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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Content Management Server 2002: A Complete Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bill English, Olga Londer, Todd Bleeker, Shawn Shell, Stephen Cawood
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A must have resource but...

There is a lot of excellent information in this book. I was just disappointed that there wasn't more depth in the areas of interest to me. I wanted more details, like when it comes to an upgrade path from CMS2001 - what are the limitations(for example: is there a maximum database size or channel count that the upgrade tool can handle?) or gotchas? What things have changed? However, there were only three pages on upgrading from CMS2001 in this 1000 page book.
As another example, there was some interesting sample code in the Tips & techniques section, but they didn't give a complete usage scenario of the bit that interested me, so I wasn't sure how to implement the sample that interested me.
I must say that I was impressed that this book was so thick yet not padded with the usual repetitive and excess verbiage. It is all good content.
This book is the most comprehensive resource I've found. I've been going back and forth between MSDN articles and the documentation that comes with CMS and this book covers everything, especially planning, much better. However, it still could have had more!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

The Inmates Are Running the Asylum By Alan Cooper Review by Linda Larson Pepperdine University Doctoral Student
Anyone who has bought a new high-tech product only to find that they cannot operate the high tech marvel will relate to Alan Cooper's book The Inmates are Running the Asylum. As I read the book, it reminded me of the many times I've wanted to take a baseball bat to my computer. Increasing in our society, we are "paced off" in this man vs. machine interaction Cooper calls cognitive friction. Human beings can experience this friction from operating a simple appliance, to operating a complex computer software program. The high tech industry is in complete denial that that high tech computerized gadgets are too hard to use. According to Cooper, the designers add so many features the common man cannot even figure out how to use many of these features, or for that matter, the end user does not even want these endless lists of features.
Cooper's book goes beyond just simply verifying that cognitive friction exists. He explains why products are developed this way in the first place. He adeptly explains that it is not the technology that is causing the friction but the people who design the technology. The designers use themselves as a reference and design a product whose interaction is expressed in the terms it was constructed. As an end result, we get products that would make bravest hero cringe as he sets out on his quest to try to make his new product function.
Cooper offers an insightful explanation on why the products are sometimes impossible to use. He explains what happens in most shops is that most of the programming is done where no one has a clue on how to design for the end user. Can we escape this imprisonment? Cooper's book offers an alternate way. He believes that what he calls an interaction designer should be part of the process because the interaction designer bases his decisions on what the end user is trying to achieve. In other words, the goals of the end user and the programmer are dramatically different. The programmer is concerned with the construction and wants this to be smooth and efficient on the other hand the user wants their interaction with the program to be smooth and easy. According to Cooper, "These two objectives almost never result in the same program. Cooper believes that "interactive products need to designed by interaction designers instead of by software engineers."
This book offers many insights into the area of software development and interaction design and is a must read for anyone interested in designing effective interfaces. In the words of Cooper, we have to stop letting the "Inmates Run the Asylum."

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Digital Design: Principles and Practices and Xilinx 4.2i Student Package (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: John F. Wakerly
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Don't Buy This Book

It seems that the author is preaching to the engineering choir because it is written for people who seem to already know the subject. Furthermore, it seems that the author has a sick desire to tell everyone how smart he is by taking a simple subject and making it as hard as possible. There is no intention of teaching the subject and its only purpose is to tell you that it exists. With the exception of a few good tables/examples, much of the writing and diagrams are crammed in an endless, sloppy soup of paragraphs and over inflated jargon. Concepts are NOT taught in a structured, simplistic, thorough, or systematic approach, so using this book as a quick reference would be difficult as well. Problem examples are few and are buried within the text. I did NOT find any humor in the pages but did find the material to be as exciting as watching paint dry. Concept instruction, which seems simple at first, quickly degenerates to the point that the rest of the chapter no longer makes any sense. Freshman students in Computer Science, who are forced to use this book by their university, will find it difficult to comprehend to the point of becoming discouraged and thinking this major is not for them. I highly recommend finding a supplement to this book and purchasing a used copy if its use is mandatory.

Product: Book - Audio CD
Title: MP3 Audio Bible by Max McLean
Publisher: Fellowship for the Performing Arts
Authors: Max McLean
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

The audio version of the Bible that I've always waited for...read with passion & conviction. THANK YOU !! (Listen to this MP3 version with Winamp and DFX (free) plugin for great sound quality)