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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
You will like this book if you hate the world around you

This book actually starts out nicely up until the point where it turns into a high-pitched whine about everything that the author hates. The content is highly subjective, full of cliches such as "what do you get when you cross a computer and an alarm clock" or constant reptitious nags about why engineers are incompetent when it comes to things that matter. It is laughable to think that an engineer-turn-interaction-designer would come to hate so much what he used to be. On the positive side, the book can be considered a slight improvement from some of the things we had seen from this author in the past (Visual Basic being one i.e. a programming language for minimalists -- almost never used for serious projects in the software industry and to most people utterly useless)
Just as the arugument used in the book to say that bad user interaction design stems from letting the engineers (or according to the book's confusing terminology "apologists" or non-solution-oriented people) control dedcision making processes, the same can be said of the overly simplistic often vague interpretations of the world given by the people highly praised in the book (referred to as "survivors"). As can be seen from the first few chapters in the book, the book speculates about things and provides no real facts or knowledge. Perhaps some research notes or real life cases would help.
I would suggest looking for a more authorative source of what constitutes a good user design if you are looking to learn more on this subject. Find an author with more academic and industry backing.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Microsoft ADO.NET (Core Reference)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: David Sceppa
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must have for any serious developer

I spent almost 8 months struggling with ADO .NET, bought a couple of books and just could't get it done efectively. Thank God for David Sceppa and this wonderful book.
From the very first page you start getting what's going on, and how you must get things done, no goofing around, just a very simple explanation of the concept, and then an example in both VB and C#, which is great because I'm thinking of moving away from VB and get into C#.
Every single object is clearly explained here, DataSets, DataTables, DataRows, Connections, Commands, DataReaders, DataAdapters, DataViews, and each of them's got all its proerties and methods thouroughly explained.
Before reading this book I was builduing an application with ADO .Net and it had the worst, dirtiest code you've ever seen, after reading this book, my code has reduced itself about 60%, and is cleaner, more understandable and it will be much easier to maintain.
There just can't be a better book to get up to speed with ADO .Net, it is really a must have.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Bill Hatfield
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A great book... but no C#

This book taught me quite a bit, with 2+ years of C++, and some Javascript knowledge, I really had no clue about ASP.NET or working with the .Net class libraries(granted this book does not go in depth into those libraries, but the MSDN library does;-)). This was the very firt programming related book I have ever read 100%(the rest kinda got too boring). I followed the book with all the examples and now I am making ASP.NET pages very easily. The book also provided me with a good introducton to VB.NET, but my company is using C#, so now I am converting the VB.Net to C#, but alot of the concepts in the book helped me in doing that. I still use the book as a reference, though I can't give five stars cause it didnt cover C#.
I highly recommend this book to people who have never touched ASP or .NET stuff, its a great introduction.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The SSCP Prep Guide: Mastering the Seven Key Areas of System Security
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Debra S. Isaac, Michael J. Isaac
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Nice study start.

I bought this and another book.. Both failed to prep me to pass the exam.. I feel that I wasted my money