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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Lots of information

While not for the complete beginner, it's an excellent resource for HTML programmers.

Many techniques and pitfalls are discussed, along with reasonably clear step-by-step instructions.

While highly detailed for the most part, some places are surprisingly lean. For example, the very important "class" attribute has only 2 references in the index, and is given very short shrift in the text. This will have some beginners scratching their heads, no doubt.

But overall, this book contains many valuable insights and is worth having in your collection.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Software Project Survival Guide
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve C McConnell
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A must-have

This book was easy to read and covered the whole spectrum of software development projects, from concept to release. I found the book a bit shallow at times and would strongly suggest that you complement it with the other Steve McConnell book, Rapid Development. It is definitely oriented towards best practices and software development processes but with a very practical and no-nonsense approach. The web site that accompanies this book, is also very well done and contains a multitude of useful templates, checklists, and other goodies for the project manager.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements 2
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Richard Lynch
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Mixed: Good tools, Poor editing

If you scan through the previous reviews, you will find that those folks who are familiar with the full version of Photoshop are raving about the tools provided and explained in this book. The beginning Photoshop Elements users are having a great deal of trouble. The reason: experienced users are not following along with the examples and the newbies are.
Fact is, there are a large number of mistakes remaining in the book, even if you were able to find the errata on the author's book site. For example, the first big project leads you through creating color separations. There are two errors in the step-by-step instructions. One step for each is a +120 hue adjustment and the next should be -120 but the minus sign is missing. Users will find that they repeated the previous step and do not get the desired result. Additionally, the step changing one of the layer blend modes to 'screen' is omitted for each primary. The user will never get the greyscale result.
There are numerous other editing problems as well. Stuff listed as appearing in the appendix is actually in the tools, and at least one of the practice files is named incorrectly. There are numerous small linguistic errors, such as using the word 'effect' when the word 'affect' is correct. Clearly this book was rushed into print before many aspects were finalized.
That said, the tools are in fact very valuable, and the book goes well beyong simple follow-the-instructions explanation of Photoshop Elements. This sets this book apart from most others; you will know not only 'How' but 'Why'. I would recommend this as a second book to anyone who has some experience with Elements and can recognize why some of the practice instructions are not working correctly. They will also better appreciate the value of the tools.
While this book has a special section for color plates that are important for following the instructions, my impression is that a number of publishers are producing comparable yet cheaper books using color throughout.
For the first time Photoshop Elements user, I would heartily recommend Scott Kelby's book "The Photoshop Elements Book for Digital Photographers". (New Riders) This book more than covers the basics of photo retouching and enhancement and is extremely fun to read. Every page is a full color page and it's $10 bucks cheaper. You will enjoy the book and will enjoy Elements even more.
To Richard Lynch: Your work is a valuable contribution to the Photoshop community. Find a better publisher!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C by Dissection: The Essentials of C Programming (4th Edition)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Al Kelley, Ira Pohl
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An Architect's Traditional Style Of Programming.

My experience with the C language was mostly a uphill battle. As a experienced programmer, being acustomed to using the dot operator for OOP in basic, my approch to learning C just wasn't working out. It took me several weeks to learn the new concepts within the C language.Out of sure luck, I came accross this title, and purchased it. More then just a bible that illustrates prefabricated code with interlacing techniques which novice programmers find so inspiring. "C By Dissection" offers the user words spoken from architects who illustrate effective techniques, sharing their secrets for such topics like Recursion, Character Processing, Keyboard Input, and Structures. I was very impressed with overall simplicity the way authors address their audience. After reading the book, you almost feel like an expert in C. With a little bit of practice, you too will feel the extraodinary impact the authors have taken your progress to the next level, and overcoming those obstactles which you thought were almost impossible to achieve. I can't stake a claim for all the "C" textbooks on the market, but if there was one book that I would use day in and day out for "C" this would be it.