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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Steve Krug
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Everyone needs to read this book!

I *just* picked up this book last night. Steve Krug has done an awesome job of making some very basic principles very easy to understand. I read over half of it already, and am absolutely thrilled with it. While I can't say that it hasn't yet taught me anything I didn't already know, it gives me an enormous value of stating things in a clear and entertaining way which I can show to developers and clients.
What's even better is that the book is short, easy to comprehend, and VERY entertaining, which means I can get our developers to READ IT!! One has already said he's going to pick up a copy himself to be able to take to meetings with him. I'm going to ask all of our management to read it, too. I think it will help everyone understand the value of design and usability principles, once they comprehend that users *don't* do what they *think* they do, and make my job sooooo much easier.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual
Publisher: Pogue Press
Authors: David McFarland
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An excellent text

I've been designing web sites for a number of years now and my program of choice was Adobe GoLive. However, I recently decided to switch to Dreamweaver MX 2004 because I wanted to take advantage of the program's advanced CSS and CSS-P capabilities. But I waited to make the switch until I knew this "Missing Manual" was available. I'd heard it was going to be released, and because I already own some other "Missing" titles, I instinctively knew this would be the book to get.
I wasn't disappointed. This book is EXCELLENT, both for newcomers to web design with Dreamweaver, but also for "switchers" like myself, who have experience with web design, but not with Dreamweaver. The book takes a step by step approach.
Some of Dreamweaver's features overlap with GoLive's, and some are common to all visual web editors; but that doesn't matter. You'll still enjoy reading this book, and you'll pick up lots of useful tips along the way.
The tutorials are PRICELESS. You simply download the files from the book's web site, and work through them, step by step, with the author holding your hand all the way. I really like the approach: learn the features, then learn to use them in a tutorial.
One very small caveat is that if you are looking for EXTENSIVE coverage on CSS layouts (without tables), you won't find it here. Yes, there is a chapter on how to lay out pages with nothing but CSS positioning, and there is a tutorial, which are a wonderful start to the subject. But you'll need something like "Eric Meyer on CSS" in order to take your CSS layout skills to the max.
This book easily deserves the 5 stars I gave it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Swing, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: James Elliott, Marc Loy, David Wood, Brian Cole
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Grew on me

I originally considered this book pretty mediocre. The authors put some methods in tables and list others. Also some chapters assume you already know too much about Swing, which was frustrating, and others use classes defined in chapters way back in the book. However, shortly after I started coding with Swing, I found this book an indespensable reference to the Swing libraries that *way* exceeds other books in its coverage. The books may not be for beginners, but I highly recommend it for medium to advanced-level Swing programmers, as its the only one that goes far enough into topics considered "expert" to be useful.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network Intrusion Detection (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Stephen Northcutt, Judy Novak
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Amazingly good book

I was stunned- stunned I tell you! by the quality of this book. As a network engineer seeking to learn more about security this book is very useful. I am learning interesting things every few pages. Best of all, the writing style is consistently lucid while the level of technical detail leaves me satisfied. In fact, I wrote my name all over my copy of this book to insure no one ever tries to take it! I can't have anything nice around here. I know they covet my things. It's mine!