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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Non-Designer's Design Book, Second Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Robin Williams
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A Great Guide for the Do-it-Yourself Designer

It seems that I graduated from school a decade ago and in all those lessons there has been nothing more prevalent than the simple basics of design. The Non-Designer's Design Book is a great resource to learn the basics but not only the non-designer but for the "I have to do it myself (small business owner) designer". Along with my own articles on design for the Non-Designer, I recommend this book to all my clients who want to learn (simply) how to design better with whatever desktop program they possess. The Non-Designer's Design Book is a great tool and a "design" must have.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Learning more Perl (sequel to "Learning Perl")

"Learning Perl Objects, References and Modules " is the sequel to "Learning Perl". It starts of where "Learning Perl" finished. In "Learning Perl" I learned how to write Perl programs. In "Learning Perl Objects" I learned how to write better and bigger Perl programs. The audience of this book is the advanced Perl Programmer that wants to improve his Perl knowledge in the area of OO programming.
If you want to use Perl's OO functions, you have to know a lot about references and modules / packages (an OO package is just a normal package that is called in OO fashion). The first couple of chapters (chapter 1-7) talk about these basics of Perl OO programming that can (and should) be used even without using OO. I love chapter 5 about complex data structures. The chapters 8-11 describe the Perl OO implementation. Further Meta information about how to program packages, CPAN and testing is provided in the chapters 12-15.
The setup of the book is didactically very good and the nicely "incremental". You can see that the authors developed this book out of courses that they have held and improved for a long time. Because the book provides a nice stepwise introduction into the subject, one should read it from beginning to end. To really practice the newly learned skills, Tom and Randal provide some example exercises (with solutions in the appendix) at the end of every chapter.
Although I am not a native English speaker, I found the book very readable and humorous. Again this is another O'Reilly book that presents a possibly dry subject in a very accessible way. Even though the explanations are very good, be prepared to read some chapters twice (or more) to get your "aha" moment.
Coming from a C++ background I still find it strange that Perl needs so little additional syntax for OO programming. This has of course some (little) disadvantages. Some things like calling abstract methods and class methods (or rather errors calling these methods) are not enforced at compile time but can be enforced at runtime (if you want). Tom and Randal explain this in their book of course (and hopefully I will not forget to implement this in my modules).
There is one great downside of this book: I would have loved it to be longer. This book has about 180 effective pages (plus appendix, index, foreword), which makes it a rather fast read compared to some of the "normal" IT brick stones.
"Learning Perl Objects" is an extraordinary good introductory book into advanced Perl programming with references, modules and objects. If you have liked "Learning Perl" and you want to proceed on your path to Perl mastery, you will love this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mathematica Navigator : Mathematics, Statistics, and Graphics
Publisher: Academic Press
Authors: Heikki Ruskeepaa
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

To solve practical problems in Mathematica the navigator is very usefull. If you want to go deeper,"modeling nature" by Gaylord and Nishidate is a usefull guide.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cisco Security Specialist's Guide to PIX Firewall
Publisher: Syngress
Authors: Umer Khan, Vitaly Osipov, Mike Sweeney, Woody Weaver
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Learned a lot...

I read this book cover to cover and I learned a lot more than I thought I would. I have a fair amount of experience with PIX firewalls, and I just wanted something to review before taking the exam (I passed). I found there was a lot I didn't know, and all the configs reall helped. I'm not quite sure why the other reviewer would take the time to write a bad review if he hasn't even read the book yet.