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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Dive into Python
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Mark Pilgrim
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fun introduction to Python for programmers

This is a fun introduction to Python that goes from installations, through the basics of the language, and into specific tasks. The text is built for programmers who already know a language. The type of reader who can handle a fairly terse text that assumes that you know the fundamentals of imperative programming languages (e.g. C, C++, Java, etc.).

I enjoyed the book a lot. The book gave me more credit than a book like Learning Python which starts at the very basics. And for a book of relatively few pages it gets into some cool topics like refactoring, unit tests, and functional programming very quickly.

If you want an introduction to Python that doesn't talk down to you then dive in Python here.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Upgrading and Repairing Networks, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Que
Authors: Scott Mueller, Terry William Ogletree
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Third Edition rocks!

I read through the second edition like a kid in a candy store. It had the information I wanted (and needed) to keep up with networking.
The Third edition seems to take it from there and run with it. Wireless and "Blue Tooth" are described in detail (Which was REALLY helpful), It covers new aspects of network security, upgrading networks, backbone cabling and all sorts of nifty stuff!
The software on the included disk isn't bad (A lot of the software is trail version, however). The technical information is rather useful as it contains BIOS error codes, a hard-drive database, and some other nifty stuff. The movies (on motherboards) were rather informative, though (even for a hardware junkie like me). The guy doing the video is a little dry, but bear with him, he has a lot of useful things to say!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core J2EE Patterns: Best Practices and Design Strategies
Publisher: Pearson Education
Authors: Deepak Alur, John Crupi, Dan Malks
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Required Reading for Anyone working with EJB

Not another line of code for Servlets, JSPs, or EJBs should be written by anyone who hasn't read this book and understood the concepts explained. This book is about best practices in designing and coding J2EE applications. The lessons explained here were developed by the Sun Java Center based on their work in the field. As they developed applications for clients they noticed that the same problems occurred over and over again. This book documents the standard solutions to solve these problems that were built as a catalog of design patterns and best practices.
Part 1 is an introduction to design patterns and the J2EE platform. Part 2 is a catalog of bad practices (the authors describe these as, "less than optimal ways to solve problems"), and refactorings (ways to correct these problems). Developers working with poorly designed J2EE applications will find this section especially helpful.
In Part 3, fifteen separate design patterns and strategies are explained. Each pattern is described in detail with the motivation for using the pattern and the design goals to be achieved. UML class and sequence diagrams are included along with detailed code examples that serve to further clarify the pattern. These patterns aren't theoretical constructs but rather are practical strategies that can be applied to real world applications. Using the strategies in this book will make you more productive and your code easier to understand and maintain.
Anyone designing, architecting, or coding with J2EE will find this book to be extremely useful.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy VIII Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great book for anyone who wants the best for FF8.

A great book to teach you all the techniques and strategies of Final Fantasy VIII. That's All Folks!