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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning ASP Databases
Publisher: Wrox Press
Authors: John Kauffman, Kevin Spencer, Thearon Willis, John Kauffman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
VERY NICE for Beginners And Intermediate

I have just started learning ASP and I have found that this book has been VERY useful. John has given MANY great examples for the most common ASP uses. What I like the most is that he lists the CODE for a new lesson/page that he then shows you the output from. Then he breaks the code down into small sections and details EACH SECTION telling you exactly what is being done in each one. Very nice. The only thing it needs is a CDROM WITH EXAMPLES.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Donald E. Knuth
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
This is a quite bad book!

I read this book when I was a sophomore in high school and I thought it was excellent. Prior to reading the book, I had wanted for a long time to write a program to evaluate standard mathematical expressions. I had even tried once before, but I didn't know enough about what I was doing to be really successful. Somewhere in the second chapter in a discussion of lists, doubly-linked-lists, and binary trees, a good solution came to me, and I implemented it right after I finished reading the book. It worked very well. This book helped me to accomplish the major goal-project of my computer programming career so far, and I definately think it is worth reading for anyone wanting a really advanced understanding of fundamental algorithms. Now I know to many advanced means total [over]use of fully encapsulated C++ objects, which this book doesn't have, but this book gives an advanced understanding, which is infinitely more valuable than classes. If you understand OOP and you understand this book, you should be able to combine the two just fine. Lastly, I'd like to comment on the use of MIX. I read almost none of the MIX assembly code when I read this book. The little I looked at I looked at because I wanted to see what assembly was like in the 60's. But you can understand everything he's trying to say by his explanations of the algorithms, the assembly code is only for clarification, and you don't have to read it. I also believe that everyone who's been using fully encapsulated classes for their entire programming career should learn an assembly language sometime. Just like this book, it will teach you how to think.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Robert Vieira
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
A beginner's book with plenty of the BOL thrown in

This is perhaps the best technical book ever written. Using this manual I was able to solve problems in SQL 2000 that had eluded me for years in Access, as well as solve some tricky issues in having my code talk to the SQL database. The couple of pages on correlated subqueries alone are worth the price of the book (particularly the bold hint about aliasing), and the excellent section on stored procedures is absolutely essential for the developer trying to make their program talk to the database. Being able to use stored procedures effectively has drastically increased the response time of my ASP and Java web sites, as well as simplified maintenance.
My only issue is that I wish there was a dedicted section with regard to commenting and variable/table naming conventions. As a neophyte developer trying to make business and entertainment apps this would be help.
If you want practical SQL in an easy to read and understand format, this is the book for you. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PC Annoyances, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates
Authors: Steve Bass
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
New Edition, Lots of Great New Content

If you own the first edition, you won't experience déjà vu while reading the second edition. The new one has many changes that you won't recognize it. Whether you're a power PC user or a casual one, you will benefit from the book. Because of the wide array of topics covered, I can't imagine many geeks who know all of these tips.

Instead of calling tech support and staying on hold or going to Google, check PC Annoyances for the answers. It's impossible to have the answers to all the problems you encounter on a PC, but Bass touches on a bit of everything. If you don't find the answer in the book, you might find enough clues to shorten your search.

GMail joins the book and its tips immediately pay off. Other than the usual Microsoft applications, get stress-busters for fixing annoyances related to music, video, CD, and general email. Mozilla, Firefox, and Thunderbird don't make the cut this time. However, we know how the publishing industry struggles to keep up with tech changes. The book lists a few Netscape-related tips and what you can do in Netscape usually works in any Mozilla product since they're based on the same "bones."

How many times have you come across an interesting URL in a book that was a mile long and took several attempts to get it right? Bass takes care of that by using a URL shortening service making it easier and quicker to get the right URL on the first try. He provides links to software, humorous sites, and resources. After fighting a round with your PC, wouldn't taking a break by going to a funny resource release a few tense muscles? It does for me.

His software recommendations include free and fee-based products. I recognize many of the programs and own some. Based on my experience, he provides excellent recommendations, so you can trust that he isn't looking to pump up his stock with any of the companies. Most, if not all, of the programs come with a trial period, so you can play with them and see if they meet your needs. If not, uninstall and no harm done. If so, then thank Mr. Bass.

The only complaint I have lies with the warning boxes. They're dark blue with black text. Not easy to read.

Bass writes likes someone who has battled with the annoyance and shares the solution. It's conversational, enjoyable, and easy reading. You don't have to worry about insults from those who think they're the sultan of computers. Instead, Bass makes you feel better with his "buddy-style" advice. Thanks, Steve.