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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Getting Started With Matlab: Version 6 : A Quick Introduction for Scientists and Engineers
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Authors: Rudra Pratap
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Quick Introduction...

I started hearing about MATLAB when I started going to college to do my bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. I took a C++ class and I really enjoyed the power of C++ in problem solving and logic.
Then came MATLAB which is a class that is required to be taken by all EE students. I got this book because it had the word "quick". Time is a very important factor when it comes to learning a new language, whether a living language (like French) or a programming language (like C++ or MATLAB).
This book is really a nice way to get you started with confidence. I rarely use the assigned book for the class, I use this one instead. Very easy to read and step by step instructions.
Highly recommended for anyone who's just started working on MATLAB.
Even after you get used to MATLAB, this book can be used as a reference book to find some important commands with examples and illustrtions.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, Don Roberts
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
excellent addition to the OO/development literature

It's great to read a book that adds something new, and something useful. Fowler puts down on paper the wisdom of experienced OO developers. The book lists a range of manageable changes that can significantly improve code quality. This neatly complements Arthur Riel's "Object Oriented Design Heuristics"

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Authors: Al Ries, Laura Ries
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
"Yeah, right," I said

I do a little consulting in marketing & branding. I've got five other books on branding sitting on the shelf, & I've plowed through four.
I wouldn't say those other books were a waste of time, but I'm confident that this one has more immediately useful information than all of them taken together. And I'm stunned that it as easy read, not only informative but *fun*.
This edition is the one you want, as it combines the 22 laws with the other 11 that pertain very specifically to the Internet. By the time you get through the first few, you will find yourself looking at every brand -- on television, in the stores, on your own shelves -- in a whole new light. One of the prime models, coincidentally enough, is Amazon.com itself. The authors' comments on this very site will probably open your eyes to how remarkable the Bezos legacy has been.
I've barely finished, yet this book has already helped steer me better as to some website questions I had been studying. It's already paid for itself ten times over, & I am certain that the benefits have only begun. The simple, clear differentiation between a company name & a brand name has, by itself, been a unique lesson, & I've taken to heart the stern warnings (& wonderfully absurd object lessons) against line extensions & brand dilution.
Don't let the somewhat bizarre cover put you off (as it did me). This is one of the few books that I intend to re-read on a regular basis, & I will read more Reis titles in the near future.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop 7 for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Barbara Obermeier, Deke McClelland
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not Appropriately Targeted

This book purports to be about "photoshop 6 for dummies," but it really isn't much help for real dummies. If you assume that most photoshop beginners, dummies if you will, are most interested in working with their own photographs, this book is of limited utility. It's terrific in discussing graphics and technical points; none of which has anything to do with working with photographs that may have red eye, have faded, need touching up in a variety of ways or even more basic information, like how a "dummy" should take advantage of Photoshop's organizational features. It's not that this is a bad book--indeed, the reverse is true. It's just not much help for the group its supposedly targeted.
barry anderson