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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Protocols (TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great book despite the old age

This is one of those books that despite the old age (this has been written 10 years ago) can still be considered up-to-date.

For those who want to learn how tcp/ip based networks work or to get more involved with the details this book is a must have in your shelf.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Mac OS X, Third Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Todd Stauffer, Kirk McElhearn
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Comprehensive and thorough

I have to confess that I approached the nearly 900 pages of Todd and Kirk's book with a feeling of 'Oh no, not another Mac operating system book - I'll leave that until I have time for it... maybe when I retire'. My shelves contain many such books, dating back to MacOS 7. Most are unthumbed.
However, I was wrong: this book stands out by its thoroughness, and the fact that, while thoughtfully catering for OS 8/9 migrants, it also goes well beyond the basics of OS X. Now that MacOS has 'come of age' with the Panther release, this book is appropriate.
'Mastering Mac OS X' covers just about everything you could need to know about OS X and its bundled applications, with welcome mentions of shareware and commercial software where this appropriate. It starts gently for those unfamiliar with OS X, but - and this is where it differs from a lot of its competition - goes well beyond into heavyweight stuff like AppleScript, X Windows, Darwin, using OS X as a web and ftp server, the command line, shell scripts, and even 'secret' features such as Inkwell.
I found it hard to criticise anything about this book. There are one or two omissions: AppleScript Studio is mentioned only in passing, and iDVD not at all - but to be fair, AppleScript Studio is the subject of a book in its own right. There are also places where the extra warning or two might not be inappropriate, such as when wildcards are introduced immediately after the 'rm' command, but my only main gripe is nothing to do with the authors at all - I found the italicized paragraphs a bit hard on the eyes.
The sections on AppleScript, networking, security and troubleshooting are probably worth the price of the book alone. If you only buy one OS X book, this should be a strong candidate. Recommended.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Python Cookbook, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Alex Martelli, Anna Ravenscroft, David Ascher
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Python Cookbook

This book nicely complements "Learning Python" by giving the reader a wide exposure to how Python can be used to solve common problems. The text is more than a list of recipes. A discussion section follows each code snippet. This is useful since the code is actually explained as opposed to simply being listed. The book is well laid out and has a decent amount of white space in the margins for notes. A more exhaustive index would have made finding a particular example easier, although having said that, the Table of Contents is well laid out. I highly recommend "Python Cookbook" not only as a book to show how specific problems can be solved using Python, but as showing alternative approach.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Flanagan
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not that Great for Beginners

I found this an excellent introduction to programming with Javascript (I did have experience in other languages). But even after becoming comfortable with the introductory concepts, I continue to use this book as a desktop reference. The entries are easy to follow and contain just the right amount of information on the command or object I'm looking up.