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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Find It Online, Fourth Edition : The Complete Guide to Online Research (Find It Online: The Complete Guide to Online Research)
Publisher: Facts on Demand Press
Authors: Alan M. Schlein
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I love this book

Alan Schlein has tackled the almost-impossible task of describing how to find information on the web, and how to find it efficiently. If you want to conduct *quality* research on the web, start here. This is a great resource that should be on every web researcher's desk.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Agile Software Development
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Alistair Cockburn
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Worth buying. Gets to the root of the development process.

The consensus is that this work is a masterpiece. I, as a real-time, embedded software development manager have tried a variety of "heavy" methodologies. Experience has shown me that the lighter techniques have a better chance of success.
I would like to mention Cockburn's reference to Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein started out with a little masterwork usually known as the 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus' in English. This book can be viewed as relating the real world to a LOGICAL model. Wittgenstein later realized that this does not necessarily hold and came up with the idea of 'language games.'
The 'heavy' methodologies (B-method, RUP, MIL-STD-498, etc.) try to build a conceptual machine that accepts an input and reliably delivers the desired output. The 'language game' is top-heavy and frequently irrelevant, not to mention, expensive.
The 'light' methodologies use the minimalist principle of Musashi (quoted in the book): "Do not do anything useless."
I could rave on. Try this book out--it is one of the most intelligent software books I have read in years!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Hacking: The Art of Exploitation
Publisher: No Starch Press
Authors: Jon Erickson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The first comprehensive hacking textbook/reference manual

I wonder why it's taken so long for a book like this to be published. Not only does the book clearly cover the most common network hacking programming techniques, he goes through all the major attacks and hacks of interests to today's network security enthusiast/professional.
Jon Erickson writes in a clear, concise and organized manner that I wish today's programming books were written in. It's not dumbed-down, but it isn't too obtuse for a complete newbie to understand. Some people in the field say, "we should teach hacking in schools". Well, to all who would--your textbook just arrived.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ Primer (4th Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman, Josée Lajoie, Barbara E. Moo
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Head for higher water....

The content of the book is fair, however the organization is terrible. Some more complicated topics are introduced before simple concepts, or in some areas, complicated topics that were not discussed are used to explain simple ideas(it does get better after chapter 5 or so, but the first five chapters are the very basics that you should know before doing anything remotley complicated). For this reason, you should at least have your feet wet with C or C++ before reading this book.
Next, this is one of the few books I've read that has 'decent' quiz questions. But guess what ? There are no answers!
Some topics are not explained very well, again the author assumes you already know something about it.
The examples in the book are fair, but most of them are not 'real world'. In several places however, there are just fragments of code instead of a full example, which can sometimes confuse the reader.
This book should not be bought alone to learn ANSI C++ if you are just starting with the language, however it can be used in addition to another book.