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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Kevin D. Mitnick, William L. Simon, Steve Wozniak
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Well worth the read


There was little material in here that I didn't already know, so I gave it 4*, for its use as refresher. For those unfamiliar with the topic, it probably does rate 5* as a primer.
Like other reviewers I didn't enjoy Mitnick's self-congratulatory / self-apologetic tone.
What it did remind me of is the lack of security at my own company : * our employee car park beneath the building is permanently unmanned, so multiple passengers could enter the building piggybacking - and they have access to the office space behind the 'firewall' of the reception desk.
* in common with many companies we know have outsourced lots of things, including our Systems Security. So who's protecting who? I get lots of requests to send e-mails of commercially sensitive material outside our network to developers in India; but I refuse. Of course their own staff based onshore could be forwarding it on, and we wouldn't know.
I recommend everyone reads this book to see if they can improve upon their own security.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit : Expert Methods for Designing, Developing, and Deploying Data Warehouses
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Ralph Kimball, Laura Reeves, Margy Ross, Warren Thornthwaite
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Comprehensive and well written


An excellent methodology! As a relational database developer, it was extremely helpful. I impressed my employer by presenting many fo the book's idea and used to information to create data models for a proposal.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: C# and the .NET Platform, Second Edition
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Andrew Troelsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
By far the best primer on the two title subjects


I've not finished reading it, yet, but the more I read the better I like it. The author seems to possess a uncanny ability to lay out and explain complex materials in such well-organized and logical ways that made them easier to understand. A good example would be chapter 12 on .NET remoting, which I just finshed reading, though the coverage is not as deep as those found in the books by Don Box and Jeffrey Richter.
In the early part of the book on the C# language, the author often refers to and compares C# with VB .NET, which is unnecessary and distracting. VB .NET gets less mentioning later as he moves on to explain how to use C# on the .NET platform.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential .NET, Volume I: The Common Language Runtime
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Don Box
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Uncovers the little quirks and secrets of the CLR


This book is worth reading if you keep in mind that its main purpose is to uncover the little quirks and secrets of the CLR. As the author states, it isn't intended to be a tutorial and shouldn't be your first choice if you are new to .NET programming (I'd recommend the excellent Applied .NET Framework Programming by Jeffrey Richter as a good starter book). However, reading Essential .NET could potentially save you lots of time sifting through the MSDN documentation to find out why your program is not behaving exactly the way you think it should (you know, those little, tiny, nasty bugs that prove to be the hardest to find).
As with any book that tries to cover such an extensive ground as the .NET CLR is, there are tradeoffs in the depth and extent with which the author describes each subject. In this case, Box chose to highlight the details of the inner workings of the CLR that we, as programmers, must have present to make efficient and appropriate use of the runtime facilities. Chapters one through five deal with basic concepts that, in my opinion, are best left to an introductory book and are not worth more than skimming through them, although you could always find a golden needle hidden in the haystack. However, on chapters six and after, the book really takes off and you'll probably find new things to learn page after page.
Although the crucial details are clearly exposed, this book is by no means exhaustive, I believe it can be considered more as a base from where you can start researching further about the subject of your interest. For example chapter seven, "Advanced Methods", deals with stack/message transitions, proxies, sinks and contexts. All these concepts are very well covered but I didn't get the eureka! feeling until I read Ingo Rammer's Advanced .NET Remoting and could see those concepts in action and realize their importance.
All in all, a book that deserves a slot in your .NET library (a slot somewhere in between a pair of good tutorials and the in-detail books about the areas of the framework that draw your interest). I would consider it a good investment of your time and money and I also see myself coming back to it (specially back to chapter 6-10) as a refresher. -- Review by Julio G.