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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET Unleashed, Second Edition
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Stephen Walther
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Next to useless

This book is next to useless because the author doesn't use Visual Studio .NET for the development environment. Now let me ask the author: why the heck would I be doing ASP.NET development, without using Visual Studio .NET? What, dreamweaver, web matrix? Give me a freaking break. I got more use out of ASP.NET Fast & Easy than from this 1400-page doorstop. I wouldn't complain if the code in the book actually worked like it was supposed to. But since the author requires you to USE THE COMMAND LINE COMPILER, I wouldn't know, because I'm using VS.NET. See the quagmire? Why would I want to open a command prompt to compile my code every time I want to test out a change? Who the heck uses the command line compiler for development? This is a STUPID book. The author should have known better. Let me give you an example. Chapter 28: Developing Custom Controls. The HelloWorld control and sample program don't work. Since the author (what, in his infinite wisdom?) didn't support Visual Studio .NET in this stupid book, I have no idea how to get this program to compile. The frustrating part is that I've TRIED to make sense of the information in this book, but without being able to try anything out, it's kind of hard. So, yeah, I'm a ASP.NET beginner, but I'm a very experienced developer, and found this book to be worse than useless...it took away my valuable time trying to make it work.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML : A Practical Approach (Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Doug Rosenberg, Kendall Scott
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
If you're overwhelmed by UML, this book whittles it down.

Other UML books tell you about the capabilities of UML. This book tells you how to use a subset of UML to complete a software project rapidly, and for that I give it a cautious recommendation. The fundamental philosophy, placing Use Cases at the center of the development process, is sound.The reader should excercise caution: Some aspects of this book (robustness analysis) are out of the mainstream and others are off the charts (the appendix on uses vs. extends is one volley in a larger 'religious war').If you're overwhelmed by UML and all its minutia, this book whittles it down--class diagrams, use cases, robustness diagrams, sequence diagrams--and presents a step by step development process.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Michael Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I've read 3 and this is the best by far.

This is my third A+ book and it's the best by far. Most thorough, best written, best edited. Speaks with the authority of someone who's been doing computer support since the early days of PCs. The index could be more thorough, but it still makes other books look like dirt.
That said, you'll still need to do more reading. Based on practice tests from MeasureUp (included with a DVD training mistake - see below), I still have more to learn.
As another reviewer mentioned, don't expect that one book will automatically get you that certification. Unless you've been doing PC support for awhile, and not just Windows 2000 or Windows 9x but DOS as well, you are not going to breeze through the tests. Meyers starts out with a questionnaire about your technical experience then gives you an estimate of how long you are going to have to study. A real eye-opener.
One other bit of advice, don't go for those DVD based training courses. I did and it would be laughable if I hadn't wasted $350 on it. If you do talk to them, see if they'll give you a satisfaction guarantee - they won't, which should tell you something.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Telecommunications Essentials
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Lillian Goleniewski
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Lilli Goleniewski is a master of telecommunications!

Lillian Goleniewski has done the IT community a service. She's written a coherent, comprehensive guide to the telecommunications world. "Telecommunications Essentials" doesn't omit technical details. It frames them within a business and historical context that similar books lack. I've read and reviewed three other recently published telecom titles, and this one is clearly the best. Some of the details I enjoyed were descriptions of how fiber is manufactured, the number of wire pairs associated with various transmission media, and specifications for various global television standards. The telecom world is full of agencies, standards, and products, each referenced by a three- or four-letter acronym. Lillian guides the reader through this technology jungle, offering clear descriptions and historical background. She also provides a thorough glossary (87 pages) and index. Another of the book's impressive features is its global focus, with attention given to E- and J- carrier, as well as T-carrier, systems. Other examples include cellular telephone frequencies used worldwide. Numerous diagrams and figures illustrate the author's main points. The book is not perfect enough to merit five stars. It suffers from minor typos and at least one technical error. Sadly, like many networking books, "Telecommunications Essentials" states that TCP sequence numbers count individual packets. This is false; TCP sequence numbers count bytes of data. Although I am not qualified to critique the accuracy of the phone-related information, I was pleased to see the remainder of the networking material was correct. "Telecommunications Essentials" is a must-buy if you want to learn about the telecom world. Although the author devotes too many words to describing the use of technology, and future trends, overall the book is excellent.