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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Kalen Delaney
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
XML is completely absent

I consider myself an expert SQL Server Database Administrator and hold the MCDBA, MCSE, and MCSD certifications. I consult on VLDB projects for IBM, EDS, and many others.
I recently picked up this book in hopes of getting up to speed with the latest version of Microsoft's award-winning DBMS. Those hopes were quickly dashed as I compared the previous edition with this one and realized they were largely the same.
The biggest hole is the complete lack of XML coverage. You cannot deny that XML is central to SQL Server, and more generally, to Microsoft's future plans (ever hear of .NET?) I suppose we could debate whether XML is "inside" enough to warrant coverage in a book like this, but I'd argue that it definitely is. The support was added to the server itself. You access the XML features from Transact-SQL, which the book makes a half-hearted attempt to cover. For my money, XML should have been covered in this book and covered in-depth.
But XML's absence isn't the only problem with the book. There's no coverage of high-availability topics like clustering, log shipping, and advanced backup/restore options. Instead, the book has only been minorly updated from the previous (version 7.0) edition.
All told, the book has major problems....

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Modern Cable Television Technology, Second Edition
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: Walter Ciciora, James Farmer, David Large, Michael Adams
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
comprehensive, well organized, complete, a must have

Every technical library should include this easy to understand volume explaining all aspects of cable television. The authors have drawn from their years of education and practical experience in the Cable industry to produce an excellent reference guide for anyone interested in television and cable technology. Included are chapters on Analog TV, Digital Compression, Cable Data Transport,Headend Signal Processing, Coax, Fiber, Consumer Interface and Equipment Compatability, and other topics. Great minds have produced a fine book!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book, great examples, great writing

This is one great book. Each chapter is a separate treatise on the things you need to know to master tsql. Each one is exquisitely written and loaded with ingenious examples. Want to know the secrets of the gurus? This is this book for you.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Jef Raskin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Practical and useful way

This book has proved to be a practical and useful one for our business. We develop interactive Web sites.
The book discussses easy-to-understand and implement principles that improve usability. For instance, the principle of "monotony." This does not mean what we generally take it to mean, but it is the idea that people can focus on one thing at time. We broke the tasks of determining a shipping address and billing address into two separate pages and people were much happier.
The book also gives many metrics that can be used to quantatize the effort in using an interfaces. We have found these valuable in creating proposals.