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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Complete Study Guide, Deluxe Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Dan Newland
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
The Right Approach, But Updating and Editing are a MUST


Although I scored 829 (596 required to pass)on the hardware test after reading the first half of this book, I went out and bought "Mike Meyer's Passport A+ Certification" before taking the OS test. Here's why.
I bought this book because it had over 900 pages, a detailed index, a comprehensive glossary, a searchable copy of the book on CD, sample tests, flash cards (a really great idea) and how-to videos.
However, the book is not up to date in an industry where up to date is a must. It devotes an entire section to daisy wheel printers, for example, while it mentioned nothing about Ultra DMA ATA/66 and ATA/100 and the change in cables. Guess what was on my test? Yeah, you guessed. Nothing about daisy wheel printers though. How long has it been since you've seen one?
The whole book is this way, out of date.
Just as frustrating are the number of errors in the book. They appear over and over, causing much lost time trying to figure out what was meant or what is correct. In the answers on page 191, answer number 6 says Ultra SCSI supports a 20 MB/sec transfer rate, while answer number 11 says it supports a 40 MB/sec rate. The grammar is also frequently confusing and misleading. The books seriously needs cleaning up.
What about the videos and other features? The videos appear to have not been rehearsed, the lighting and camera work does not clearly show the hardware involved - forget them. The searchable book on CD was helpful and the glossary has been useful. The flash cards seemed to be where the authors tried to put in some things the book left out, which is okay. Maybe that's one way to deal with the fast changing industry, but it didn't by any means go far enough.
I appreciated the attempt to cover everything in detail, I wanted that (I didn't even mind the section on resistor color codes), but it just has to be up to date since the tests are and the business is.
So, how did I manage to pass the test anyway? I took lots of practice tests that you find on the web and dug into them until I began getting decent scores. I don't think I could have done it all that way though, this books did give me the majority of what I learned. Between the two approaches and the force being with me on test day I came out okay.
Better see my review on Mike Meyer's book before you run out and buy it.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Complete Study Guide, Deluxe Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Dan Newland
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
The Right Approach, But Updating and Editing are a MUST


Although I scored 829 (596 required to pass)on the hardware test after reading the first half of this book, I went out and bought "Mike Meyer's Passport A+ Certification" before taking the OS test. Here's why.
I bought this book because it had over 900 pages, a detailed index, a comprehensive glossary, a searchable copy of the book on CD, sample tests, flash cards (a really great idea) and how-to videos.
However, the book is not up to date in an industry where up to date is a must. It devotes an entire section to daisy wheel printers, for example, while it mentioned nothing about Ultra DMA ATA/66 and ATA/100 and the change in cables. Guess what was on my test? Yeah, you guessed. Nothing about daisy wheel printers though. How long has it been since you've seen one?
The whole book is this way, out of date.
Just as frustrating are the number of errors in the book. They appear over and over, causing much lost time trying to figure out what was meant or what is correct. In the answers on page 191, answer number 6 says Ultra SCSI supports a 20 MB/sec transfer rate, while answer number 11 says it supports a 40 MB/sec rate. The grammar is also frequently confusing and misleading. The books seriously needs cleaning up.
What about the videos and other features? The videos appear to have not been rehearsed, the lighting and camera work does not clearly show the hardware involved - forget them. The searchable book on CD was helpful and the glossary has been useful. The flash cards seemed to be where the authors tried to put in some things the book left out, which is okay. Maybe that's one way to deal with the fast changing industry, but it didn't by any means go far enough.
I appreciated the attempt to cover everything in detail, I wanted that (I didn't even mind the section on resistor color codes), but it just has to be up to date since the tests are and the business is.
So, how did I manage to pass the test anyway? I took lots of practice tests that you find on the web and dug into them until I began getting decent scores. I don't think I could have done it all that way though, this books did give me the majority of what I learned. Between the two approaches and the force being with me on test day I came out okay.
Better see my review on Mike Meyer's book before you run out and buy it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets & Solutions, Fourth Edition (Hacking Exposed)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, George Kurtz
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great for sys admin


Yes this book covers a lot. It shows you how to hack and what tools do you need. Be prepared to spend many hours reading and testing, just likes hackers do :)
If you are not willing to invest many hours, stick to web site security alert and apply the patches...
py



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Web Programming (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Finally, a book that covers multiple web topics.



[Note: I was one of the technial reviewers of this book]
Executive Summary:
Core Web Programming is the Java / Web programming book to buy if you want to learn about HTML, Java, CGI, or JavaScript. The Java chapters and examples are excellent and could be a book in themselves. There are many cheap Java / Web "books" out there -- this is *not* one of them. Core Web Programming was written by a professional, for professionals.
Target Audience:
Web developers who want to learn about putting content on the Web via HTML, CGI, and JavaScript and by programmers who are looking for a good introduction to Java. The book is designed for professional self-study, but could be used a as companion text in classroom environment.
Technical Content:
Superb. Without a doubt. The book contains everything you need to know to build masterful web pages from the simplest to those incorporating advanced features like frames, cascading style sheets, font properties, and dynamic pages with JavaScript. Java programming is presented both for use in web pages and by programmers who want to apply it to industrial strength applications.
Up to date. Presents the latest in Java 1.1 with an explanation of changes from Java 1.02. Explains HTML 3.2 and how the HTML standard has evolved. Includes side topics often left unmentioned like network security and threads.
Marty's (200+) examples are pure gold. To the beginner, the examples are clear explanations of how to do something. To the advanced hacker, the examples are full of excellent style, techniques, and paradigms that may take more time to master. Marty clearly argues that Java is not just a Web programming language, but a full strength (albeit young) language ripe for many applications. The chapters on graphical programming in Java, (chapters 9-13), especially the chapter on layout managers, are the best I have seen on the subject.
Author's Style:
Marty is a trained computer scientist, not a full-time technical writer. The material he presents is based on years of experience and and teaching and is not a mere reference guide.
The book does not assume a background in C/C++/Java syntax or object-oriented programming which are surveyed in chapters 7-8. The graphical examples are often demonstrated on several platforms, so whether you are using a Mac, PC, or UNIX box, and regardless of what browser you prefer, this book is written for you. Marty is unassuming and carefully but not laboriously explains concepts with frequent examples. The tables on HTML syntax (in chapters 1-3) will serve as a good reference for those learning HTML. Marty also does a good job explaining programming with threads (chapter 14), a topic that many authors present poorly or with many mistakes. The book is filled with both a subtle humor (see the spell-correcting textfield example), and some apt, Dilbert (TM) strips.
Core Web Programming was designed to cover all aspects of programming on the Web, -- in one book! Why buy one book on HTML, another on CGI, others on Java and JavaScript, and so on?
About the Reviewer:
I have had the pleasure of working with Marty for 6 years at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and I consider him a remarkable computer scientist, programmer and communicator. I have observed the many late hours Marty devoted to the book and I believe the result is excellent. I also teach courses at Johns Hopkins in the Java and C++ languages and as a professional software developer and instructor, I give the book my strongest endorsement.
Paul McNamee