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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C How to Program, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Deitel, Assoc., Deitel, Associates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book for novices


I got C as my first programming language in university and my lecturer recommended me to buy this book. He's right. This book is very good. It contains very detail information about C in plain words. The sentences are easy to understand for a student like me who don't use English as primary language. This book really helps me understand C in a different view. I would recommend this book to everyone who's interested in C. If you are new to programming, this book is a good start.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Security+ Study Guide
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Michael Pastore
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Comparing reviews - this is another negative


As you see, there are reviews giving this book both good and bad reviews - the good ones praise its organization and readability, the bad ones point out its errors. There are indeed a fair number of errors, which is bad enough, but I found many explanations confusing and misleading - perhaps because I have 3 years experience with security, and 15 with networking.
Organization is all very well, but to make an analogy, a well-written tour guide to Denmark is of little help in finding your way in France! Skip this one!!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Godel's theorem, recursive music, art, AI!


Before I start: this isn't a book, it's a commitment. I liked Bach's music, Escher, math and what I'd seen of computer science before I started reading, and even then it was a long, long read. Not out of boredom, but because my brain is finite and mortal and couldn't absorb more than a chapter in one sitting (if it even succeeded in that).
More than being a commitment, GEB is a work of art. Not just the music and numerous Eschers, but the writing. The dialogues between Achilles and the Tortoise were a riot even as I reread every line, struggling to keep up with the pace Hofstadter demands. And be warned, it's no slow pace, either. But it's worth every page, whether or not you agree to the conclusions he leads you to.
My only caveat is: find some nice quiet summer when you'll be able to give GEB the attention it deserves and requires, or you'll find yourself putting it away for half a year until you do have time, as I did!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Wicked Cool Shell Scripts
Publisher: No Starch Press
Authors: Dave Taylor
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Should have on your Desk


This is one of those "should have on your desk" books. The book and Dave's website is a great little resource.
I wanted to do some statistical work and though I was going to have to break down and use Excel or Calc. Then I ran into Dave's book/website. After a little reading, I realize it was possible to nix Excel.
Using a couple of Dave's tricks and his scriptbc tool, I had the job done. All shell sans Excel. Nice book, nice website --really useful.