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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XML Weekend Crash Course (with CD-ROM)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Kay Ethier, Alan Houser, Alan Houser
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good book, but it has its quirks


This is a great book for newbies like me, but there were a lot of errors (mostly incorrect names for associating files) that you have to figure out on your own. The errors occur once every 2 to 3 chapters, so it isn't too bad - just annoying. From what I've seen, the CD has the correct file names so there's some relief there. Unfortunately, the publishing company went out of business so you can't go to their website to get updates with corrections.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Martin Fowler
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
He still writes like a normal person


Fowler is such a standout in the way he writes. As fun as it is for some of the guys to write as if they had to pay a dollar for every word anyone understood, well, it's not fun for us. Instead of Problem Statement, Forces, Strategies, blahblahblah, Fowler just has two main categories:
What It IsHow to Use It
This rocks.
And as another reviewer mentioned, he addresses that huge headache, O-R mapping. This is a very good thing.
Go ahead, get it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: TCP/IP Network Administration (3rd Edition; O'Reilly Networking)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Craig Hunt
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Use this to train others


Maintaining any type of computer network is a challenge (to say the least) and books like this one are a welcome addition to any sys admin's library. Above the book's title on the cover are the words "Help for UNIX System Administrators" and that's precisely what this book is. Starting off with a "primer" on TCP/IP and how data moves around on a TCP/IP network gives anyone new to TCP/IP a general idea of how it all works. There are also chapters on configuring your interface (along with general info on installing PPP & SLIP), routing, network servers, and sendmail, all important parts of a TCP/IP system. Near the book's end, the topics of troubleshooting and network security are also addressed.
All the O'Reilly books I have read always have thorough descriptions of the their topics and prove to be excellent sources of information. This book is no exception. If you maintain (or will be maintaining) this type of network, you need this book



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Envisioning Information
Publisher: Graphics Press
Authors: Edward R. Tufte
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Mapping at its best


ENVISIONING INFORMATION represents one volume within a set of three. The primary objective of Edward R. Tufte is to demonstrate the importance of graphic illustrations in understanding the world around us.
In this volume, the central focus is to demonstrate how one can use static and a two-dimensional surface (i.e. a piece of paper) to show a world that is complex, dynamic and multidimensional. The illustrations that he selects and his explanation of the impact of the illustrations is nothing less than magnificent. Tufte is brilliant! Unlike the other two volumes, the centerpiece of this work is mapping. He addresses various artistic principles that offer a great clarity in guiding a scholar to reproduce distance and shapes. I draw your attention to page 37. Here, we see a small piece of an "Isometric Map of Midtown Manhattan." The author gives us an opportunity to purchase the entire map. I purchased the map for a close friend who calls Midtown Manhattan "home." It isn't merely a map; it is a beautiful piece of art. According to the author, these mapping principles can be generalized to serve other functions. For example, such techniques can be used to provide dance notations (see page 114-119). That is, Tufte shows us how we can employ illustrations to teach people how to dance.
All of Tufte's three volumes are pieces of artwork. All are awe-inspiring. ENVISIONING INFORMATION is slightly different than the other two volumes. I like to use Tufte's work as an example of how graphics can be employed to illustrate qantitative information to students.
Every academic library should own a copy of these three volumes.