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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft SQL Server(TM) 2000 Administrator's Pocket Consultant (It-Administrator's Pocket Consultant)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: William R. Stanek
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Definitive SQL Server 2000 guide in a small package

Hats off to author William Stanek for another fine Pocket Consultant. I have 5 of these books in my library now (Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Exchange 2000, SQL Server 7 and SQL Server 2000.) Since I picked up the first Pockete Consultant a yaer ago I haven't found a daily administration question that wasn't answered. You'll find that SQL Server 2000 Pocket Consultant is more of the same. The attention to detail and the focus on day to day administration tasks is fantastic!
Mr. Stanek always starts with an overview of the subject of discussion and then digs right in. I've found that this book (and the rest in the series) answer 100% of my questions quickly and meanwhile the 1,000 page luggables used by my colleagues just get them frustrasted. I've made quite a few converts in the office.
The nice thing about these books is the day to day focus. You get what you need to accomplish your task spelled out clearly and concisely in a style that I've found that only Mr. Stanek can deliver. It is refreshing. Now I'm not saying the books are pefrect. If you need to learn from scratch this isn't the answer. Look elsewhere. If you need to brush up and extend your skills to new stuff (like going from SQL 6.5 or SQL 7 to SQL 2000), is a good choice. If you need a book to help with day to day, is a good choice. If you need a book to put in your backpack and carry with you, is a good choice.
Last I want to say thank you to Mr. Stanek. Thank you, I'm looking forward to more. --JW

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: OpenGL(R) Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 1.2 (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Mason Woo, Jackie Neider, Tom Davis, Dave Shreiner, OpenGL Architecture Review Board
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
They do it again!, The best Book for OpenGL!

This book is the definitive reference for OpenGL programming, both as a reference for the experienced OpenGL programmer and for the experienced programmer with no real 3D experience. The book has good explanations and plenty of pictures and diagrams that give a novice a clear view of 3D programming in OpenGL. Highly recommended for those wanting to get a deep understanding, but not a beginners book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Swing, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: James Elliott, Marc Loy, David Wood, Brian Cole
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
stay away from this one

I glanced at this book and John Zukowski's _Definitive Guide_, and decided at the time that they were more or less the same, and that a serious Java Swing programmer should own at least one, but not both. After having bought both books (my Zukowski was in the World Trade Center), I've decided that I was very wrong in my assessment. This book is not bad, but Zukowski's goes into much more detail and provides better sample code, especially in the section on JTables.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C, Second Edition
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Bruce Schneier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fantastic for Beginners or Advanced Crytography Nuts

This book is an bsolute must read for anyone dealing with security. It covers almost everything in the field, and gives a deep insight, plus the correct way to think. If you need details on a specific topic, you'll find a way to that too, the book has a 1600+ list of references.