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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition with CD-ROM and Online Subscription
Publisher: Merriam-Webster
Authors: Merriam-Webster
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
funky thumb-index tabs

I found the books placement of tabs made them almost useless. I know why Merriam-Webster doesn't advertise the fact that there is a thumb-index. I was told that they started using an automated system in 1978 because it was cheaper. I guess you get what you pay for, a cheap dictionary. I say if you are going to insert thumb-index tabs put them in the right place... at the start of the letter being indicated, not somewhere in the middle. What's that all about?

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Security in Computing, Third Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Charles P. Pfleeger, Shari Lawrence Pfleeger
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I want to preview your book

I want to see Teaching Note. Specially, Ch2 (Concept), Ch3 (Security system)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Linux Pocket Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Daniel J. Barrett
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Something for everybody ....

I have just received the "Linux Pocket Guide", and am very pleased about the way it can and does help me, and it will definitely help others too. The `door' to the inner workings of Linux, can be painlessly pried open after all!For a Linux novice such as myself very useful and informative - there is enough information - and more importantly - with examples, to whet the appetite, but not to drown the reader in mind-boggling detail. The 'Man' or 'Info' pages are enough to put a newbie off for life. The supplied URLs to other informative sources are also very useful.This guide also helps to dispel some of the mystique that perhaps some *nix wizards like to project around the subject - that is my sad experience in many News-Groups, when asking questions of established `Gurus'.I would be very interested to see more such works in various - for Linux newbies at least - other Linux `problem' zones.For Windows fugitives/Linux novices - and even for slightly forgetful experts - a *must* have .....

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: World of Warcraft(R) Official Strategy Guide (Official Strategy Guides (Bradygames))
Publisher: Brady Games
Authors: Michael Lummis, Danielle Vanderlip
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Could be very useful

First, let me state two things:

1) I have not seen the book because it hasn't yet been published. This means that I can't speak to how well this strategy guide will cover the needs beyond what the description above has to say.
2) I played the beta like a wild man for the last two weeks, so know the game pretty well. I have also read the game manual. This means that I know what a good strategy guide should have.

Now to be fair, I usually hate strategy guides. This is especially true for MMORPG games, where the regular updates can quickly leave a strategy guide in the dust. On top of that flaw, I'm the kind of person who really enjoys finding and figuring things out for myself. That's part of the fun of the RPG genre. So I really don't want to know things like maps, quest-giver locations, or more detailed quest information except in the most extreme circumstances where my friends and I can't figure things out for ourselves.

Yet despite all of that, I'm planning to buy this guide.

WoW has a system whereby you gain levels upon reaching a certain level of experience. The level takes effect immediately in terms of hit points, mana, damage output, etc. But you don't learn new skills until you go to a trainer and buy the skill that you want from a list. The information given to you at time of purchase is pretty sketchy, and money is a very precious commodity in this game (especially true for classes like Warlocks who must train mutliple pets in addition to themselves). In fact, for Warlock pets, all you see ahead of purchase is the name of the book that teaches the new skill to your pet, the skill's level, and its price. You don't find out anything else about that skill until you've spent your money and trained the pet. And unfortunately, the game manual completely lacks any descriptions for skills. Obviously, this can make it hard to plan a character very well, and easy to make mistakes along the way. It's a place where the strategy guide is a must-have.

Another thing about WoW is its crafting and trade system. I never thought I'd hear myself say this about any MMORPG, but WoW has made crafting fun. It's also rewarding because you routinely make items that are better than what you could buy in shops at your level. Join a guild with members from all the different professions, and your entire group benefits by sharing materials and product with one another. Alternatively, create items for sale to stores or other players via the trade channel or auction house. You can make a very tidy profit on some of thse items! But again, the game manual and engine are sorely lacking in information that would help make this system a lot more fun. For one thing, there's nothing that tells what raw materials can be made by certain professions and which can only be purchased (or for how much). In addition, although the game does show you what a recip produces before you purchase it (this piece of armor has X amount of protection and Y + Z attributes), you don't know what is necessary for raw materials until you've purchased the recipe. You also don't know how much an item made by that recipe would sell for in stores, which means that you have to buy the recipe and use resources to make an item before you can find out if there's any profit in it or not. For example, you can use the same exact materials to make two sets of shoulder pads at a profit of 40 copper each, or a single pair of pants with a profit of 5 silver -- but without a good guide to explain these things, you'll be doing a lot of hit or miss experimentation to find out things that in the real world would be common knowledge in the trade.

So even if you're someone like me who loves the exploration and discovery aspect of an RPG and usually decries strategy guides, this is one guide that will certainly make your life more enjoyable. WoW has an economy where copper is common, silver is uncommon, and gold is rare. By the time my principle character had reached level 25, I'd had more than a single gold piece in my purse only four or five times. My friends had similar experiences. This guide will help you save precious coppers and avoid costly mistakes.