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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Essential Guide to Telecommunications (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Annabel Z. Dodd
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
What a waste of trees....

This book is obviously written by a person who knows the buzzwords, but fails to understand the technology. It is perhaps the most inaccurate book on technology available. Throughout the book there is mistruth and a glowing misconception of how technology works, particularly related to data network concepts. For example, Annabel claims the following four capabilites of network routers:
1) Sequencing2) Path Optimization3) Flow Control4) Receipt Acknowledgement
Lets see... 1) wrong, 2) sorta, 3) wrong and 4) wrong. This is just one of many examples throughout the book where the fundamentals are completely trampled on.
Rather than buy this book, send the money directly to the author and ask her to read a few good books about the topics she tries to cover rather than contributing a truly awful book in this category.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Unix: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Deborah S. Ray, Eric J. Ray
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best Basic Unix Reference

This is a concise, readable, practical guide to all of the fundamental things one needs to do in Unix. It's excellent. I consider myself an intermediate Unix user and I still use it all the time. Any nerdy author can write a Unix book, these authors really understand how to communicate Unix in a way that's efficient for the reader. 6 stars.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Web Services: A Technical Introduction
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, B. DuWaldt, L. K. Trees
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great introductory book

This is an excellent book. I enjoyed reading it. I especially like the flow of the book. Unlike other books I read, this book initially provides an over view of web services as a business model. This is especially helpful for those, who would like to develop web services and later sell it. This book has good introductory coverage of Service Level Agreements, ways to market web services, and a good number of examples. The book then covers XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI. Web services examples using .NET and Java is clean and descriptive. The book covers recent development in web services security, but does not provide any example in Java or .NET code to implement security. This topic is covered in more advanced book on web services. If you are interested to learn about web services and its business advantages, this Deitel book is very good to keep in your collection.

Ejaz Jamil MSEE MBA, Jence Incorporated http://www.jence.com

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside Com (Microsoft Programming Series)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Dale Rogerson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An excellent book on the topic

This is much more than a COM book. The book spends a lot of time in the first half talking about the more general concept of interfaces, which is more of a software design topic. Then he shows how to implement those interfaces using C++ abstract classes and gives a very good discussion of inheritence, polymorphism, and virtual function tables. Everything is done in pure C++ so you can see what is going on. No wizards or macros to hide the details. The diagrams were very helpful.
Even if you choose to not use the COM architecture for your software the discussion of interfaces will help you write software of much higher quality. Seeing how the interfaces are implemented and the discussion of inheritence and virtual function tables gave me a much better understanding of the C++ language.
The key to understanding COM is understanding interfaces and this book does a very good job explaining them. Eventually when the author gets into the Microsoft specific COM library you can see how those chapters build on the earlier chapters. You can see how a program can evolve from a set of inflexible C++ classes, to some compile-time flexible C++ classes that use interfaces, to run-time flexible components using DLLs, and finally a full blown COM component.
Near the end of the book it is not as thorough with the examples but that is because the topics presented there are too large to fit in a single chapter. The first 8 chapters are worth the price of the book.