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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: IT Project Management : On Track from Start to Finish, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Joseph Phillips
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Not Just for IT Managers


Have you ever picked up a book which had nothing to do with your profession just to acquire knowledge about another field? Well, I did. I am an engineer with management experience, none of which applies to IT. I was first intrigued by Joe's knowledge of general management tools that apply to all types of managers (i.e. research, defining goals, budgets, etc.). Secondly, his book was the most enjoyable technical book that I have read. He brings life to his book with his subtle sarcasms accompanied by his technical expertise. I felt like I was sitting at his house, smoking a cigar, sipping on some brandy while he was explaining the intricacies of project management. (This is a big PLUS)After reading his book, I feel that I not only have a greater knowledge of the IT profession and their environment, but I can also apply his reccommended management tools in my everyday management responsibilities.I feel that Joe's book is a MUST READ not only for IT Managers specifically, but for all managers in general!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A+ Complete Study Guide, Third Edition (220-301 and 220-302)
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
It's OK, but I wouldn't recommend


About six months ago I prepared for the Core Hardware exam and got a 579/900 (passing is 515). So I barely passed, and I used a different book (A+ Certification Study Guide, Fifth Edition by Michael Pastore) and I was not satisfied, and I feared that I might not pass the OS technologies exam. So I went out and bought this book because it seemed that Sybex published a book for every certification out there so they have to have pretty decent books.
Well, it's not a bad book, but it's not that great either. I did pass with a 573/900 (passing mark 505), but I did use the questions from the other book as well. I have been using for computers for at least five years, I've been a network administrator at an organization with >400 computers, and computers are basically second nature to me.
I understand that CompTIA is making their A+ tests harder now, however this should only mean that the book has to provide more training so that one can do better than barely pass.
In conclusion, I would suggest that if you are fairly new to computers, try another book, and shop around. Read the reviews of what people have to say, especially the crtical ones, because those are the most helpful. If you already have a lot of computer experience, then this book is alright and will probably help you pass the test.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An indispensible reference


I was just asked what was the most interesting tech-related book I've read in the last year and I had to say it was the 5th edition of Elizabeth Castro's Visual QuickStart Guide to HTML. It might not seem inspiring in and of itself, but it's so good I have a copy at home and at work always within arm's reach of my keyboard. It's brilliantly designed (the format of the Visual Quickstart Guides is excellent), extensively indexed, succinct, readable, reliable about warning of browser quirks and incompatibilities, and best of all, so far as I have seen in the 5th edition, error-free.
Sometimes simple usability and reliability is better than all the flashy stuff in the world, especially when it makes it easy for you to understand and apply the really huge potential of XHTML and CSS. I recommend it to anyone who writes HTML, particularly those making the transition from HTML 4.0 to XHTML and those learning CSS. What's best about it? You can pick it up, get the answer you need and get on with your web design fast. If you're getting a reference book everything rests on your ability to find the answer and quickly undestand the answer so you can apply it. This book is a stellar example of just that principle.
For those just learning HTML and CSS you may wish to also use another more wordy guide to get you started, but I suspect this is the one you'll still be using (and continually buying the new edition of) years down the road.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Essential Guide to Telecommunications (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Annabel Z. Dodd
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great read--I couldn't put this book down!


This book provided an excellent overview of the very broad range of telecommunications topics, including history, telephone technologies, data technologies, protocols, and standards; from twisted-pair copper through fiber-optic, cellular, and satellite. It is a very quick read and a great introduction to anyone new to telecommunications. Its coverage is very good considering the broad range of topics covered.
It does not, however, provide much depth on any one technology. Most topics, such as ATM, SONET, etc., are covered in one to four pages each. It was significantly less than I was looking for, but I am still impressed with how well Ms. Dodd covered such a broad range of topics. Anyone with a high school education, no telecom experience, and the motivation to do it, could read and learn from this book.