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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs - 2nd Edition (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Neither a zen, nor a bible of programming

This book, quite simply sucks. I opened it up looking for good advice. Instead, I find discussions that lead nowhere, or if they do, they are very boring. For example, is it really necessary to discuss modularity and abstraction? Isn't it a bit obvious to anyone who has programmed even a little that breaking programs into manageable pieces is a good philosophy? That was the only concept treated that has some relevance to programming. Other topics, such as streams, logic programming, evaluators are all either useless, or presented so poorly, you'll definitely be better off reading specialized books on those topics. This book isn't good for beginners either. It's just too complicated.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Understanding .NET: A Tutorial and Analysis
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: David Chappell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Wealth of information every .NET developer needs to know

The .NET Framework is not just another new technology; it is an entirely revolutionary view of the world of software development. And it comprises such an incredibly vast body of knowledge that one or two fat books will not make anyone well versed. Ultimately, mastering this subject will require nothing less than a small library. David Chappell's Understanding .NET is an excellent choice as a master volume and foundation for this library--as a sort of glue that will hold it all together. In this book every major area of .NET is probed and placed in context, and Chappell's writing style is extremely succinct and focused. I highly recommend this book to every software developer and manager.
Understanding .NET provides an objective and comprehensive overview of .NET, including chapters on how Web Services work, functionality of the Common Runtime Language, comparisons between .NET programming languages, how to work with the Class Library, new features of ADO.NET and ASP.NET, a description of .NET My Services, and how all of these parts fit together.

Most obviously, this book is a perfect starting point for developers who may be skilled in DNA or some other architecture but new to .NET. The familiar terminology and intelligent references provide engaging, informative reading, and there is enough density and new information to make every paragraph worth reading. This is not one of those easy-listening books where the reader is advised in the preface to skip the first three chapters.

This book also has much to offer developers who may have been working with .NET for some time but somehow missed the beginning of the movie. When plunging into a particular area of a new technology, especially one as vast as .NET, it is quite easy to never be completely clear about the main plot. By placing each major aspect of .NET clearly in context Chappell enables developers to back off for a moment to see the big picture, quite likely leading to exploration of new areas and a more comprehensive "understanding" of the environment.

For technical managers who want a clear understanding of the workings of the .NET Framework but naturally can't afford to make a career out of the details, Understanding .NET is a must read. This is perhaps as far into the details as a manager needs to go, but it should be mandatory material for any technical manager worth his or her salt. Because of Chappell's focused writing style, this book is even suitable for a layperson who needs to be a step ahead.

Understanding .NET is no sissy book, and at the same time it's not rocket science. It is an aptly titled volume with a wealth of information that everyone involved with .NET needs to know. --Review by David A.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How to Build a Speech Recognition Application: Second Edition: A Style Guide for Telephony Dialogues
Publisher: Enterprise Integration Group
Authors: Bruce Balentine, David P. Morgan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The "Strunk and White" for Speech Recognition

Author, Bruce Balentine's goal with How to Build a Speech Recognition Application is to produce the Strunk and White of speech recognition. An electronic musician and composer, Balentine was a pioneer in the speech recognition field. The text's examination of the problems of navigation from human perception to machine recognition give comprehension to even the layman. The book is well organized and structured with the +,/,- system which allows a novice to follow. According to linguist, Dr. John White, the first chapter could stand alone as a treatise on the dynamics of the human speech interface with the machine.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Complete Guide to Dimensional Modeling (Second Edition)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Ralph Kimball, Margy Ross
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Nilesh Sahita

Excellent work. When I first saw it I thought it was mere rewrite with simple correction of the first edition that I had bought in 1996. Thankfully I still sit down with the second edition and I realized how much additional insight I would have missed had I not read the second edition. It is very well written, thought provoking and easy to follow and yet conveys many complex concepts.
Congratulations to Ralph and Margy.