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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Code Complete
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve McConnell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must have!


Buy this book only if you are SERIOUS about programming. Because if you're not, you'll never get through it.
McConnell's book is an exhaustive guide to the nitty-gritty details of programming. There are entire CHAPTERS devoted to choosing names for variables, and dozens of pages covering every style of indenting since 1950. I am devouring programming books for my future career, and I am glad that I got this book. It covers all aspects of the design and coding process, with a heavy emphasis on readability and maintainability. It helped me to correct some bad coding practices that I developed.
I was most impressed by the references. McConnell has drawn together hundreds of papers, articles, and books written since the 60s and digested them all for you in this compact volume. He frequently quotes statistics and studies to support his claims. (Indenting lines 3-5 spaces boosts comprehension by 68%, but indenting by 6 or more spaces decreases it by 32%)
I got a real chuckle on his advice about how to deal with bosses who want to see code during the planning stages -- get printouts from previous projects and leave them around your desk, then lie!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: I Can't Believe I'm Buying This Book: A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Authors: Evan Marc Katz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
40 Million Single Americans Are Doing It


It's a jungle out there, and Katz keeps you on the trail and out of the bushes where the snakes and scorpions lie. For females over 40, though, there are vines waiting to trip you. See how two "mature" women dealt with it -- and won -- in "Cooking for Love."



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Randal Schwartz is The Man!


With the second edition of the justly-famed Llama Book, I have to admit that Randal Schwartz has finally outdone himself. Without a doubt, it is by far the best Perl tutorial I've ever read. Anyone with an interest in system administration, text processing, Web design, or pretty much anything else that can be done with a computer should be required to read either this or the Camel Book. Definitely worth every penny.
P.S. No, I don't work for ORA, although I wish I did. (Hey Randal, can I have my Llama T-shirt now...? :)



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Embedded Ethernet and Internet Complete
Publisher: Lakeview Research
Authors: Jan Axelson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A great introduction (originally posted October 24, 2003)


I wish I had read this book before embarking on my current project. Jan Axelson's "Embedded Ethernet and Internet Complete" gives a great introduction to connecting embedded devices to ethernet and via ethernet to the internet. It would have filled some gaps in my knowledge and saved me some grief further down the track. This is an excellent introduction to creating applications using ethernet capable embedded devices such as the
Rabbit Ethernet Module or TINI based systems.

This book shows detailed examples of building embedded webservers, including those hosting dynamic data and gathering and using user input. In similar detail, the book has very useful chapters on e-mail and FTP applications on embedded systems.

It even has a great chapter comparing a number of different MAC
controllers, that I wish I'd seen before choosing the one I'm currently using (it introduced me to one I hadn't seen before - that may have been better for my application than the chip I'm using). Unfortunately, that's about where the low level stuff stops. I was hoping for some examples and tips on communicating with these MAC controllers in an embedded environment with limited RAM and ROM resources. This book didn't go down to my level there. For those who are interested in this stuff, consider also buying "TCIP Lean" by Jeremy Bentham, which misses out on most of the stuff in this book, but covers the lower levels of talking to the MAC very well (the two books are, in fact, wonderful companions without too much duplication
between them).

All in all, a book that definitely has a place on the bookshelf of anyone considering working with embedded intenet connected devices, particularly those with limited recent exposure to ethernet device and internet protocols. For me, it fell a little short of the possibly unreachable superlative "Complete".