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Product: Book - CD-ROM
Title: PM FASTrack: PMP exam simulation software, Version 4.3
Publisher: RMC Publishing, Inc.
Authors: Rita Mulcahy, PMP
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
PMP passer

While preparing for the PMP exam, I've used a number of question databanks software but the most helpful and the closest to the actual exam, was PMPFasTrack. No doubts about it. So from this perspective, using this software package will give you a boost of at least 60% increase in passing the exam. I should say that I've passed the exam on 17.02.2005 with as score of 183 or 91%.

This software has 2 drawbacks though:

1/ The price is a killer and it's definitely too high. This software it's not worth 300$, but if you really need the certification and are prepared to invest in it, then do it. Maybe your company would cover the costs!
2/ I've bought the PMPFasTrack with only 12 days before the exam and started to use it intensively with 8 days prior to the exam. On a regular day, I would "consume" anywhere between 100 and 350 questions by testing either by knowledge area or process group modes. When you do testing over such a short period of time, in spite of the fact that there are about 1300 questions in the package, you get to know them all, which is a problem when you actually simulate your exam. In may case, I've consistently scored over 92% in the simulation exams, but the results are biased because you know the questions (at least you've read the questions before, if not remember the answer). I recommend to test your knowledge using other sources, such as the on-line testing ESI is offering or other software packages like PM Power Track from Management Concepts, in order for you to be able to correctly assess your knowledge level before going to the exam. If you use the software over a longer period of time, then you should not have this problem.

For conclusion, despite the heavy price this package will dramatically increase your chances to pass the exam.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Flash Remoting: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Tom Muck
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
All in One

Keep this book next to your copy of ActionScript for Flash MX, the Definitive Guide (second edition), that's how useful it will be. I was skeptical about this book before even opening it, thinking that one book could not possibly cover Flash Remoting in the depth and breadth that I was looking for. I had bought several other Flash Remoting books, each focused on one server-side technology. How much nicer it is to be using just one resource! This book provides a strong understanding of how Flash Remoting works, why Macromedia designed it the way they did, and what you need to do to use it. Although this reference is designed for people with some ActionScript experience, the author delivers the content with a great deal of context that is both conceptual and practical without overdoing it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Concurrent Programming in Java(TM): Design Principles and Pattern (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Doug Lea
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An Absolute Must-Have for Concurrent Object-Oriented Design

Most Excellent! Doug Lea discusses concurrent OOD and OOP issues which I have found nowhere else. This book is a must-have for any OO designer/programmer intending to use concurrent techniques. The principles and patterns presented are applicable to implementation in any OO language.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Authors: Rebecca Blood
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An Indispensable Resource for the Would be Blogger

When Rebecca Blood's "The Weblog Handbook" arrived in the mail, I was delighted to see that it was a slim volume. All of the great books on writing - Aristotle's "Poetics," Ezra Pound's "ABC of Reading," Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style," - are slim volumes. I was not disappointed.
Within the 195 pages that compose the book, all of the necessary territory is covered. She defines (or perhaps it is better to say she delineates) the phenomenon of the weblog, places it within the context of both Web and popular culture, and provides nuts and bolts stuff like how to purchase a domain name or choose the best weblog management tool. More importantly, she focuses on the writing process ("Weblogging is about personal expression, not about software"), and guides the reader through such weighty topics as the development of critical thinking skills, finding the appropriate voice, and building confidence in one's writing abilities. Some of this is good advices for all writers, but she also provides the basic considerations for creating content specifically for weblogs, including the appropriate way to credit links, and which conventions to follow in laying out your site to best accommodate your visitors.
As a novice blogger (actually, I've learned that my site is more of a "notebook" than a "blog") I find this book to be indispensable. To be sure, there are plenty or resources on the Web for would be practitioners, but because the form is still relatively new, and there are widely varying ideas of what a weblog is, finding information online is often more confusing than helpful. "The Weblog Handbook" is comprehensive and coherent.