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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SQL Server 2000: The Complete Reference
Publisher: Osborne/McGraw-Hill
Authors: Jeffrey Shapiro
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Not Recommended!

I am a software developer of over 30 years. While I am new to SQL server, I have been doing DBMS developement for over 15 years.
I gave up on this book by page 55. I found the style plodding with only marginally helpful analogies. But the real problem was a series of muddled, misleading and downright inaccurate statements and references. There are too many to list them all here, but a few examples:
Muddled on p 50: "You can create additional indexes for a table, targeted at certain columns. Multiple indexes require more resources, however, so you need to be conservative and limit new indexes to columns you know are frequently searched on. In other words, no two rows can have identical values for the index key." What does the third statement have to do with the first two?
Inaccurate on page 48, figure 2-7 shows two tables, but the caption refers to three tables and using A, B and C for names/labels which do not appear in the figure: "The primary key in Table A links the row to the rows in Tables B and C, which bear the foreign keys. All three rows combine to form a unique record. If you delete one of the rows, you actually break the record and wreck the integrity of your data." The last statement is at best misleading, at worst inaccurate.
In discussing Constraints (NOT NULL) on p 52: "As discussed earlier, NULL means that the record is deemed to be unknown or missing." Actually, the value of a column for the row is unknown or missing, not the whole record.
I cannot rely on the information I learn from a book that contains such problems and cannot recommend it to friends.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Grokking the GIMP
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Carey Bunks
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Most Current, to date,that I've discovered, on the Gimp

I have searched high and low for a decent book on the Gimp. There are a several, good references ("Learning the Gimp in 24 Hours", "Essential Gimp for Web Developers", etc.) though many are out dated due to the rapid progress progress the developers. The Gimp, an excellent example of what open source cooperation produces, is well represented in this book. The author illustrates the use of the Gimp with clear diagrams, concise descriptions, and excellent examples of the Gimp's functionality. Apart from the official Gimp documentation, this book has served me well.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Bill Hatfield
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Don't waste your money

If you are a novice to asp.net, I strongly recommend this book. It doesn't cover much database access stuff but perfect for understanding .NET web forms etc.

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
What's security *really* about?

This is an important book for both techies who work in computersecurity, and anybody who cares about the security of our digital world. It's about issues much larger than bits, bytes, or even protocols.
For me, it pulled together all the threads about physical and computer security that have been running through the various industries for years into one sensible view.
Read it. It'll help you spot idiot ideas, and, even more important, help you argue against them.