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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Cookbook, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Ian F. Darwin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very Useful Book

I bougt this book 2 months ago, as the fourth book about java. My task is to program a project for data aquisition, and i never programmed java before. The only way to learn a programing language is using it and the best way to use it first are examples.And this Cookbook is a very big collection of thousand very well documented, very useful examples ! Very good.The other java books i am using is "Hooked on Java (very old)", "Java Examples in a Nutshell (German edition)", similar to the Cookbook but not so good, its more scratching on the surface and a German book: "Jetzt lern ich Java" very good for the first steps. I hope that in the next time a German translation of the Java Cookbook will be available.
Markus Greim

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Andrew Hunt, David Thomas
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Nice book but too shallow

The Pragmatic Programmer is a book that describes a no non-sense approach to programming. The book covers a lot of ground, from work philosophy, to coding practices to testing to project management. The book offers good advice. The style is engaging. However I am still very disappointed by the book. Why? I found that most topics are better dealt with in other books and chapters are often too short to really do justice to the topics. For example, work philosophy is better handled in 'Please Don't Just Do What I Tell You, Do What Needs to Be Done', coding and testing are much better handled in 'Code Complete', patterns by the gang of four.
The Pragmatic Programmer is a nice book for starting programmers or for a fun read. But the return on investment is very low for a professional programmer.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Introduction to Algorithms, Second Edition
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
I'm rather ambivalent about the book

I purchased the book because it was required for my undergraduate algorithm analysis class. My experience so far has been terrible. My instructor was incapable of getting across even the basic concepts and he was constantly making mistakes and backpedaling. It didn't help either that he didn't make the slides used in the class and only saw them for the first time when he walked into the class. All of this and a weak background preparatory at the beginning of the class made the book a rather excruciating book to learn from. It is indeed a book of depth and knowledge, but it can be used against you as easily as it can be used for your advancement. Due to my bad experience, I'm inclined to look at CLR rather negatively. I would dearly love to take another algorithm class with a truely competent instructor but since there isn't one in my immediate future, it'll be a while before I'm given a chance to revise my opinion of the book.
The book can be an excellent source of algorithmatic knowledge but it's hardly an "introduction" for the beginners and used wrong will very easily dampen any futher computer science ambitions.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Secrets and Lies : Digital Security in a Networked World
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Bruce Schneier
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A good book, but I feel it lacks a very fundamental thing...

This is an excellent book for you network admins, managers, and basically anyone not extremely familiar with the psyche of a hacker.
It covers the technology in simple terms, as well as exploring the mind of these "hackers" and various people skulking around the internet.
I do, however, feel it's missing in-depth information into the actual thinking of a hacker. It does have some brief exploration of what they might think, or try to do, but it is missing anything of real substance on the matter. Now, maybe this wasn't the point of the book, and I understand that, but I feel if the author decided to write about hackers, he might of researched it a bit, maybe interviewed a few, and expanded the section beyond just 3 or 4 pages.
Other than that gripe, I would say the book is an excellent read. In some sections it's somewhat optimistic about the future internet security and provacy, in most of the others, it's not. In the end, the author tries to be as light-hearted as possible, but overall, the book might be somewhat depressing (depending on how much of an impact the topic has on your life.)