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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Crystal Reports .NET Programming
Publisher: Bischof Systems
Authors: Brian Bischof
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Praise for Crystal Reports .NET Programming

Brian Bischof did a fantistic job on this book. I wasted days searching for the solution to passing the path of an access database to my distributed application using Crystal Reports. DAYS! And his straight forward clear explanations had me up and running just a few minutes after I cracked the book. For anyone intergrading CR into a .NET application, this book is a Must. Apress deserves a kick in the ... umm ... head, for pulling the contract on this book. Thank you Brian for persevering and publishing it anyway. I'd buy it for twice the price.

For those folks that are hung up on a few typos, get over it! The value of the information in this book (and available no where else I might add) far out weigh the minor grammatical errors.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A book you must have to pass SCJP1.4

I was on a beta review team for this book, and it was the book I wish I'd had when I was preparing for the exam. Things that were not made clear to me from other books were suddenly lightbulbs turning on. One of the authors was apparently on the team that actually CREATED the real Sun exam (at least the latest one, for 1.4, I think), so the topics and sample questions are exactly in line with what the real exam is like. There are a few new things (assertions) that were not on the exam when I took it, so I can't speak to how well those match the new exam, but from everything I can remember, this book is dead on.The tone of the writing is very friendly, casual and informal. If you're looking for a computer science text book, this is not it. This book sounds like having the guy in the next cube sit down and talk to you about how things REALLY work, and if you don't get it he just keeps trying.There were a few errors when we proof-read it, so hopefully these were all fixed, but they were mostly typos that did not hurt your ability to learn and prepare for the exam. Also, it does *not* cover material that is not on the exam. I happen to like this about it -- if I want to learn more and more about Java I'll read something else, thank you very much. My big concern when I was studying for the exam was to PASS THE FRICKIN THING. It makes it clear over and over that the book is about helping you get through the exam. Period. But -- not everyone likes this approach, and if you want a more comprehensive (but very dry and textbook-like) discussion of Java overall, then you might want one of the other exam books.I thought the two most helpful parts are the "Exam Tip" (or 'exam watch", something like that) highlights that point out traps or pitfalls or key things about the way a particular thing might be shown on the exam, and also the Two Minute Summary (which takes a lot more than two minutes) that is a list of the key bullet points from the chapter. The summary is a perfect thing for cramming. I would photocopy these and carry them around with me if I were preparing for the exam now.And the mock/sample exam questions are very, very realistic. When I took the test, I had been studying with another book -- the Roberts and Heller book -- which was excellent, but the questions in that book did not prepare me completely for how shocking (hard) some of the *real* questions were on the exam.I think it covers most of the topics in exactly the right level of detail, although there were a few areas where the explanations started from the very beginning, as though I'd never seen Java before. They didn't make too many assumptions about how much I already knew, so sometimes there will probably be parts you can skip over because you already know it, but it still moves all the way through to the advanced parts of the topic, small step by small step.I'm a software developer with a long background in C, but I hadn't had much OO and Java when I first started trying to learn Java and get certified, and this would have been the best book for me. If I had been a Java guru already, or even a C++ guru, I might have wanted more overall Java rather than just the exam-specific info, but for me, this still would have been the best book to actually prepare for the taking the test. I scored an 81% on the exam, but I think with this book I would have done much better.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PMP Exam Cram 2
Publisher: Que
Authors: David Francis, Greg Horine
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Practical information that really prepares you for the test

Francis' and Horine's book is not only an excellent tool for PMP exam prep, it is an excellent review of IT project management and the PMI fundamentals. I have been a board member at the Central Indiana Chapter of PMI with Mr. Francis for the past two years and the book is just a reflection of David's "where the rubber meets the road" approach to life---David gets things done. This book will get things done for you. It is a fully refined compilation of the author's years of teaching successful study groups (better than 90% of David's students consistently pass the exam). The book is packed with project management insights and practical information that will help you prepare for and pass the test. The only thing better would be a course with the authors themselves (and you can get that http://www.projectmanagementcompany.com). And the PrepLogic exams and simulations on the CD that comes with the book make this a great value.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: sendmail, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Bryan Costales, Eric Allman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5

This versatile well-illustrated book is detailed enough as to take the place of a reference text. It has kept pace with all the evolving versions of the software (up to the 8.12 edition). A whole chapter on Spam and Anti-Spam has been added to this latest edition. Other new additions include elaborated chapter on Performance Tuning; as well as expanded coverage of Vacation and Makemap. Every new option as regards the software (version 8.10 through 8.12) was included. At the same time, the simplistic outlook of the book remained unchanged. This is a good text to own, although that some of its details are really unnecessary.