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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Cisco Networking Academy Program CCNA 1 and 2 Companion Guide, Third Edition
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Inc., CISCO Cisco Systems, Cisco Networking Academy Program, Inc., ILSG Cisco Systems, Aries Cisco Networking Academy Program
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Version 3.1 of Online Academy due April, 2004??

I can't believe Cisco would allow this book to be printed. It's as if the book was never reviewed by a technical editor. Their are a huge number of errors and the writing is clumsy. Unfortunately the online material is, in my opinion, not much better. Shame on Cisco for putting this out.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Unified Software Development Process
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ivar Jacobson, Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Seminal work on the Process of Constructing Software

If all you want to do is to throw together a dog kennel, then avoid this book.
If you want to create a repeatable development process that is capable of continuous improvement, then look no further. The USDP stands the test of time.
The book deals with all aspects of a Software Construction Process in a frank, logical and full manner. It must be the seminal work on the subject.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Alison Balter's Mastering Microsoft Access 2000 Development
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alison Balter
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good intermediate Access Developer's tutorial and reference

I learnt VBA with this book and was very pleased with the clear style presented. Having done some IT training and writing myself, I can attest that Alison's style is very easy and enjoyable to read.
I thought the sections on Queries and Forms - and their integration with each other - were particularly powerful. e.g. being able to specify a call to a VBA function in a query design page is something that's really neat as far as I'm concerned.
I reserved one star because: - I would have liked to have seen a detailed chapter on Jet SQL. MS Access allows one - by and large - to avoid directly writing SQL, but a serious developer needs to know it in detail. - Although the chapter on ADO was excellent, and a very clear introduction - as far as it went, I would have preferred to have seen more ADO and ADOX examples.
My main reasons for purchasing the book were: - to learn Access VBA - to become a 'power developer' of Access queries and forms - to develop Access GUIs - to introduce myself to ADO
This book satisfied those requirements to the extent that I don't think I need another Access 2000 book.
The book is complete and covers every possible type of Access activity, including issues like replication, using Access as a GUI to SQL Server, Active Data Pages, security, even doing version maintenance with Visual Sourcesafe.
I would be interested to see a comparison between this book and its main competition - "Access 2000 Developers Handbook, Volumes I & II"

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Anti-Hacker Tool Kit, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Mike Shema, Bradley C. Johnson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Hackers Beware. . . .Expanded !

'Hackers Beware', is a very useful book, no doubts. But its son: 'Anti-Hacker Toolkit' is by far, the most useful 'practical' book in the area of computer security. Tons. (I do mean Tons.) of cases and scenarios are thoroughly reviewed. Any relevant TOOL (offensive or defensive) is explored, lot of case studies are presented (in depth), and as an added bonus, almost every scenario is discussed both for Windows and UNIX.It is not a theoretical book, it is a real 'learn by understanding how to hack' book. However,even if no too much, you'll need some basic knowledge about the area, to take full advantage of this book.Needless to say the companion CD is, not only multi platform, but FULL of valuable tools.I have reviewed a lot of security books (good books), but this one really impressed me very much.The forensic chapters alone, justify buying the book !!