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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Eclipse: Building Commercial-Quality Plug-ins (Eclipse Series)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Eric Clayberg, Dan Rubel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One-Stop Shopping for Plug-in Development

Let's face it, there's a lot to learn when you're new to Eclipse. If you're looking for just one Eclipse plug-in development book that will be your guide, this is the one. While there are other books available on Eclipse, few dive as deep as Building Commercial-Quality Plug-ins.

The authors are experts in their field, having worked with Eclipse and related technologies for years, and having built commercial products for Eclipse, they really know their stuff. See for yourself at the book's home page, qualityeclipse.com, where you can preview the first 4 chapters.

Having read this book in its entirety, and learned a great deal in the process, this book comes highly recommended.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: iPod & iTunes: Missing Manual, Second Edition
Publisher: Pogue Press
Authors: J.D. Biersdorfer
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Lives Up to Its Name

Lucky enough to get a 20 Gigabyte 4G iPod, I wanted to know how to do everything on it as quickly as possible. While I had used iTunes before getting this iPod, I found this book useful and very readable to discover how to use my iPod for more than playing tunes. I appreciate all the shareware and freeware mentioned in the book is on the book publisher's website. Most are fairly small downloads that won't take too long even on a dial-up connection.
Yes, the information is dated as this book gets to be a year old now, but still it is a useful reference book and hopefully a newer edition will be out later this year. I found many websites to supplement I do admit I just borrowed this book from the library, so my expectations are lower than someone who forked out money to get it. I picked up Guy Hart-Davis's "How to Do Everything With Your iPod & Ipod mini second edition" and while it does cover some things the missing manual doesn't, it is less readable and even more out of date, not to mention a condescending lecture on stealing music. So look through this book and consider waiting for a new edition and/or try out some online resources.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Grady Booch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Sergio L. Fonseca

If you want to understand OO(object orientation)/OOA/OOD, this is THE place to start. Booch writes in a clear, concise and interesting way. That's very hard to do in technical writings. The chapters are organized in a very thoughtful and correct way. In many ways, his Booch notation (presented in this book) is even better than the current version of UML for understanding how the notation applies to classes and objects.
You may know C++ or Java language implementations, but the best foundation is a generic knowledge of OO. This book goes a long way to presenting this knowledge.
Go for it!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Waltzing With Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects
Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
Authors: Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
We loose ~$140,000,000,000 in Software Annually

Although I admit it is nothing all that groundbreaking from a quantitative perspective, it is GROUNDBREAKING in the Software Domain. Demarco and Lister have produced another must read classic. They shatter the fallacy of the binary project plan success/fail model. GANTT Charts going out beyond a few weeks are not worth the paper they are printed on. The only value would be if it is understood that this one possible reality is just that. It is a `possibility' that could range from 0% probability of success to 100% with 0% being (as the book shows) far more the norm today. People bet their careers on plans every day that have no possible chance of succeeding in software and WE ALLOW IT TO GO ON when we know better! We waste billions and as far as I can tell other executives are too intimidated, scared of technology or just plan hoodwinked into letting this sham go on. IT MUST STOP.

Managers cannot predict the future. The only way (and this is common sense to anyone OUTSIDE Software) is to use statistics and probabilistic measures to predict future, uncertain outcomes. If every CEO were to read this book and made sure an IT manager was never forced to commit to a single immutable date, with X dollars, Y Resources, Z Scope, and production quality, we might just make a dent in the absolute joke software development is in Corporations today. Are their exceptions? OF COURSE! But they are not the rule, they are just that: the exception.

Is it a universal failure based on a fundamental lack of knowledge or desire to learn? I have no idea but any risk manager worth a cent knows that the current status quo is a joke in software. Why do you think the most volatile C-Level position is the CTO/CIO and the least likely to be promoted to CEO is the same position?

Don't believe me? Just read the latest Standish group study.

Kind Regards,
Damon Carr, CEO