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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: USB Complete: Everything You Need to Develop Custom USB Peripherals
Publisher: Lakeview Research
Authors: Jan Axelson
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Don't by ADOBE READER version, it ...

Now in an updated and expanded second edition, Jan Axelson's USB Complete: Everything You Need To Develop Custom USB Peripherals continues to be an excellent and highly recommended "how to" guide and reference for anyone seeking to develop devices and software that communicate with USB. This new edition explains what developers need to know about version USB 2.0 specifications and its new high speed of 480 Megabits per second. There is also an added example application code in both Visual C++ and Visual Basic, information about new controller chips and development tools, as well as expanded coverage of the USB support under Windows. The value of this highly recommended text is enhanced further with the author's extensive web page with articles, program code, and other links of special interest...

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: SNMP, SNMPv2, SNMPv3, and RMON 1 and 2 (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: William Stallings
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Comprehensive but not Very Well Structured

The book "Snmp, Snmpv2, Snmpv3 and Rmon 1 and 2" describes network management with the SNMP protocol. The first part introduces the reader to network management fundamentals and the rest of the book deals with SNMP and RMON. It covers the history of SNMP, the standard MIB, the management information, the protocols and the security models (v3).
The book is quite comprehensive and covers all relevant aspects of SNMP (and then some). The chapters are ordered chronologically, the text can thus be read from front to back, starting with the simple assumptions and basic operations of v1, leading to the more complex issues of the v3 security model.
There are quite some problematic aspects to this text. I had a hard time reading it, as some of the concepts are not explained very well and because of a lack of a good overview of SNMP, its protocols and the information model. Some simple concepts are illustrated and described well but in a repetitive manner, and some of the more advanced features of SNMP are not covered well, or are hidden somewhere within a generic section, e.g. table augments. The author also has the tendency to dig into related topics throughout the book, which makes it hard to get the essential information on SNMP while reading the book. It would have probably been better to collect these sections and chapters at the end of the book, e.g. Measurements, Polling Frequencies, all the chapter's appendices.
Some of the chapters are really not needed for a book like this. E.g. the whole chapter on the cryptographic algorithms in SNMPv3. It is very hard to explain cryptography in 20 pages and there are a lot of marvelous books on the subject.
The organization of the book seems to follow the RFCs a little bit too closely.
Overall, this text is a comprehensive description of SNMP, but the structure and the writing style make it quite hard to read.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Crystal Reports 8.5: The Complete Reference
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: George Peck, George Peck
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Wish for more developer stuff

While a very comprehensive book, getting me through some of the starting developer tools. This book left a little bit to be desired in documenting more on the ASP developing capabilities. Rather just telling you to "check out the sample code" which isn't bad advice (the sample code in Crystal Reports is fairly thorough) but I'd appreciate documentation on every possible Method, Property, etc. on the ASP Development objects in Crystal Reports.
In short: any power user will appreciate this book, but developers might be left hanging somewhat.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: UNIX Network Programming, Volume 2: Interprocess Communications (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
As always, Stevens is worth every penny.

Ok, I will admit to be biased. Stevens is a unix programming god. Or mine anyway.
However, I will dare say that again he has improved his previous good work. I felt that he improved and showed a lot more in his second edition of Volume I, and I felt the same way about volume II. While his was HARDLY the first serious book on thread programming that I have read (I also suggest programming with Posix Threads, if it interests you), his was very informative, from both a beginner and advanced standpoint. If you have only one author to buy, this is it.