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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Setting Up LAMP: Getting Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP Working Together
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Eric Rosebrock, Eric Filson, Eric Rosebrock
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A valuable book for setting up a web and e-mail server

Linux, qmail, PHP, MySQL and Apache form a rewarding and rock-solid combination. Authors Rosebrock and Filson and the good folk at Sybex deserve accolades for conceiving a book directed at just this combination and bringing it to press.

The distinctive feature of this book is just how readable it is. A myriad choices exist when it comes to Linux distributions and server applications for e-mail, database, web and server-side scripting. In each case, the authors summarize the alternatives and, with focused and generally unarguable judgment, choose the one they consider to be best. Without looking back, they then proceed to guide the reader through its essential installation and maintenance. It is clear they strive to make a system that is well integrated. An example of this is their decision to cover Apache 1.3 rather than Apache 2.0. Although they clearly like what they see in the newer branch, for reasons of interoperability with PHP they select Apache 1.3 for their book.

Rosebrock and Filson serve as trustworthy mentors in the whole process of getting a complete installation up and running. They clearly teach from experience and with an appreciation of the frustrations beginning administrators may face. For example, while admitting the vi editor's power, they have the reader use the friendlier editor pico for basic editing.

In addition to covering the main server applications, this book provides a cursory introduction to auxiliary programs like the various MySQL and qmail utilities. A number of network tools such as nmap and traceroute are given quick overviews. For my part, I think the book should contain more discussion of the secure shell client and server and the process of creating and maintaining public and private keys.

"Setting up LAMP" is a well-written, well-targeted book. May it serve as a guide to a whole new generation of administrators who wish to build a complete, fast and robust web and mail server.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Maya 6: The Complete Reference
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Tom Meade, Shinsaku Arima
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Great projects.....not for beginners.

I have been 3D modeling for about a week now, and like to think that I'm progressing pretty quickly. This book, while giving some pretty neat goals (I so badly want to complete the ship!) the tutorials are very vague and the pictures don't help very much. It's very frustrating to be stuck on a tutorial for a whole day only to find that it's because the instructions are incomplete!

That said, I think this book would be outstanding for a group of people to learn with (such as a classroom setting) and in conjunction with other sources that better explain technique. This really is a complete reference, and excels in explaining how each tool works and making sure the reader understands this before moving on. All it needs is clarity.

I'm going to keep struggling through it, but I would definatly suggest that this text not be undertaken by itself. The internet and Learning Maya 5: Foundation are my other sources, and they make this book allot easier to understand.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Code Complete
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve McConnell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must-have for any software developer

This is the most objective book I have seen about software construction. The concepts are presented simply and in logical order. Every coding method is presented against its alternatives with strengths and weaknesses of each. The text is not specific to any language or application. It should be compulsory reading for all students wishing to become software professionals (or reviewers of software or managers of software projects). As an experienced programmer you will recognise all those "unwritten laws" about writing good software and help you to formalise these so that you can improve and inspire your team's work. All-in-all "Absolutely Excellent"

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
THE book to buy for learning Java (or brushing up)

I wish I'd had this book when I first learned Java...I've looked at almost every Java book there is and own about 20. I can honestly say that this is the best book on the market for learning the language and also one of the best for polishing your skills if you already know the basics. The bottom line: If you program in Java then this book should be sitting by your keyboard.