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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Starting an eBay Business for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Marsha Collier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Gave me great information!

Trying to be positive, the best thing about this book is the exposure to some useful areas of concern and companies that I didn't know existed to serve eBay sellers (such as auction management sites and software, as well as the names of several payment service vendors). That, and the occasional nugget of useful information. When I bought this book, I thought that Marsha Collier was going to reveal some powerful secrets behind eBay business success. Instead what I found was a high level overview of the various aspects of starting a business and of the eBay site. Even though she states upfront that the book is for people who already are familiar with eBay, at least 50% of the book details eBay services and options -- nothing that you can't easily discover from eBay online help for free. Why didn't she just recommend her other book, "eBay for Dummies" for that stuff! Also, several of the "Tips" that she gave online were pretty much common sense. Coming from a marketing background, I had hoped that she would apply some serious marketing strategies to selling online and share useful marketing statistics. I guess that was asking too much from a book geared for "dummies." Even worse, I felt that Marsha was often trying to sell her secrets and promote her own website rather than really help readers. An example is the "Ebay Sellers Lighting Kit" which Marsha will be happy to sell you (don't waste your money -- build it yourself)! This reader definitely got tired of the self-promotion and commercial feel of the book.

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
Best 1st book, wholistic view of system security

This book is an excellent discussion of the security issues as they relate to a modern IT environment. The book does not focus on encryption or other technology. Rather it discusses security from a practical, wholistic point-of-view. If you are looking for a best first book and are interested in developing a perspective on security and how it applies to technology based systems, then this is the book to read.
I am a technical project lead in the IT industry. I have read at least a dozen books on the various aspects of security, and this one has proven to be the most useful to me, by far. I now can deal with any security issue or technology and be able to put it into its proper perspective. I can also hold my own in a discussion with any security "expert".
I have recommended that everyone on my current program read this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Web Programming (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Nothing special

This is not a bad book but it's nothing special. It is difficult to find information in a book with over 1200 pages. It's clumsy. If you want a book on Java, buy a Java book. For HTML, buy a HTML book and JavaScript a separate volume is more handy. Netscape's Devedge and javasoft's pages on the net will give you almost all you need, for free. Often when I search for programming tips in the book I end up with Netscape's web pages in stead.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming & Customizing PICmicro Microcontrollers
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics
Authors: Myke Predko
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A vast cornucopia of ideas and info on PICS

I have been using the book for the last 7 months , pretty much as my sole reference . It comes with a CD_ROM and circuit board for a PIC programmer , which makes it a great value . Myke usually goes out of his way , in his writing , to explain things in several different ways to ensure clarity . As a beginner , I found I could immediately start writing small usefull programs . I am now creating a fairly complex project for work . Although I still consider myself pretty much a beginner , I would highly recommend this book for experts and beginners alike . Both beginning and advanced topics are presented here , along with a wealth of valuable experience . 5 stars !