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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Advanced Windows (Advanced Windows)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jeffrey Richter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best Windows Programming book guide

For UNIX, you buy W. Richard Stevens' Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment and UNIX Network Programming -- for Win32 you buy Programming Windows by Charles Petzold and this book. Petzold gets you started, Richter lets you pursue the good stuff.
Although this is easily a 5 star book, it is not without room for improvement. For the 4th edition, Mr. Richter, I'd like to see Anonymous and Named Pipes covered, as well as Mailslots, and some introductory coverage of Winsock (Winsock could be covered in a separate book.)
It's a bit surprising that those topics aren't covered, since just about every advanced topic I was looking for was covered in excellent detail.
To be in the same class as Stevens' books, I'd like to see some performance considerations included. For example, how much more expensive is a Mutex over Critical Sections and Events? Ralph Davis' book, Win32 Network Programming, covers this a little better, and includes quite a bit of discussion on advanced Win32 topics besides the networking APIs.
And lastly, a hard-bound edition would be nice.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A+ Certification for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ron Gilster
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
This is not a Good Study guide if you want to pass

Don't get me wrong here, it's not the be-all end-all of books. I did take a college course and have had field experience, and simply decided it was the right time to challenge the exam to show what I know. I used this book as a primer for the exam. That combined with some experience made it a no-brainer, and I managed to score 928 and 902, respectively, on the exams. It makes an excellent review, and it's an easy, fun read. I recommend it to experienced techs for an entertaining review, however, for someone looking to get into computing and IT, I would strongly recommend looking elsewhere as it does not make up for actual hands-on or classroom lead instruction. I also own the Network+ for Dummies and was able to successfully challenge it. I plan on using other Dummies books as they become available to complete the MCSA cert.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Study Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Toby Skandier
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
New 4th Edition Now Available!!

Sybex recently released an updated fourth edition of David Groth's highly acclaimed Network+ Study Guide. The new book covers exam # N10-003, which is scheduled to go live on May 1, 2005. Enter "0782144063" in the search field to find the book page for the fourth edition.

Good luck in pursuit of your Network+ certification

Neil Edde
Sybex, Inc.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Perl: The Complete Reference
Publisher: Osborne/McGraw-Hill
Authors: Martin C. Brown
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great for Perl Hackers

After reading the first four chapters, I decided to return the book. The more I read the book, the more frustrated I became. The flow of the book was very poorly designed. It has many catch-22 scenarios, that is, when you look up explanation of concept A, it assumes you know concept B fluently; and when explaining concept B, it assumes you know concept A. It spends very little explanation and no examples on difficult concepts and terminology, but elaborates liberally on simple concepts such as "switch". The typos are unbelievable and they seem to happen at the right place at the right time. For example, I was puzzled by the sentence "You can use the next method to see the random number generator". I said to myslef what is to see about the generator, must be something really special to Perl. Of course, it turns out that it is "seed" not "see". I quite after the first four chapters. The book may be excellent from chapter 5 on, but the first four chapters are convincing enough for me to get my hard earn money back.