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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe Photoshop CS Studio Techniques
Publisher: Adobe Press
Authors: Ben Willmore
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good supplement to the User Guide BUT...

The author removed an important section from this, the CS edition, that was present in the previous books. Specifically, Mr. Willmore didn't include the Web chapter. To his credit he does state this in the intro section, citing the number of improvements to ImageReady (the web graphic creation part of Photoshop) is huge and that the associated chapter would dominate the book. He also said that web designers are not forgotten, that the book is still very web-friendly, he just didn't include a specific chapter or section that covered the web tools. Well, something must have happened between his writing of that and the actual printing of the book, because I can't find anything that deals with items such as animation, slices, GIF's, or even ImageReady itself. I do need to say that I haven't read the book cover to cover, and that just because there are no entries in the index for these items it doesn't mean they aren't discussed, somewhere, in the pages that I've not read (although if they are, then the book deserves another ding because the index is incomplete).What is covered is done very well and very completely. Mr. Willmore knows his subject, and it shows in the thourough way he discusses the program. He provides great primers on channels, masks, color correction, scanning, curves, levelslayers, and other features. He takes the more complex tools and breaks them down in ways any user, no matter how much or little experience he or she may have, can understand and apply. Each chapter has a mini-glossary titled "Ben's Techno-Babble Decoder Ring", each entry further explaining terms introduced in the chapter in a no-nonsence manner. I will say this is an indespenseable book to go along with with the too-thin User Guide. I'm just disappointed that readers of the previous editions must now purchase yet another book if they want to learn about the web graphic features.

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
Great Reference

A very good reference work; great for the beginner but a little thin for the experienced programmer. It could be improved by a more intense discussion of syntax, structure and etc. and handles some of the more complex programming examples with too little explaining, but it's definitely worth a look (or two).

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: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Five Stars Plus

I am a senior IT specialist with over 27 years in the field and was looking forward to reading Mr. Cooper's book until I read the reviews and noted his emphasis on technical personnel as the primary catalysts for poor software.
They may be a factor but not the primary catalyst. Unfortunately, it is and has always been corporate management that have initiated much of the problems we are all facing today. Computers in the hands of the individual or the scientist can offer a tremendous enhancement to their work and lives in an increasingly difficult and complex world. However, in the hands of business management and/or under their aspices the computer has become a plaything for fools who rampantly execute decisions against their technical communities based more on fantasy and personal agenda than that of reality and common sense. And since it is the business realm that produces much of what the consumer uses the results tend to be less than stellar.
Most fail to remember that technicians have very little say in the finality of their projects that are usually run by an organizational stream of management. This is not to say that there aren't plenty of bad technicians who are as equally guilty of incompetence and the infusion of their own personal agendas into a project. There are more than enough. Yet management has consistently failed to understand in depth the technologies they are having implemented which would then allow them to develop quality teams with a balanced forum for input from both sides. Instead, management prefers the "glory" of the technical implementation with the attitude that they they "don't understand this stuff". And how can they when most technicians themselves are having a difficult time keeping up with the high-speed evolutionary pace of their own technology.
If Mr. Cooper had more experience in the everyday development environments that most have to contend with I believe his book would have had a much more balanced emphasis and thus a superior impact on the reading public which is what is really needed. Changing the way software works will not alter the stupidity behind it!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCSA/MCSE Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment Exam Cram 2 (Exam Cram 70-290)
Publisher: Que
Authors: Dan Balter, Ed Tittel
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Like I said, dont expect to pass with this review guide

Chapter 3 covers GPO's? Then someone has played a cruel joke on me. Like I said in my previous post: this exam cram is insufficient! My chapter 3 is nothing but managing server storage! How to convert to dynamic disks etc. The acronym GPO is nowhere to be found. I DO read the books I review! I want a refund.