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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Unix Power Tools, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Shelley Powers, Tim O'Reilly, Mike Loukides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very Good book

basically as follows:
#include <iostream.h>
int main()
cout << "BUY THIS BOOK!!!\n";
cout << "It's worth every penny\n";
return 1;

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Code Complete
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve McConnell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Completely Awesome

This material is not taught in school, but it should be. This book is for the guys in the trenches, the ones who actually do the construction. It takes a pragmatic approach to the tried and true software engineering principles that are used by the industry's best engineers. The novice and expert will benefit from reading this book. And that's the beauty of it. When Steve makes a claim about a trend or characteristic that is seen in many software development processes, he backs it up with hard data from documented studies. It's like a Jedi Warrior listening to the wise advice of Obiwan Kenobi. It's filled with golden nuggets of knowledge. The text also functions as a Handbook. Topics are grouped so that the reader can go to a single section and extract the desired material without having to bounce all over the book. The art direction, graphics, organization and layout is the absolute BEST I have seen in a book on programming. When going into battle, put this book in your backpack

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Moving to VB .NET: Strategies, Concepts, and Code
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Daniel Appleman, Dan Appleman
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Too much blah blah

You have to appreciate this book for taking a little bit of a different style than most of the 'document rehash' books out there. If you're looking for the nuts and bolts of the language constructs, this book is not for you. If you want to know the take on VB.NET for someone converting from other languages, you'll find Dan's perspective quite intriguing. I recommend this book to someone with programming experience but not quite up on it with .NET. You may or may not agree with all that Dan says but at least you'll know all the arguments.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Cynthia Gibas, Per Jambeck
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Great Book For Exploring the Bioinformatics Field

It's no deep secret many Information Technology (IT) professionals today are facing a rough road finding gainful employment. In fact, according to Information Week, nearly 10% of the US IT workforce vanished in the last two months of 2002. More aptly put, some 272,530 American IT professionals in October were unemployed by December. This data is corroborated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Where did they all go? Many almost certainly got jobs in other professions and many still could be seeking employment. Employment counselors are encouraging IT professionals to "repurpose" those hard earned tech skills.
Bioinformatics is a ripe apple waiting to be eaten. Bioinformatics simply stated is the computational and analytical methods to biological problems. If this sounds like an open ended explanation, it is. In fact, according to O'Reilly's definitive publication on the topic, "Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills" by Cynthia Gibas and Per Jambeck, there are several different definitions to Bioinformatics, but suffice to say all revolve around applying IT to the management of biological data.
Chapters one through six delineate the basics including the typical and common software and hardware requirements for Bioinformatics. I will tell you right now if you want to be successful in this fresh field, you must learn Unix. The book points out why. Unix is used extensively in universities and academia where the abundance of software for scientific data analysis is developed. Not to mention in the mid nineties, the only workstations able to visualize protein data structure in real-time were Silicon Graphics and Sun Unix workstations. Linux fans rejoice! As the book points out, "Linux is an excellent platform for developing software, so there's a rich library of tools available for computational biology and research in general."
Sound interesting? At this point you could be overwhelmed and ask yourself, "Where do I start?" Well, you may want to purchase O'Reilly's "Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills" to see what the fuss is all about, determine whether you have what it takes to succeed in this new field, and most importantly, get an introduction to the software tools for biological applications from the inside out. Bioinformatics is a growing field that will continue for the unforeseeable future.
If you're serious about turning around that stagnant IT career and expanding your education, you may find yourself in the same enviable position you were three years ago...needed and wanted! But don't let me mislead you. As the book points out, Bioinformatics is first and foremost a biological science.