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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
Great for beginners and intermediate

HTML 4 for the World Wide Web is an excellent companion (or, maybe it would be better to say "continuation") to Paul McFedrie's 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Web Page'. Where McFedries really does start at the beginning, Elizabeth Castro assumes that you have some very basic knowledge, and takes it from there.
Where 'HTML 4 for the World Wide Web' scores high is in two areas... First, the index is excellent (and I mean EXCELLENT). No matter what the topic, you'll find it without hassle. Secondly, Elizabeth Castro goes into some detail about actually getting your site hosted, and how to upload your files. This goes beyond the remit of other starter guides, but is obviously essential if you're planning to publish your pages.
Every topic is covered with abundant examples and the pages are littered with screen prints so you know exactly what you should be expecting. Castro goes into META tags (and how to get them recognized by the search engines), she covers several examples of Cascading Style Sheets, Tables and Forms; and she offers some simple JavaScript examples.
HTML 4 is a high quality broad reference that is well written and covers an extensive base of essential topics. If you're planning professional-looking web pages, this one is a must.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Digital Compositing for Film and Video with CDROM
Publisher: Focal Press
Authors: Steve Wright
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fabulous resource.

The author has done a great job of taking most if not all the tricks and tips and combined them into one excellent book.Film and Video is completely explained and the reader gets a great idea why they are so completely different.This book is an A+ must have for anyone wanting to know more about the compositing process.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Potent, pure, perfect

Books on computer programming live or die on the quality of their examples. As every programmer knows, a good example is worth a thousand words. Sadly "Design Patterns" fails miserably in this regard. It suffers from a descriptive overkill that smothers the inherent simplicity of the subject the authors purport to explain. For example, a simple pattern such as "Strategy" is described is such unnecessay detail, that I began to doubt I ever understood it in the first place! For design patterns I was not already familair with, I could not follow them at all. Part of problem is the high-toned, quasi academic style the authors use, with endless citations and qualifications that do anything but explain(Grady Booch is guilty of this too). If you are having trouble with this stuff (and lets face it if Design Patterns is your text book you probably are!), then I can recommend the chapter on OOP in Bruce Eckels book "Thinking in Java" - it helped me make the conceptual leap into OOP. ...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must for digital photographers that use Photoshop

Some of the ideas in this latest work by Scott Kelby are worth the price of the book itself. I wish I had known about these shortcuts to photo enhancement a long time ago. I find this collection of easy yet powerful tips to be even more useful than Photoshop 7 Down & Dirty Tricks (another Kelby book I like). Work smart, not hard with The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers.