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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Algorithm Design Manual
Publisher: Springer
Authors: Steve S. Skiena
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Amazing Book But Very Theoretical

This is a great book on the design of algorithms, emphasizing design over analysis. With perhaps 1/4 of mainframe machine cycles spent sorting, this is an important topic. The first part introduces those topics we forgot as computer science majors; "The Big Oh notation"; data structures, and heuristic methods. I got a lot from the section on dynamic programming, as well as the simulated annealing heuristic. He perhaps too quickly dispenses genetic algorithms. The discussion on "the theory of NP-Completeness" left me behind, but I would return to that section as a reference. The second part of the book is an impressive catalog emphasizing non-numeric algorithms. The accompanying CD adds great value to the book, with the complete book, a web site of algorithms, and audio class lecture.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages, Vol. 1: Core Technologies, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is THE standard book for Servlets and JSPs!

I am a very enthusiastic reader of this book. It is written in a clear precise style and covers all information that you need to know about developing in a server-neutral way. While reading you always feel that the author has excellent knowledge and experience! A very important companion in my daily work!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Caveat emptor

This is, of course, one of the cornerstones of OOP. This book definitely influenced programmers at all levels and richly deserves the acclaim that it enjoys.
However, this book is not for everyone, especially beginners. To be able to get the best out of this book, you need some solid experience in object oriented programming. This book is ideal for people who have been developers and are moving up to designers/architects. The foundation of real world experience makes a very good base for absorbing the experience captured in this book.
This book is not theoretical by any means. In fact, it captures the experience gained by many people in the course of their careers and offers practical solutions to typical problems encountered in software engineering, specifically object oriented programming.
The material in the book is authoritative and terse and would be daunting to a newbie. Most of the explantions and examples are offered without much ado, and expect a certain level of not just knowledge from the reader but also awareness about practical applications and typical scenarios encountered in practice.
I would say that this book is suitable for full time object oriented programmers (whatever the language) with at least a couple of years of experience looking to further strengthen their knowledge of OOP systems and looking to gain an insight into the practical aspects of how to solve typical situations in real world projects.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
incredibly interesting

Simon Singh has a true gift for writing. In the wrong hands the material presented in this book could have been dull. Mr. Singh, however, turns this material into what reads likes a page-turning novel. This book is loaded with fastinating information presented in clearly written manner. If you have even the slightest interest in the subject matter, I promise you that you will love this book. One of the things that makes it great is that it looks as deeply at people as it does at the science and math involved. You will find yourself getting attached to the men and women who were so heavily involved in the developments in this subject matter throughtout history. For a top-notch learning and entertainment experience, go read this book now.