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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy VIII Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Its okay.

I LOVE Final Fantasy 8. Its a great game. The stratagy guide was great while the first time playing the game. Although some things were confusing, I didn't really think about it. Later I noticed the millions of typos and missleading information. It seems to me, the people who wanted this book out, didn't care if it wasn't done. When it comes to important items (like the Moon Stone, which I still haven't found for Irvine's best weapon) you haven't a clue where to get them. And basic informaiton (like, who is Zell's GF) you never can find out in the book. I still use the book every time I play FF8, but I have also replaced all the wrong information I've found within the book with the correct ones. This book was very helpful, and I liked having the pictures of the game, where I could see if I was doing things correctly. This book would have been better if the editor had payed more attention to his job!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Understanding SNMP MIBs
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: David T. Perkins, Evan McGinnis
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
outstanding Snmp book for designers

The book provides excellent information about what a MIB is (and what is not), how objects are defined and identified, how C structures can be translated into a Mib. The "opinions" boxes are extremely helpful to see another point of view on an issue, which many times clarifies it (unlike all those books that just present "facts" like they were edicts that fell from the sky).
The best is that you are often forced to stop and meditate: how do we model "objects"? how do we define "indexes" to "tables"? the book provides insight into the hard choices Snmp designers are confronted with. The discussion in Chapter 7 about "Identity" is apparently simple... and simply memorable.
Unlike the books that just cut, paste and rephrase from the standards, this is a book from designers to designers (as M.T. Rose writes colorfully in the introduction: "a book from the field officers in the SNMP cavalry"). I have been glad to have it on my desk since I started working on Snmp.
[Beware: V3 is not treated; so I complemented it with David Zeltserman's "A practical guide to Snmp V3"].

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Office Project 2003 Bible
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Elaine Marmel
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
e-books a nightmare, beware the pdf e-book format!

I recently bought this book in electronic format to save time with delivery and then also to give e-books a try. Afterall, they have benefits, like little storage requirements, portability, you can search them through, etc..
Well, it all turned out to be a nightmare experience :(
First of all there is Adobe DRM (Digital Rights Management) which obviously limits you from opening the ebook PDF on any computer you like. Each time you want to read it on a different computer, say at work, you must go through a painstaking activation process. Excerpt from adobe store:
"Adobe Reader 6.0 ebooks cannot be moved from machine to machine, as the security of the file is tied to the machine on which the ebook is downloaded."
Not only that this takes all your time and energy, frustrates and enfuriates you it also does not work it turned out. I got server timeouts, "excuse us, but the server will be up running shortly" notices, you name it. Beware, I'd not be writing this if I wasn't thoroughly frustrated with the service. It gets better, read on..
After I searched and searched to find answers regarding the secretive digital rights management I wrote to customer support asking them a few questions just to understand how often and where I will be able to read my ebook (which cost the same amount as the regular paperback) and if at all I will still be able to access my ebook after, let's say, 5 years when I have reactivated it on several computers?! NO answer. Great.
You will find that part of their service is to let you activate it on PocketPC so that you can read it both on your computer and on your handheld. I can't find the excerpt right now, but it clearly stated you can do this. Well... as it turned out, not really and neither did it say so anywhere readily accessible. Having myself spent about 1.5 hours trying to get it to work, reinstalling Adobe Reader on both the PC and the PocketPC, reactivating, etc.. I looked into forums and found a post by a man who said he had spent 2 days trying to get it to work and then right underneath his call for help a cold answer apparrently from adobe employee that PocketPC 2003 (available since beginning of 2003) does not work with it yet, and they are planning on implementing it in the future. Tough luck, I just bought a book and should be glad I can read it on my own PC after having activated it. I better read it fast, because who knows, if my windows crashes I might even need to buy it again!? :(
The essence of a book for me means that* I can take it anywhere with me and read it* store it in my library for literally 100+ years and still be able to "access" it and read it whenever I like* even borrow it to my friends ocassionally or sell it to a book shop after I don't want it
None of these seem to apply to e-books, yet advantages for publishers are enormous considering there are NO printing expenditures involved and they cost normally the same amount as regular books.
Last I'd like to say that I hope the ebook business survives, it would be a pitty to use technology to help disseminate. I hope Adobe reads this and takes action, too. I have 8 years of experience in computer support so no excuses on my part, sorry.
Good day to all and thanks to amazon for their great service in every respect.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft® Excel 2000 Power Programming with VBA
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John Walkenbach
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Never say never...

I am a software developer, and I've never liked the computer "big books" published for lay people.
Until this one.
This book is well-written, well-organized, well-thought-out, and well worth every penny. Instead of complex examples (and I've seen plenty of them), John presents simple, brilliantly clear examples that are distilled down to show the exact point he is trying to make, which makes the book very easy to follow.