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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition (All-in-One)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Shon Harris, Shon Harris
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Editor? What's an editor?

The CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide was the best of the half-dozen sources that I used. I'd rate it a must-have if you want to take the exam. I also used the The CISSP Prep Guide but switched to Shon's book halfway through.
The CISSP exam is immature; that is, many of the questions appear convoluted for the sake of being obtuse. I doubt seriously if your score on this exam corralates to your true ability. That said, it is a necessary benchmark of a very broad subject. And having talked to people taking the test for second time, I'm told the test is improving. That's about all I can say about the test; you have to sign in blood not to discuss it once you take it. Most people walk out having no idea if they did well; my peers were no exception.
I took the course that Shon teaches at the Intense School (see cccure.org for a link and useful study materials). It is a great course and a terrific value. Everything is taken care of in the course cost (hotel, food, snacks - and they don't skimp). Shon is an excellent and patient instructor with an in-depth understanding. Her pointers on the test were worth about 15 extra questions right; possibily the difference between passing and not for many of us. But the course is not for the meek. It is 8:30 to 6:30 for 6 days, followed by the exam. By the 3rd day most of us (including kids 15 years younger than me) were feeling beat -- only 500 pages and halfway thru the course material. But everyone I talked with though that it was well worth it.
The only critism of Shon's book is that her sample test questions were far easier than the actual test. She admits it; her questions are to help you know if you understand the material. If her questions were like the test, everyone would think she couldn't write a decent test question (and they would be right!). But her material is dead-on.
I should have studied operational security more than I did. There was far less on cyptography - the hardest subject - than I expected. With over 20 year experience in 9 of of the 10 domains, the exam wasn't a cakewalk. But Shon's CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide did make me much more confident about passing the exam.
I have no financial or other interest in the Intense School or Shon's book. I'm just a very satisfied customer (and hopefully a CISSP now!).
Update: Got my CISSP and so did everyone is my 4 person study clique - including one person who was sure that she wouldn't pass becuase she didn't have a strong security background. So the Intense School course was a big gain for her.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: DNS and BIND, Fourth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Paul Albitz, Cricket Liu
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Quite good for beginners. but beginners dont run DNS :-)

This Book is a must have for anyone seriously doing DNS work today. The upcoming 3rd edition will cover BIND Version 8, but the substance of DNS and how it works on the Internet is fully and delightfully covered in both previous editions. The Authors are completely knowledgeable about DNS and share that knowledge in a straighforward comfortable style that makes DNS & BIND a fun read while imparting loads of DNS wisdom.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Firebird Book: A Reference for Database Developers
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Helen Borrie
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Absolutely amazing!

When I was buying this book, I was afraid if it will be only a printed version of PDF docs. But the book is much more, then simple documentation. Helen Borrie is a professional, and an experienced developer, so she often writes about programmer's bad habits or the reasons why databases are so poorly designed.
Some parts of this book may however seem as a typical printed PDF, but lots of notes, comments or warnings make it a really interesting reading. The good thing is, that this book offers also an opportunity to gain some basis of database designing, and database theory.
Why you should buy it? Because it is much better and (unless you own a good laser printer) much cheaper than using downloaded PDF's. You cannot also get Borrie's comments that make this book really rich.
A must-have for all database developers, not only Firebird developers.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Insider view

This book is very accurate on the personalities and processes that happen in software construction. As a fustrated programmer many issues and the exact meaning of examples "Inmates" are very clear. A must read for anyone in the industry. However it contains complex ideas that people not in the knowledge area may miss. Example is the interpretation that the book blames and challenges programmers for the software woes. This is incorrect. It states programmers need assistance of this nature desperately, and managers of today are not providing it.