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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning PHP 5 and MySQL E-Commerce: From Novice to Professional
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Cristian Darie, Mihai Bucica
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Everything you need to know to build an E-commerce site

The use of PHP 5 and MySQL for e-commerce is a tested and proven combination. This book is primarily intended for the reader who already has some PHP knowledge and needs to understand how to build an e-commerce site. It does not focus on teaching either PHP 5 or MySQL but instead focuses on how to use the combination to produce an exceptional e-commerce solution.

The authors use the example of a Tshirt shop and walk the reader through every step of completely constructing a viable e-commerce site. The book covers everything from designing your site, to creating a product catalog, searching the catalog, receiving payments, catalog administration, creating a shopping basket, working with customer orders, product recommendations, storing customer information, secure connections, implementing the order pipeline, working with credit cards, and setting up product reviews.

The appendixes include detailed information on installing Apache, PHP, MySQL, and phpAdmin (for both Windows and Unix-like systems), hosting your web site, and project management.

While this is not a book about learning the PHP scripting language it does contain enough detailed code to create a functioning e-commerce site even if you don't understand how the code works. For example, on page 192 it says to "Create a new template file named admin_login.tpl in the templates folder and add the following code to it:..." This is followed by a long code listing that produces the desired results. There is a short explanation of the function of various sections of the code but nothing that details the purpose of each command, variable, etc. This is really not a problem since they state up front that the target audience is a PHP programmer who needs to learn how to build an e-commerce site, but it does deserve mention for those who have no knowledge of PHP and are considering the book.

The first thing a person might notice when thinking about purchasing this book is that there is no CD in the back containing all the many examples of source code. This could be very discouraging as the examples are extensive and rewriting them by hand without error can be a daunting task. However, Apress does make all of the examples available for download at their web site.

Beginning PHP 5 and MySQL E-Commerce is highly recommended for anyone who has some basic knowledge of PHP and MySQL and wants to capitalize on this to build a powerful e-commerce site.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Fundamentals of Digital Image Processing (Prentice Hall Information and System Sciences Series)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Anil K. Jain
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A good reference book if you know what you are looking for!

This book probably has all the information you need to know about digital image processing. However, if you are new to the field, this book may be your worst nightmare: It is really difficult to read and understand. So, if you want to learn about digital image processing, buy an easy to read book -such as the one from Gonzales- and get this book as a reference book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How to Wow : Photoshop for Photography (Wow!)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Jack Davis, Ben Willmore
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best book on Photoshop for photographersoks

This book is the best I have read on Photoshop. It has more practical and useful techniques than any other book, and I have read a bunch of the best known books on this subject.

I liked the book so much, I ended up buying Jack Davis' DVD set of the same name from Software Cinema. The DVD's are the movie version of the book and very useful if you are a photographer.

Other reviewers have spelled out many features in the book. I particularly found interesting the lucid explanations, for example, of Dodge and Burn with Layer Masks. The book's explanation and practical examples of using the Blend-if options with Layers is the best I have seen anywhere. And the really best way to use the power of Hue & Saturation command - mind-boggling.

I used Photoshop Elements for a couple of years and bought Photoshop CS a few months ago and felt lost for a while. Of several books I got on Photoshop Cs, this one has brought me up to speed.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mastering Windows 2000 Server
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Brian M. Smith, Doug Toombs, Mark Minasi
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Average Score for an average product

I feel confident that this book has saved a lot of ... from the proverbial fire. Five stars, however, would represent a euphoria that just didn't overcome me when I sat down to read it. It is a working person's book written in a working person's vernacular ...That's a Good Thing. There has to be a higher quality product available on the market; I just didn't want to spend the time and money to find it. If you have the time and/or money to do so, I recommend that you do. The book is comprehensive in scope but is pedestrian and wordy. The same material can be covered in half the number pages.
I can understand the legitimate assumption that some readers may have no previous knowledge of the subject matter, however you can target a more specific book for them. In my humble opinion this book has become overgrown and overreaching. The authors would do well to reorganize the material into beginner, intermediate, and advanced volumes. The material you need to design, implement, and maintain Microsoft 2000 Servers is there, the folksy presentation won't suit folks - no pun intended - who like a more academic style.