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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good book for newbies like me!!!

I like the VSQ series. Hope my eyesight remains good in the next few years though...The prints are getting smaller and smaller...But the content is good. Direct. Clear. Practical. You get results straight away! There's nothing worse than reading long winding pages and only to find out that you can't implement what you've just read onto the web site. With this book, at least you don't feel so...stupid!
And hey! the book is cheap !!!
Thanks Dori.
Kien Caoxuan from Cherrybrook Sydney Australia

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Charles Petzold
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best way to learn the Win32 API from scratch

I own 'Programming Windows 95' which is a previous version of this book...this newer version adds additional information, while retaining the best of the older versions.
I'm a self-taught software engineer and have relied on books for most of my training. When I needed to learn the Win32 API to write Windows application programs, I initially turned to the Microsoft website and their tutorials, but found this approach frustrating because there was no overall picture presented...a lot of knowledge was assumed.
Petzold's book was the answer to my frustrations...it assumed no Windows specific knowledge, although general C/C++ background is assumed. The book starts with simple examples that are thoroughly explained. Once enough topics are covered, an excellent overview of Windows as an event-driven operating system is presented, and the remainder of the book is devoted to covering real-world, useful examples in enough detail that they provide starting points for the reader's own development projects.
In the companies for which I've worked, most of the programmers refer to Petzold's book as the 'bible' for Windows programming...for good reason. This is the best book for learning Windows programming if you are starting with no previous knowledge of the Windows operating system.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Secrets and Lies : Digital Security in a Networked World
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Bruce Schneier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An Excellent Overview In Plain American

If you learn about privacy and security issues by reading the papers and/or Peter Newman's Risks, you know about incidents that have surfaced. This book gives you a framework for thinking about security and privacy incidents in this networked age.
The author is a cryptographer and has his own systems security consulting firm. His major theme is that a company's security cannot be assured by technical means. Some security losses are unavoidable, according to the author. Thus, a manager must view security as a process in which prevention, detection and followup are important. The author sees a need for more outsourcing and insurance in the coming years.
As far as I know there is no other book like this one. On that basis alone, it merits five stars. The coverage is broad and the treatment is accessible to the layman. The author writes very well. He uses examples effectively.
The book is intended as a trade book, I assume, but I think it would be a good textbook in an MBA course. It might be appropriate in a computer science graduate program, also, as a non-technical introduction to the issues.
Having praised the book, I must also point out that some topics are discussed more than once in the book. The repetition is a little off-putting by the end. But, overall, this is an excellent book and I highly recommend it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming in Objective-C
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Stephen Kochan
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good for self-education or for a training course

While I am a veteran C programmer and trainer, I had never had the time to investigate Objective-C. Even though I had encountered many references to it over the years, and had a few people tell me I needed to check it out, I just never got around to looking at it. Part of the reason was that I never was able to find a book that I really wanted to read, until now. This book takes you from the start, but wastes little time in stepping through the fundamentals of the language. If you do not know C, it will bring you up to speed quickly. If you are experienced in C, but not in object-oriented programming, then you can easily skim through the introductory material to extract the points of interest. For those who have a higher level of experience, there is an extensive treatment of some of the foundation framework set classes. A small set of exercises is at the end of each chapter, so it could be used as a textbook. A good solid introduction to a version of C that is object-oriented and that has some syntactical features different from standard K & R C, this book will serve you well if your interest is either self-education or using it as a textbook.