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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-291): Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: J.C. Mackin, Ian McLean
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good book for 70-291

This is a good book, I'm going to keep it on my bookshelf and I would give it 4.5 stars if I could. If you understand everything in this book you will pass the exam! The book does not cover SUS and ISA server, you will be tested on one of these two topics. The CDRom exams are buggy in 2 ways. The first is that sometimes I couldn't get the Exhibits to display....fustrating. The second is that some of the questions are very vague and you can't understand what they are asking for. The Microsoft test will be more specific. However, I do suggest taking the CDRom exams and then make sure you understand why you got the questions wrong, you will be able to find the Technet references when you review the results of the test. If you are a Windowz/Networking beginner you may have issues with the 70-291 test due to the concepts needed, this comes with experience. The book -will- give you the info you need. I'll be reviewing the 70-293 book in a few minutes.


Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself Active Server Pages 3.0 in 21 Days
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Scott Mitchell, James Atkinson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Book - Great for any shy beginner

It should be called "Familiarize Yourself with ASP in 21 days." The first 8 days are horridly basic and the rest focus more on VBScript than anything else.
Furthermore, the book is plagued with formatting errors and misinformation. The idea that a loop is *always* faster than writing out statements is ludicrous. Despite the authors' assertions, VBScript's string functions are less useful than Java or JScript and equal to Javascript.
In addition, the authors mix up fairly important information on a regular basis, such as confusing HTTP and HTML and referring to HTTP as "the HTTP."
The greatest sin, however, is the lack of explanations. The authors throw in things such as the Now() function and Classes without decently explaining them. Classes are glossed over so badly that if I hadn't programmed in C++ for as many years as I have, I would have been totally lost. Not a good thing for a "beginners" book, especially as Classes are apparently a highlight of this book.
In short, stay away from this horrid book. Far, far away!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Complete Guide to Dimensional Modeling (Second Edition)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Ralph Kimball, Margy Ross
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
As essential as the first edition

I was undecided if I should buy this book after having read the first edition, but I'm happy I did. The second edition updates many of the concepts contained in the first and includes some new chapters on hot topics like CRM and Telecommunications (which is the most important sector for dw at least here in Italy where I live). I think that Kimball books are everything that's needed to design good, robust and flexible data warehouses, and this book maintains his high quality standards.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Barry Gerber
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Well written

I have had this book for a little over a month. I have found it to be well written and informative. As far as what the previous reviewer wrote regarding the system requirements, it does say right in the book that you can install Exchange 2003 on Windows 2000 w\SP3.