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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Security+ Exam Cram 2 (Exam Cram SYO-101)
Publisher: Que
Authors: Kirk Hausman, Diane Barrett, Martin Weiss, Ed Tittel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Contains the two components of adequate exam preparation

Adequate preparation for difficult exams always includes challenging trials. Reading the appropriate material is always important, but that is only one part of what should be a two-part strategy. The other part is to practice answering a series of questions that are similar in type, numbers and format to what you will find on the real thing. This book contains both parts, but it is the second that makes it worthwhile. It opens with a brief description of the format of the exam, a topic checklist, where it can be taken, the cost and exam day events. Material that you need to know, but of little use once the seal is popped. The next section is composed of ten chapters that are a synopsis of the most significant facts. They start with a listing of the key terms that you need to learn and the concepts that are key to the chapter. This is followed by a short description of the terms and concepts. In no way should this be considered a way to learn about computer security, as it is by design only a quick review of the material. Each chapter then ends with a short series of practice questions. The last four chapters are two practice tests of 125 questions each, with the solutions including explanations. I found these tests very challenging and ended up cussing myself a few times when I did not read the problem carefully enough. While frustrating, it does remind you that not reading the question carefully enough will generally end up causing you to miss a few questions that you should get right. These sample exams are the best way to make your final preparations for the test. They give you a realistic appraisal of how well you know the material as well as how mentally prepared you are for the rigors of reading, thinking and responding. It is foolish to attempt the exam without trying sample tests first.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Applying UML and Patterns : An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and Iterative Development (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Craig Larman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Wonderful introduction to OOA and OOD

Coming from a VB6 (Book-Educated) background, OOA and OOD were very foreign to me. I had read some small explinations in a few books but it just wasnt enough to get me to start thinking in terms of OO.

This book finally did it for me. It leads you through the basic core concepts and patterns while showing you how to Diagram it in UML (This visual also helps in the learning process).

Overall a great find for me, after this I will be moving on to Object Oriented Construction.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional JavaScript for Web Developers
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Nicholas C. Zakas
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Best Contemporary Coverage of an Underrated language

This is certainly the most current survey of Javascript in quite some time. That being said this book does indeed suffer from poor (technical) editing and organisation. The second chapter meanders for 55 pages though there were fine nuggets particularly regarding Javascript technology's immediate antecedents. The third chapter is interesting for its enumeration of a number of ways to instantiate object instances. I learned something at many a turn in this book. There's even some material on AJAX.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Advanced Windows (Advanced Windows)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jeffrey Richter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A resource for Windows programmers, not MFC geeks.

I had the opportunity to attend a Win32 Seminar given by Jeff Richter. The guy knows his stuff. The Win32 API has grown and evolved over the years from its roots in Win16 and Windows 3.x. It has become more robust and refined just as Windows has (but as with Windows, still has its inherent flaws). While it would be nice to see the Windows programming style of Petzold et al in turn evolve to a more modular, reusable, and OO (C++) style, one must not forget the roots of the Win32 API(written in C). Richter does an admiral job of addressing the often vexing and misunderstood issues of memory management, processes, threads and thread synchronization. Don't expect this book to be a how to manual for MFC hacks. As the title states: Advanced Windows. I have recently gotten into WinCE programming. Between Richter's Advanced Windows and Boling's WinCE Programming book, I am surviving. No MFC here. All of the previous reviews were divided between either five stars(21) or one star(7). No in between here. This tells me that the reviewing audience consists of Windows programmers looking for a good resource or wanna-be Windows programmers whinning because it doesn't cover MFC.