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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: William R. Stanek
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A necessity

I first started reading this book several months ago, and it's clearly a great book. I've learned so much from it. Windows Server 2003 can be puzzling even for experienced admins and Stanek makes it much less so. If you aren't familiar with any of Stanek's previous books, then you've missing out. Stanek writes in a clear, easy-to-follow style.
Windows Server 2003 Pocket Consultant concentrates on the core of the operating system. It focusses on daily tasks, day-to-day administration. And that makes perfect sense. It continues to surprise me how concise, yet detailed the book is. Many chapters do delve deep into the OS. And what's covered is covered thoroughly.
The new OS features are also covered in some detail, and since many of them are completely new, that's a very good thing.
This book lists for $29.95, which makes it an excellent value. I like Staneks books, they have earned prominent places on my bookshelf, so I have no hesitation strongly suggesting that if you use Windows Server 2003, you should get a copy of Windows Server 2003 Pocket Consultant. I also think it is the best book for any new admins. I've recommended it to lots of people at work who want to learn server.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Single Sourcing : Building Modular Documentation
Publisher: Noyes Publications
Authors: Kurt Ament
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Finally, a recipe for building modular documentation!

Kurt Ament has hit the nail on the head! His latest effort, "Single Sourcing: Building Modular Documentation" is a valuable reference for those of us who seek to save time, effort, and money by implementing a productive method of creating information once and reusing it often.
Ament covers the issues -- step by step -- that many others only discuss. He lays out a simple roadmap, complete with real world examples that have worked -- or not worked -- for his clients.
In Chapter 1 (About Single Sourcing), he carefully defines "single sourcing" and explains related concepts (reusable content, modular writing, and assembled documents) in ways that are easy to understand and free of techno-jargon. And, he does us all a big favor by addressing the negatives associated with using technology to assemble documents by explaining that it actually takes more creativity to write content that can fit into multiple media, for multiple audiences, than it does to continually rewrite information over and over again each time it is needed.
Chapter 2 (Building Documents) and Chapter 3 (Structuring Content) are of particular value to those seeking to understand the shift in thinking required to master single sourcing. Writers, programmers and managers will all benefit from these chapters. Each chapter is packed full of tips and examples you can begin using today!
Chapter 4 (Configuring Language) explains how to "configure" your writing to support and increase usability while Chapter 5 (Leveraging Technology) touches on issues including conditional text, conventions, localization, translation, variables and more. As are the previous chapters, Chapter 5 is written in clear, concise language and is not a chapter business types should skip. In fact, it's just the opposite. Managers and decision makers need to understand the concepts explained in this chapter because many of the benefits a single source strategy can deliver are made possible by combining good planning with the right technology. And, while this chapter is certainly not about selecting software tools, the author helps his readers understand some of the issues they will need to understand as they begin thinking about their strategy and the types of functionality they'll need to support with the tools they select.
What I like most about "Single Sourcing" is that Ament went straight for the meat of the issues. He doesn't belabor points or confuse the reader by jumping back and forth from subject to subject (as so many poorly written IT-related books do). Instead, he supplies us with a book you can read in an afternoon and use the information contained within the next day at work.
But, be forewarned. You're going to want your sticky notes and your highlighting markers nearby. Chances are you'll be using them a lot!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Windows 2000 Professional
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Mark Minasi
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
W2K Pro for the Newbie

I was disappointed in this book. The majority of the almost 1000 pages are written for people just stumbling in from the backwoods who've never seen a computer. There are a few tidbits of detail to be gleaned by the experienced user, but more often than not the book spends too many words explaining operations or features that even the most casual user of any Windows OS already knows.
I had hoped for a book that took me deep into the W2K Pro OS, but this one barely let me beneath the surface. A far better book for the experienced is the Windows 2000 Administrators Pocket Consultant, which I purchased at the same time as this one. The Pocket Consultant is getting all the thumb marks.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside Com (Microsoft Programming Series)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Dale Rogerson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A good book for COM beginers

It's a good book to start COM. The approach of the book is good and it starts from basic concepts to finer details. However in many solved examples the header files are missing !! for example in Chapter 4 many programs use "create.h" but this file is not defined anywhere.