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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Photoshop Elements 3 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter)
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great for Photographers


I have been a photographer's assistant for many years. For the last few years, I have ventured out on my own. For Christmas, my husband bought me my first professional digital camera. I was so excited. The possibilities are endless with digital photography. The only problem is that you must know how to use Photoshop. I spent many hours in front of my computer cursing it because I could not figure the program out. In a last ditch effort to understand, I purchased Photoshop Elements, hoping that it would be an easier version of Photoshop and therefore easier to understand. I was wrong. Still frustrated, I purchased this book. BEING A MAC USER, I was a little apperhensive because I read that this book is only for Windows users. Well, I only have one thing to say, QUIT YOUR WHINING, MAC USERS. I had NO PROBLEM adapting the Windows commands to my Mac. This book is so easy to use that I purchased the next book - Photoshop Elements 3 Down & Dirty Tricks. These are the best books I have ever purchased - easy to use for any knowledge level. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to make their beautiful picures incredible!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Howard Rheingold
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Design for Community Mini Review


Howard Rheingold has impeccable timing. In the mid 80s, aware that personal computers were changing the way we think, he wrote Tools for Thought. In the early 90s, he explored how emerging digital networks were changing social groups in The Virtual Community. Twice now he's put words to important social/digital trends, years before they reach critical mass.
So when Rheingold writes a book, it's a good idea to pay attention. His new book, Smart Mobs, takes a hard look at what happens when networked virtual communication goes mobile. And it's a mind-bending read.
Consider for a moment that, for a good many years, personal computers sat in offices and living rooms totally disconnected from each other. It seems quaint now, but I remember that time. And if you can remember the sea change that happened in the world when all those computers (and the people behind them) got connected to the internet, you can get some inkling of the change Rheingold predicts is on its way when that same networked computational power goes mobile.
We're in for another whirlwind of change in technology, and with it, a change in the way communities come together and express themselves. The book is a captivating exploration of what these new technologies are (think internet-enabled, location-aware mobile phones and PDAs) and how they're already shaping communities around the world.
Howard's writing is engaging and deep, and the book is an evenhanded exploration of the new technology, both good and bad. If you want a glimpse of the virtual communities of the future, pick up his book and follow the ongoing conversation at smartmobs.com.
(Reprinted from designforcommunity.com with permission.)



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Programmer's Cookbook
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Matthew MacDonald
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Format, Great Content!


Finally, a book with one-stop shopping for VB.NET! I've read several cookbook-style programming titles in the past, and I was pleasantly surprised to find this has much more depth than I expected. It can't cover everything (.NET is huge), but every time I pick the book up I learn something new. There are so many highlights--just browse through the table of contents and you'll see what I mean!
Here are some of my favorites:* Send keystrokes to another app* Create a thread-safe control wrapper* Great data-binding tips (image-to-picture box, etc.)* Factory, Registry, Singleton, Memento, and Lazy Initialization patterns* POP3, FTP, and Ping classes in the networking section* How to change a password into a salted hash for storage in a database* Use ZIP and PDF files (disclaimer: some third-party code is required, although it's free)* Manage print jobs that are underway* Get Windows accounts and roles* Do hit testing with custom graphics* Defend against SQL injection* Dynamically generate an ASP.NET graphic* Add ASP.NET controls on the fly* MAPI and MCI (unfortunately, just through the ActiveX controls)* Upload binary data with a web service* Use a web service in VB 6



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Biz Stone
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Witty instruction for the web-challenged


This is a great book for those of us who weren't born with an innate sense of how to do HTML and other strange web stuff. Blogs are a really fun way to publish your thoughts and photos to the web, whether you are an established print writer or a mother-to-be who wants to keep friends and family in the loop about the new baby.
In really simple terms, you'll learn how to put your thoughts online and even make it look pretty! I especially liked Chapter 5, Blog Design 101. Stone tells you how to make your blog cool instead of cheesy. And his wacky writing style is unexpected for a computer book; I found myself laughing out loud while reading about links and HTML. In short, fun and painless. You will feel like a genius!