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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
My favorite computing book

I love this book. It's a joy to read -- the best, clearest Java introduction I've seen. I wish I had bought this book first instead wasting my money on others that I never even open anymore. This is the one I always go to first. In fact, I'm working in a small group of Java programmers right now and this book seems to be the favorite. The examples are outstanding because they cover design issues and illustrate the key concepts (that show the power of Java) like separating interface from implementation, polymorphism, etc. The fact that the author put the entire book on the web is a plus - I bought the book after I had already downloaded it. It's much nicer to have a paper copy to flip through, although the electronic version is a handy supplement to the printed because it's searchable.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try
Publisher: Velociteach Press
Authors: Andy Crowe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book - start with it!

I read Rita's book first and I had a big mess in my head about PMP. Then I read this book - a huge difference!!! Mr. Crowe's writing style is excellent; the book is very easy and fun to read...and most importantly, it is the BEST source for the exam prep.
In my experience, his final exam in the book is a lot like the actual test (except for several questions that will throw in there to make sure you do not score 100%).
If you are choosing between this one and Rita's, choose this one. However, it is better to study from several sources.
Great book!!!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Data Warehouse Toolkit: Practical Techniques for Building Dimensional Data Warehouses
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Ralph Kimball
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A great deal with dimensional modeling

This book is exactly what it pretends to be in the title. It is a set of practical techniques, with many examples taken from usual business environments. It deals a lot with dimensional modeling (I could say that it is a paper about use of dimension tables in a data warehouse), which is deeply examined, gives a fair series of tips about fact tables, and runs quickly over other issues, with a general speech about functional and technical architectures. The latter subjects have been left in a not well determined state, making the reader to consult other issues for further information. It could be a very useful book in order to understand and to get able to design a dimension modeled DWH. The author's language cannot be considered synthetic, and many times I have been left with the impression that the same things could have been told in much less pages. But, to be honest, I could say the same about most books published in the last years.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
worthwhile but stodgy

This book is widely regarded as a web usability classic. Not everyone loves it, though. Opinions range from "he is a genius" to "the book is obsolete".
The book is bigger than it need be. Nielsen argues strongly that web sites should be concise, but that doesn't carry over into his writing. In several places a paragraph or two seemed very familiar, having been used several chapters earlier. There are lots of colour screenshots of web pages, mostly to point out flaws.
I agree with most of what he says: Make things simple, easy and effective for users; make your pages download as fast as you can; provide a site search and so on. Where he lets himself down is in speculating about what the internet might be like five, ten or even twenty years from now. This is a complete waste; I got fed up wading through it.
It's also too heavy on opinion and too light on practical detail for me. Nielsen claims he plans to write a "how to" book sometime, but that's no use right now. The section on internationalization, for example, tantalizingly mentions a few things (US switches go "up" for "ON", European ones go "down"; don't use baseball metaphors etc.) then leaves it up to the reader with very little further help.
Well worth absorbing, but I won't often dip into it again. Unless you are a collector, borrow it rather than buying.