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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Design Patterns Explained : A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design (2nd Edition) (Software Patterns Series)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Alan Shalloway, James Trott
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Useful but boring

This is a well-organized, very theoretical book, which is at least as much about design as about the concrete patterns. Shows a new perspective of object-oriented design using patterns and other procedures such as "commonality and variability analysis" and "analysis matrix". Gives good ideas when using more patterns together.
On the other hand the book contains too many summaries, introductions, overviews, review questions, which makes it a bit scholar and boring.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: eBay for Dummies, Fourth Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Marsha Collier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Resource for Beginners and Pros Alike

I will admit that anytime I have to learn anything new with computers, I just cringe, since my talents are not in that direction. But setting up auctions for the sale of items on ebay mandated that I plunge into yet another round of reference books allied to computer use. The "Dummies" books seemed well titled for me and this was the first of them I've tried. I did glean a lot of information from reading this book. I ended up improving my listings on ebay so that they look better, for one. I'm still not as far along as I'd like though because I do even better with computer and allied computer books which are very heavily illustrated. So I still want to buy an ebay book which has profuse illustrations on every page, many in color, to further my ability with the ebay auctions. For example, showing a sample of a gallery page, alongside a page that is items with gallery previews, would have told me instantly what ebay was trying to accomplish with that distinction. Without seeing that illustrated, however, I just had to stumble around ebay and figure it out for myself. Reading about something that visual in this book didn't bring the concept home to me. Now I want to learn FrontPage 2000 for computers. This time, however, I ordered one of those visual books instead to see if I can learn how-to-do FP 2000 in one go.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Not Just About Codes

I bought "The Code Book" because of my long fascination with codes and ciphers. While it does have a marvelous treatment of modern 20th century cryptography- including the best description of the German Enigma machine and WWII Bletchly Park decoding activities I've yet read- what really makes this book shine is all the marvelous historical material.
Most books on codes and ciphers begin with something like ancient Roman transpotion ciphers. Singh takes a different track. For him, what's most interesting is not the encoding- which is often a trivial process- but the attempts to break encrypted texts. To this end, Singh tells the story of the decypherment of Linear B, an ancient script that was for decades in the 19th century perhaps the greatest puzzle confronting scholars. The tale of the decipherment of Linear B is not only a gripping and fascinating tale in and of itself, but also the perfect story to introduce the reader to the methodology of codebreaking.
From Linear B to quantum encryptation, Singh explains it clearly and fully; he's both skilled mathematician and gifted teacher. This is a marvelously entertaining and illiminating read, not only for those interested in the nuts and bolts of cryptography but for those curious about the historical context as well.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Cocoa with Objective-C, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: James Duncan Davidson, Inc. Apple Computer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Beginner Book

This book is very good. It is much, much better than the first edition. It is very well written and easy to read. The examples are clear and their appear to be no major mistakes at all. The book does an effective job of introducing the reader to the major points of Cocoa programming. It gives you enough information to start writing simple programs by yourself. I believe this book is excellent preparation for the more advanced Cocoa books.