very useful and fun to read

If you haven't picked up a book from the O'Reilly "Hacks" line, then you're doing yourself a disservice. Each book contains 100 or so tips on the subject of the book. Depending on the subject matter, some of these are actual hacks, while others are simply really cool tips. Like the other "Hacks" book, this one is not only fun to read but very well worth the tips it provides.
In what I found to be a very welcome step, the authors have provided only a few Photoshop hacks. Instead they have opted to concentrate on the many various other issues involved in digital photography. Some of the hacks you might find interesting include how to un-erase an erased CF card, how to use various filters and gels to make photos with impact, and how to use your iPod to store your photographs. While there are a couple of hacks involving Photoshop, they are totally appropriate for this type of book (which include tips for resampling and sharpening) and are not simply a rehash of what you might read in other digital photography books.
The hack I most enjoyed reading was #25 (Painless Infrared Photography). Having done a fair amount of traditional infrared photography (it's a pain), I was pleased to read just how easy it is to do with a digital camera. Some other hacks I enjoyed include #74 (Hand Color with the History Brush) and #55 (Virtual-Reality Movies from Your Digicam).
This is a really fun book to read and has a lot of very useful and interesting digital photography information that I haven't seen in other books. This is definitely a book that digital photography enthusiasts and traditional photographers who are turning to digital will enjoy.