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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XML for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
OK reference, poor tutorial.


My initial impression of the Visual QuickStart series was very positive, but I don't think this way any more, and especially so after reading this book. The format works OK for a reference book, but it fails as a tutorial. There is no overall big-picture and conceptual understanding of XML. The author gives lots of excerpts from a single extended example that illustrate specific syntax issues, but working with these small pieces is very hard to follow. Smaller complete examples would have been much more helpful.
One very important topic - even for beginners - is completely missing. This is the DOM (short for Document Object Model) that lets the programmer use the different XML nodes in a programming language such as Visual Basic. We use XML at my workplace as a means of transmitting information from a SQL Database to code modules that can operate on the information, but there is nothing in this book that is helpful here.
There is also no explanation of why the different aspects of XML are significant in the real world. After reading this book, I got the impression that the main function of XML is to format data stored in XML files for end user presentation in HTML. But XML is much more important than this.
The book will be of some use - I will be referring to it for answers to specific questions. But if this was the only XML book I had read, I would not have any good grasp of the topic. For an excellent beginner's book on XML, read 'XML Step by Step' by Michael J. Young (now in a second edition). You can really learn something there.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cisco IOS in a Nutshell
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: James Boney
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Right by my side - making it easier to configure the router.


One thing I have discovered over the past 12 years is that it is impossible to remember every command associated with a particular operating system, this includes routers. That's why I have this book on my desk to help me out remembering the syntax for the configuration files.

This 590 page must have reference book starts off with the loading of the image and configuration files which included setting up the router and the Line commands needs for this. Then author gives you the commands for the configuration of the line interfaces as the next topic discussed.

From there you find commands for configuration of Frame Relay, ATM, Access Lists, and Queues as the next set of topics, followed up with Interior Routing Protocols like RIP, IGRP, EIGRP and OSPF being tackled.

Moving on BGP and SNMP, DDR, HSRP, NAT, security and troubleshooting rounds out the topics. While this book is written to any exam specifications you may it very useful for most if not all Cisco certification exams.

Finally the book has over 300 pages devoted to the commands and there breakdown to give you the where to use, description and examples of the code. About the only thing left out was the entire book in e-book format or formatted for the palm. Overall this is one book I will have with for a very long time - well done!!!



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Windows Graphics Programming: Win32 GDI and DirectDraw (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Feng Yuan
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
A programming book should have 100% working examples.


As early as page 6 an example is presented which does not work. Will not compile. It has not one, but two errors.
If I change from debug to release (less strict), it will compile but will not run. The compiled exe is also included on the CD, and it too will not run.
I bought the book because I am an experianced programmer, but new to Win32 graphics. At this point I'm not impressed.
Also the font/paper selection is unfortunate. The book is hard to read. Over the years, I've bought and read over a dozen programming books. This one is the hardest to read.
For the record, the system it fails on is Windows ME with Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 with service pack 5 installed.
This is the compiler the book reccommends , and the most recent version.
The error message:
Deleting intermediate files and output files for project 'gui - Win32 Debug'. --------------------Configuration: gui - Win32 Debug-------------------- Compiling... Hello2.cpp Linking...
LIBCD.lib(crt0.obj) : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _main Debug/gui.exe : fatal error LNK1120: 1 unresolved externals Error executing link.exe.
gui.exe - 2 error(s), 0 warning(s)



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Unix: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Deborah S. Ray, Eric J. Ray
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Extremely easy to read and understand.


If you are just starting out in the Unix environment, this is a great book. From the get-go, the books leads you to a basic understanding of Unix without overloading you with complex terms and structures.