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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning JavaScript Second Edition
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Paul Wilton
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not really for the beginner

If you really are "beginning JavaScript", then I wouldn't recommend this book. It's a large, dense volume that goes into great detail. But trying to find, for example, how to do rollovers (image swaps) in the index is an exercise in frustration. Nothing under "rollovers", nothing under "image swaps", the references for "onMouseOver" lead to examples that are too complicated. ...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java 2: The Complete Reference, Fifth Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Herbert Schildt
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best technical writer makes important contribution to Java

I gave this book to someone who had trouble learning from other books. This did the trick! This is Schildt's clear writing style that comes across in all his books (C++, MFC, Windows, etc). Schildt just knows how to present things to people in a way that is understandable. He takes you from simpler to more complex in easy steps. After this book you could step into other things.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JUnit in Action
Publisher: Manning Publications
Authors: Ted Husted, Vincent Massol
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
You Need This Book

Do you write code? Do you develop software? Do you think about writing software? Then you need this book. This book should become your friend, your companion, a part of your family. Even though the title is "JUnit in Action", many of the topics in this book apply to the other xUnit frameworks.
Vincent Massol takes the reader on a journey though the JUnit framework, the Cactus extension, Ant, and Mock Objects. He explains each topic in detail and leaves me with a good understanding of the topics. The book is liberally sprinkled with JUnit best practices that every reader should take to heart. The examples are clear and real world. The author addresses the complex issues of unit testing EJBs, and web apps head on. He does not shy away from the real issues that come with testing these kinds of applications.
The author also writes about how to integrate your unit testing into you build and configuration management systems. Personally, this is an area that most projects I have worked on needed the most help. It is all fine to have unit tests, but if they are not automated and part of your build process, there value is significantly decreased. Vincent deals with the complex problems of automating deployment of web apps and EJB components and testing them with your build system.
Another area that gets much needed attention is test database applications. The author presents a great chapter and example of using DBUnit and how to address the typical problems associated with database testing.
One flaw in the book has to be the snapshots of the JUnit GUI results screen. The author tells me the bar is green, but as hard as I squint it still looks dark grey.
To sum up, I think every Java software developer needs this book on their shelf. I am currently doing C# and I am happy that I have this book on my shelf as many of the ideas and best practices translate directly into NUnit testing.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe Photoshop CS One-on-One
Publisher: Deke Press
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great for several types of users

Reviewed by member, J. Rollins

This book is geared towards three audiences: the graphic artist, designer, and photographer. The professional or amateur Photoshop user will like this book also. It is a hands on, go at your own pace kind of book. I am looking at this book from a photographer's point of view. I have yet to find a single book on Photoshop that is all things to all people; but this book comes closer than most!

Adobe Photoshop CS One-on-One is organized into twelve sections, each made up of several step-by-step lessons. Each lesson has a corresponding video lesson which helps introduce key concepts needed to complete the exercises.

At first I was a little taken aback when I realized that one must use Deke McClelland's preference settings in order do the lessons. An experienced Photoshop user may be perfectly happy with his or her Photoshop settings. Well don't worry. You can automatically restore your original preferences, if desired, after completing the lessons. Deke's Preferences button automatically backs up your preferences before it installs new ones.

The book is a little overwhelming for the Photoshop beginner. But if you just take it one step at a time your efforts will be rewarded. The keyboard shortcuts are one of Deke's speciatilites and will help speed up your workflow. Even the old time Photoshop users have much to gain. The depth of information in this book is inspiring and will be of help to anyone regardless of your Photoshop skills.

I especially like the way this book explains how to organize the File Browser. The File Browser is a full-blown image manager and Deke offers several valuable suggestions that will help improve your experience using it. It should be noted that the File Browser is not a cataloging utility, so you can't use it to generate independent indexes of vast image libraries. It is possible however to print a catalog of thumbnails after you back up your images to a CD or other media and then put it in a binder or CD sleeve.

The Shadow/Highlight filter makes it worthwhile upgrading to Photoshop CS alone. This is a dream filter for photographers. Again, Deke does an excellent job of explaining how this valuable filter works.

Sharpening an image is probably one of the most confusing issues one faces as a photographer. Deke does a good job in explaining several ways to sharpen an image. Yet, some of his examples are so outside of what the average photographer would encounter that I can't help wonder if what he has accomplished is simply to overwhelm some readers.

The last section of the book is about printing to an inkjet printer. The problem I have is that if one follows Deke's printing steps, you will be telling Photoshop, and the Epson 1280 printer he is using in his example, to also colors manage the printing job. This is often referred to as `double color management'. I have never been able to get a good print using the `double color management' scenario. I am currently the owner of two Epson printers, the 1280 and 2200. Over the years, I have owned seven Epson printers; I know how to get a good print out of an Epson printer. In fact, Russell Brown, the Senior Creative Director at Adobe Systems Inc., specifically warns against the `double color management' scenario on his web site.

Nevertheless, Adobe Photoshop CS One-on-One is one heck of a book. There is so much more to this book than was discussed in this very brief review. This is worthwhile reading.