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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Oracle Certified Professional Application Developer Exam Guide
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies
Authors: Jason Couchman, Jason Couchman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book + your study time = OCP!


I've heard people complain after they've taken some course or read some book, and then tried to take the OCP exam and failed. In every case it's been because they didn't really put in the practice time - they didn't have the information down cold. This book can't do it for you, but if you put in the time, doing the exercises, you will definitely pass the exams.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cryptography Decrypted
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: H. X. Mel, Doris M. Baker, Steve Burnett
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the best cryptography book


I am a senior engineer for managed network security operations. I administer systems which use cryptographic tools and processes (SSH, IPSec VPNs, etc.) and have seen cryptography hinder my network-based intrusion detection activities. I read this book to gain basic familiarity with the nuts and bolts of cryptography. I wanted a lively text which addressed modern issues, since computer books can be quickly overtaken by technological advances. This book delivers at all levels and belongs on every computer security professional's bookshelf.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was energetic, clear, well-organized, fully illustrated, and comprehensive. I believe it's THE book to read if you want an introduction to one of the major enablers of modern computing. Furthermore, because the book's goal is to explain the foundations of both secret and public key cryptography, it should stay relevant for many years.
"Cryptography Decrypted" does not spare any effort to ensure the reader understands the subject. Concepts are clarified and reinforced through text and diagrams on nearly every page. The authors know many readers are not attracted to mathematics, so they move the "heavy lifting" to an appendix. Even then, for readers willing to apply a little effort, the appendix is understandable and enlightening. At every stage of writing this book, the authors must have remembered to keep the non-cryptographer reader in mind. Kudos to their editors for keeping them on track!
The only disappointment was the book's failure to mention the Secure Shell (SSH). Because the authors believed it important to discusses popular implementations of cryptography (IPSec, SSL, PGP), I had hoped that SSH would be included. Most every UNIX sys admin is familiar with SSH, and might have enjoyed learning more about the guts of this indispensable tool.
I don't often give 5 star reviews; only 3 of my last 10 merited that rating. I give the highest marks to books which impress, educate, and entertain. "Cryptography Decrypted" delivers. If you have an interest in cryptography, read this book!
(Disclaimer: I received my review copy free from the publisher.)



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PMP Exam Prep (4th Edition)
Publisher: Rmc Pubns Inc
Authors: Rita Mulcahy
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Customer reviews seem staged


This is an extremely useful book to pass the PMP Exam. I read this book with PMBOK as reference and managed to score 174 in the Exam. You don't need any other material to get through the Exam. There is lot of stuff in this book which is not covered in the PMBOK. Prior knowledge of Project Networks, Change Control Process and Quality Management process might help.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Game Programming for Teens
Publisher: Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade
Authors: Maneesh Sethi
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Kudos from another author


In my opinion, there are three groups of enthusiasts in the "gamer" market: Game players who want to make their own games for fun; Programmers who take up game dev as a hobby or a diversion; and those aspiring to become professional game developers. I believe this book excels at catering to the first group, is intriguing to the second, and at least mildly interesting for the third. Reviewers in all three groups will therefore vary in their opinion of this book.
I co-authored "Beginner's Guide to DarkBasic...". In early 2002, we considered using BlitzBasic along with DarkBasic, but decided to focus on DarkBasic only, and tailored our book for the "extreme beginner," where it would be useful as a textbook in a "first programming course." I am glad because now there is this excellent BlitzBasic book too, and it nails the subject!
Blitz and DBPro seem to be strong competitors. What you should realize when considering this book is, do you have a compiler? Visual C++ and Visual Basic and other compilers are expensive! But tools like BlitzBasic give you a DirectX game engine AND a compiler in one package. While this could easily cost hundreds of dollars for something like Visual C++ and Torque, you get it all in one package, with an easy-to-use script language. With this book, you get a trial version of the compiler, so you won't need any additional software to get started.
A final point. Its the CONCEPTS that are important, not the language. Anyone who whines about a book not using C or C++ is immature and a novice in the extreme. Because any competent programmer can glean new knowledge from a book of any language and apply it to his/her own. Shoot, I have used Petzold as a reference when writing about Visual Basic.
Maneesh should be congratulated for having written a very accessible book for new programmers and anyone who wants to write their own games without a huge investment of time.