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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: After Effects in Production: A Companion for Creating Motion Graphics
Publisher: CMP Books
Authors: Trish Meyer, Chris Meyer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book!!

This book covers lots of tricks on AE. It has tutorials and "hands on" action. It lets you build some graphics and animations guiding you through including all the steps and it also explains why would you move, what to where and how. It comes with a CD with tutorials and about 5 free plug-ins. It also includes a try out version of AE for Mac and PC. It also tells you tricks to use on AE production bundle like "the wiggler" and the "vector paint" plug-in wich is more like a program than a plug-in in AE-PB (after efffects production bundle)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside Active Directory: A System Administrator's Guide, Second Edition (Microsoft Windows Server System)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Sakari Kouti, Mika Seitsonen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
design a p2p network with these ideas?

So this is what became of X.500? Well, ok, not literally. But some of you may remember in the early 90s when X.500 came out and was heralded as the definitive way to implement a distributed directory service. But, for various reasons, it proved impractical and very few places actually implemented it.

What this book shows is how Microsoft took the best ideas of X.500 and redone, along with other ideas, into Active Directory. Impressive capabilities, as thoroughly discussed by the authors. And also seemingly very practical, unlike the unlamented X.500.

For those of you from a unix background, you might be familiar with NFS and the setup of a master server and slave servers. This maps into the idea of domain controllers for AD domains. But you can easily see here that AD far extends the scope.

Perusing the book also led me to this off the wall observation. In AD, you hold data that is essentially static. That is, it should change only on a time scale longer than the propagation time for changes to reach all the domains. And the data should be small. (A few kilobytes at most.) For a set of many domains, AD uses a global catalog to restrict the scope of searches, instead of those going out to all domains. The point is, this is a critical problem in many p2p networks. So if you are thinking of building a novel p2p network, you might want to study how AD tackles the issue. Though this book nowhere makes this comparison to p2p, as far as I can tell.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Stored Procedures, XML, and HTML (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Worth every penny

I have purchased every major Sql Server book over the last seven years. I have them all. I have read about Sql Server voraciously since getting out of school, and there can be only one word to describe Henderson's Guru's Guide books: indespensible. They are head and shoulders above all of the other books out there.
The reasons for this are many. I will list but a few:
- Extremely well-written. Henderson has a penchant for explaining subjects in ways that no one else seems to be able to. Passages sometimes require more than one read because they are so deep, but the time is always well spent.
- Loaded, absolutely loaded, with code. If you manage Sql Server machines for a living you will find that you can drop much of the code into place on your production machines without modificaton. Sp_find_root_blocker, sp_diffdb, sp_generate_script... these are all wonderful pieces of code that make the books worth the price for the code alone.
- Extremely deep. One subject after another is covered in excruciating detail. Henderson's books are deeper and more extensive than any other class of technical books I have read.
- Wide-ranging. Henderson doesn't stick to just a narrow part of the product, but covers subjects that real DBA's and developers would need: Full-text search, DTS, replication, query performance optimation, XML, etc. If you get and read all three of the Guru's Guide books, you will have as good of coverage of the entire product as exists.
There are few authors who are as passionate about great technical writing as we DBA's and developers are about building and maintaining software systems. Ken Henderson is obviously one of them.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is the place to start

YOU: A newcomer to the web/Internet or programming. You know the web is big and you know what a web page is. You want to develop your own, either using straight Notepad or possibly a software development tool such as FrontPage, Dreamweaver, or Homesite. However, despite what these tools can do, you want to know about HTML.
THE BOOK: As introductory as it gets for HTML. It starts you off at the roots: let's sort through all these web technologies you hear about: XML, CSS, etc. But don't worry too much about those. Here's what HTML is: tags, spacing, designing, etc. How do you go about planning and designing your website, then look at it in a browser? How can I create and add images, create links, lists of information, tables, frames and forms to my web page. How can I use Cascading Style Sheets, a way to provide a consistent look throughout multiple pages of my website? Each page provides an example of both the code and the webpage screenshot of the HTML being put to use in a page. Toss in a specular appendix that suggests HTML tools and more importantly, Colors in Hex (hint: learn what web safe colors are as soon as you decide to design a web page!) and you have this book. Three hundred pages of no-nonsense, get me working with HTML information for the web page designing beginner.