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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MYSQL Certification Study Guide
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Paul Dubois, Stefan Hinz, Carsten Pedersen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
It's good - and it's "free"


I've read the first couple of chapters, and can only say: Paul DuBois (and his co-authors Stefan Hinz and Carsten Pedersen who, for some reason, aren't listed as authors on Amazon) have done it again: Written an excellent book on MySQL. I have yet to go and actually sit the exam, but I think that this book will have me well prepared by the time I go.
I find it frustrating that there are no "real" sample questions -- almost all exercises are open-ended, but what you'll see on the exam are multiple-choice questions. That's why I'm not giving the book the 5 stars that the main text deserves.
Oh, and the book is free -- that is, if you're certain you're going to go to the exam anyway. There's a discount voucher inside the book that'll be good for $50.00 (the list price of the book) off of an exam...



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming & Customizing PICmicro Microcontrollers
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics
Authors: Myke Predko
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
the most complete PIC book


On the PCB that comes with the book in at least the first printing. the two transisters are laid out with the emitter and collector reversed. the 2n7000 and the 2n3906 need to be inseted into the board with the flat part facing the oppisite direction to the way the silk screen shows them.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PMP Certification for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Peter Nathan, Gerald Everett Jones, Peter Nathan, Gerald Everett Jones
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
If your goal is to pass the PMP, this book is terrible


Apart from the official PMBOK, this is one of the first resources I picked up. I was initially excited about using the book, as I liked the writing style as well as the overall layout of the material.
Unfortunately, I quickly became frustrated after performing poorly on a few prep tests in the book. Digging a little deeper, I noticed a number of sample questions where the answers in the book were wrong. Some of the mistakes were obvious, such as an answer that said "...plus the probability of .60 x 50,000 = 18,000". Other mistakes were more subtle, and the last thing you want to do when preparing for an exam is study inaccurate material.
I also found the material on the CD difficult and unreliable to use. My recommendation is to avoid this book; the PMP exam prep is challenging enough without having to second-guess your study materials.
For an alternative, I recommend the Sybex study guide written by Kim Heldman, "PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide".



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java 2: The Complete Reference, Fifth Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Herbert Schildt
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Decent book, could use more editorial


The sections I've read of the book so far are well written and easy to follow, and typically have good examples.
But there were a couple areas I was dissapointed in: 1: The authors should have given a bit more advice on which classes are now preferred, which classes programmers really use, etc. Examples: In the Collections Framework section, I would have appreciated more advice about how to decide which is the best collection class to use, some guidelines or something; Java 2 has LOTS of collection implementations to choose from. The same is true for the java.io section; which file/io routines to programmers really use. How important is buffered IO in the real world? Is it worth the extra steps to code, etc. 2: The examples were generally good, though there are some changes. First of all, examples were repeated frequently with a few lines changed. It would be nice to see those specific new lines highlighted in some way. Also, in some cases, I would have liked an additional, new example vs. just repeating and modifying the previous example. But the examples weren't bad, certainly on a par with other books. I still would recommend the book, but not as a sole reference or tutorial.