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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning the vi Editor (6th Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Linda Lamb, Arnold Robbins
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Learn how to Master VI

I've been playing with Linux and BSD for a few years now, if your like like me you've played with emacs and vi, learned how to use the basic commands you needed at the time, and never took the time to really sit down and master one of the editors. I decided to get this book, sit down and take a few hours to learn how some of the lesser known vi fuctions could help free up some time. I highly recommend picking up this book, it is extremly useful, and the best part is the fact that it is a quick and interesting read!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Programming for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Wally Wang, Wallace Wang
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent book, but beware of errors

I am a 53-year-old male with no previous experience of programming, and I found the book (the second edition based on the Liberty Basic language) to be worth every cent. It is a fantastic, clear, user-friendly, no-nonsense and humorous introduction to the subject and has really opened my eyes to the world of programming. The Liberty Basic language to which Wang introduces you is tops and really makes sense, compared to some other languages. Beware of a lot of errors, though. I suspect that the book was written or published with undue haste, and as a result some of the examples have not been tested and contain errors. But this can be forgiven, having regard to the overall quality. Since then I have gone on to studying Liberty Basic in more detail. I can heartily recommend both book and language.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Dummies
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Romilla Ready, Kate Burton
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Clinging to the Law of Averages

Have you ever run into the sort of person who talks about things they know nothing about, but talks on and on and on, apparently in the hope that if they keep talking for long enough then the law of averages means they must get at least some of it right?

That's what I felt I was up against when I was reading this book.

Firstly, it is badly laid out, by which I mean that it has no obvious flow other than (I guess) the order in which things popped into the authors' heads.
Secondly, a significant amount of the material has little or nothing to do with NLP - like the "Wheel of Life" and the stuff on PTSD - and quite a lot the material, whether about NLP or not, is at best ambiguous and at worst plain inaccurate.
Thirdly, the frequent, pointless repetition of quite basic material, and the inclusion of the irrelevant material, means that a whole lot of genuine NLP material gets left out.

In the case of the meta programs, for example, only six meta programs are included, and even those aren't explained particularly well. Indeed, at one point in the book the authors claim that all meta programs ("metaprograms", as they call them) work along a sliding scale. Which clearly is NOT true of meta programs such as the "Work Preference Filter", the "Primary Interest Filter", and especially not in the case of the "In Time/Through Time" or "Time Storage Filter" meta program, which the authors confuse with "Time Lines" as in Time Line Therapy.

Worst of all, there doesn't seem to have been any attempt to edit the book once it was complete. Thus, for example, there are several places where a topic flagged up as being covered "later in this chapter" actually turns up on the very next page. Likewise the text itself is inconsistent, as in:

"We get very good at one style of thinking and processing information and let the rest of our senses lie dormant in a rusty heap."

Not only is this not true, psychologically speaking, but the authors flatly contradict themselves less than three pages later:

"As human beings we naturally blend a rich and heady mix of these three main dimensions, yet we tend to have a preference for one mode over the others."

So, "rusty heap" or "rich and heady mix"?
If you know enough to recognise which description is more accurate then you already know far more about NLP than this book will tell you. And if you don't know enough to weed out the nonsense, I'm afraid you're likely to end up with a pretty confused view of the subject if you read this book.

Definitely one of the worst books on NLP I've read.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming with Visual Basic 6.0 Enhanced Edition
Publisher: Course Technology
Authors: Diane Zak
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Well worth the money

There's not a book on Visual Basic that comes close to this one. Don't spend $...on a 21 day book. Just spend the extra cash and really learn something. It's easy to read, with excellent examples that show you everything. I only wished that every publisher wrote books the way Diane Zak did on this one.