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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint
Publisher: Graphics Pr
Authors: Edward R. Tufte
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Savagely Brilliant

Warning: Reading Cognitive Style is likely to increase your temptation to run screaming from the room when faced with corporate and military PowerPoint presentations. But if it helps you to prepare presentations that don't tempt your audiences to run screaming from the room (and it offers lots of good advice), the sacrifice will be worth it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
For Copy-cats

Ok, not a good book for programmers as it has been said already. And, this is absolutely true. Then again, I am not a programmer. This book did NOT help me get a grasp on Javascript fundamentals--the info included in the first chapter about basic Javascript programming principles was too brief, too simplistic--but I did not want massive programming training at this point. Hard to decipher techie-speak is not for me, and if it is not for you--then you probably could get some use out of this book. Can I build scripts by myself? Gosh, no--but I can surely modify the ones included in the book to fit my simple website building needs (this book is good for people who want a quick solution to writing--ok, copying--some basic Javascript onto their personal pages).
I used this book to get a quick idea of how to create a small window for viewing larger versions of linked thumbnail pictures on my kids' website. In essence, I just modified the example code to fit my needs. Also useful was a script for inserting the date into pages--even though Dreamwaever does that automatically.
This book works best as a look-up-what-you-need quick reference if you are good at copying code correctly (javascript is definitely spacing-sensitive) and using it. It will not make you a Javascript programming god. Still a good buy if you want an idea of what javascript looks like, some basic things that can be accopmplished with it, and some snappy code for neat things to add on your website (though some smell of tackiness) such as picture slide shows and browser version plug-in checks (good if you use a specific version of a media player and must test for it on your visitor's browser).

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Barry Boehm, Richard Turner
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Pragmatic look at plan driven vs agile methods

Excellent book that discusses plan driven vs agile development methods. The authors conclude
1. No silver bullet. 2. One approach is better than the other depending on the project characteristics.3. Future trends are toward both agility and discipline.4. Some balanced methods are emerging.5. It is better to build your method up than to tailor it down.6. People, communication and expectations management are more important than methodologies.
Probably the best description I've read of what make a process agile -- iterative, incremental, self-organizing, and emergence. The authors also have excellent appendices which give informative thumb nail sketches on the different agile methods. Two other features of the book I really appreciated -- margin summaries and well documented endnotes. The plan driven discussion focuses on PSP. Here, I would have preferred more discussion on traditional project management.(eg. PMBOK, CPM scheduling). Overall, very informative.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Crystal Reports .NET Programming
Publisher: Bischof Systems
Authors: Brian Bischof
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
worst book i have bought

The book is a Crystal Report - .Net centric book. I don't need to know how to create a report using the crystal interface, I need it to tell me how to create it using he Visual Studio IDE. This book teaches does just that. The best part about a book for me is the author himself. Like other notable technical authors (e.g. Cricket Liu), Brian trolls the newsgroups and on many occassions offers up free advice. Thank you Brian for the book and I hope you stay in the NG's.