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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Excel 2002 Power Programming with VBA
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John Walkenbach
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
No real life examples

Outstanding reference and how to manual for Excel macro programming. A must have for anyone who has ambitions of writing their own programs for Excel. John's clear, organized, and comprehensible writing style allows even a novice programmer to immediately begin to write Excel macros that really do something, and do something useful. His book is chock full of useful code examples. Get two copies. It is that good.

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
Excellent book for SQL Gurus

This is one of the best SQL books that I have ever found! The examples are amazing. I was able to steal..uh, adapt some of his code to utilize it within my production system. This book is a must have for real SQL developers.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PC Magazine Guide to Home Networking
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Les Freed
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Basic information

This is an OK book for a beginner who knows little or nothing about networking. It does describe the various types of home networking available today, with a lot of information about wireless technologies. It could have been better organized by covering ethernet and wireless in separate sections. It is neither very clear for one getting started in home networking nor very helpful for one with basic knowledge who is looking to establish a more complex home network. It is an easy read and the "tips" inserts are helpful--really the best informative parts of the book. However, unless you are brand new to computers and networking, that is about all that is useful. Otherwise, save your money.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCSD .NET Solution Architectures Exam Cram 2 (Exam 70-300)
Publisher: Que
Authors: Randy Cornish, Don Pavoni, Thomas Moore, Eric Rockenbach, Ed Tittel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
kudos to ExamCram

The just-published Exam Cram 2 for .NET Solution Architectures presents a different approach than Microsoft's Exam Guide which I recently reviewed. Both books appear good and my initial reaction is recommend both as there are areas that each cover that are not covered in the other book. If you must choose only one, I recommend this one. Interestingly both books have almost the same number of pages - slightly under 500.
Overall in the Exam Cram book, there's much more exam-taking and strategy discussion. This book also appears to have much more up-to-date information including extensive discussion of XML. I was also impressed with the amount of just good practical information in the Exam Cram vs. the Microsoft book.
Another plus for this book is it's statement that much of the actual exam involves case studies where a wide range of information is tested on each case as opposed to the earlier 70-100 Solutions Architecture Exam where only a narrow range of topics were quizzed on each case. The Microsoft guide has no case studies in the text as opposed to the Exam Cram version that is chock full of thought-provoking case studies. There is also ample discussion of how this exam uses questions where you must move things around (drag & drop, etc.) as opposed to the classic programming exams that are largely multiple choice.
I still haven't taken the actual exam, so I can't speak to which book covers more of the material. The Transcender practice tests for this review aren't due to be ready until June 2003 either. I plan to study both of these books and practice on the Transcender exams when they become available.