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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
Remeber, it's a "quick" start

The Visual Quickstart series of books have changed my life; honestly. I'm 23 and loving my job as web designer. If it weren't for Elizabeth Castro, I would probably still be doing tech support. That aside, remember that these books are indeed a "quick" start which is different from a 101-level class in a subject. The book dives right into helpful scripts like browser-type detection and status bar messages but doesn't necessarily explain how to do a while loop or even basic syntax. This book, like the others in the series, will get your feet and give you a pretty good idea of whether or not it's the right technology for you.
One thing I really like is the simplified version of complicated scripts. For instance, the rollover button script that Dreamweaver uses has a lot of extra code that, at least to a beginner, makes no sense and seems unnecessary. When I looked for an alternative script on the web, I found an even more complicated one. The script the book shows you is *so* easy and it works! Why doesn't everybody use something this simple?
Anyway, I look at all of the VQS books as starters. You're going to have to get a more advanced book if you want to do anything heavy duty...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Software Project Survival Guide
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve C McConnell
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
What everyone knows, but never follows

This book does an excellent job of pointing out items that every project should cover. The examples are limited, but it gives you a great starting point to assess your project. Take the project quiz and see how your project rates. One complaint is they do not give enough examples on requirements gathering. The theory of requirements gathering is shoved down your throat, but I was looking for steps. Overall a great gift for that project manager who "THINKS" the project is going well...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution, C# Edition
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Marco Bellinaso, Kevin Hoffman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A rare gem

If you've learned a little C# and ASP.NET then I can think of no quicker way of learning how to use them than working through this book.
The book has only about 500 pages but it moves very swiftly and contains a huge amount of information. It covers the creation of a complete web site containing many commonly used modules such as news, forums, mailing lists, and polls. The entire web site source code can be downloaded from Wrox.com and is indeed needed as the book sometimes skips over the more mundane bits. To get the best from it you should have a working knowledge of C# and ASP.NET and have a few related reference books on hand. I have got most from this book while creating a new website based on their code.
My own area of interest is more in client-server applications than in web sites but what I immediately liked about the book was the data access base classes they created simply that could be used for any client-server system. They also show the implementation of error handling onto the asp page base class that provides for easy yet robust error handling on all served pages. They show the extension of ASP.NET authentication to provide your own tiers of user-based security. They cover the use of many of the basic ASP.NET controls and provide a level of coverage which I was unable to get from the Microsoft documentation. They cover the design and implementation of a database using SQL Server. All in all there a lot here of interest to anyone creating any type of database application.
Wrox are obviously making an effort to get their example code right, something they have too often failed to do in the past. This website works. I was able to get it up and running within 20 minutes.
In summary I guess you could say I am seriously impressed. Well done Wrox.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Embedded C Programming and the Atmel AVR
Publisher: Thomson Delmar Learning
Authors: Richard H. Barnett, Sarah A. Cox, Larry D. O'Cull
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book for starters and experienced programmers!

This is a great book on embedded C programming. Although it focuses on the Atmel AVR microcontrollers, it is a useful reference for anyone doing embedded development! I have been an embedded systems developer for years and this is the first book that I have found that I keep at my desk for quick references - for software and hardware!