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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Randal E. Bryant, David R. O'Hallaron
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Everything you need to know as a programmer

What a splendid book! I wish I go to CMU and take this course. This book is written by CMU professors after teaching Computer
Systems course for few years. This book covers broad spectrum of topics from Operating Systems, Compilers, Computer
Architecture, Assembly Level Programming, Kernel internals, Linkers, etc from a programmer's perspective (as the title aptly says).

I am searching for words to describe the usefulness of this book. In my experience, I have had hard time learning some of
the topics where Operating systems, Processor and Compilers intersect. For example, Linkers and Loaders, program
disassembly using reverse-engineering, virtual memory in Kernel etc. After all the hard work, I found the right book which
grinds all the famous books in different areas and gives the right juice for the real programmers to taste and digest.

Those famous books are:
[1] Computer Organization and Design Second Edition : The Hardware/Software Interface by David A. Patterson, John L. Hennessy
[2] UNIX Internals: The New Frontiers by Uresh Vahalia
[3] Linux Kernel Development by Robert Love
[4] Linkers and Loaders by John R. Levine
[5] GNU Binutils (GAS, objdump, ar, nm etc) Documentation

Excellent job. I really appreciate the work and content of this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself ASP.NET in 21 Days (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Chris Payne
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The "bible" at my workplace

First of all, I'm not done reading this book yet. However, I have read enough of it to give it a very positive review. Just today I was handed an assignment involving XML and XSL. I have some experience with XML, but not with Microsoft's XML tools. I had not yet read the relevent section of the book, but in just a few minutes I was able to glean the key information I needed to plan and execute my assigment. My attempts to learn it on my own under battlefield conditions were very disappointing. This book helped me tremendously. In just the first chapter I had one of those "so *that's* how this happens" moments.
I find most "how-to" books to be lacking in either substance or presentation. This book is strong in both areas.
One caveat- It's heavily VB oriented. I have a fair amount of VB experience so that's not a problem. If you plan to use C# (as I do), you'll need a good C# book to go along with it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET Unleashed, Second Edition
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Stephen Walther
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Big and Heavy, but a top-notch ASP book nevertheless...

First of all, I hate books that are this big. I have to practically work-out just to use the thing. But it is very thorough.
If you only want to buy one ASP.Net book, i think this is a great choice. Here are my gripes though:None of the code uses code-behind until he explains it late in the book. That is, all of the business-logic code is in the .aspx page with <script> tags. This may allow for simpler examples, but code-behind is by far the superior method (as the author even states) but none of the examples use it. Most of the time you should use code-behind, so the author should encourage readers to type in examples that way.
Second gripe is: the author using his own coding conventions that most people aren't familiar (e.g. using _varname for member variables instead of m_varname). This is just sloppy and unprofessionally; I don't really think I'm being picky.
Also, this book was written with the expectation that you will code in notepad or a simple text editor. Don't expect any samples of using features within VS.Net. The book instead offers examples of command-line utilities provided with .net. Some may like this others may not; but it may be important to you.
This book has great examples though, and it is written very well. I'm glad I bought it and I use it at work often.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Larry Ullman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Exactly what I needed to get started, and then some

I took this book out of the bookshop in the same bag as what looked like its obvious competitor on the shelf, 'PHP and MySQL for Dummies'. It is Larry Ullman's book that I am going through seriously, dipping into 'Dummies' (which is a good book) for an alternative explanation here and there. Whereas 'Dummies' starts with MySQL, Larry begins with some PHP basics before delving into the database, and this made more intuitive sense to me, since there were many things I wanted to do on my site (such as make an emailing form and add a readers' comments facility) with PHP before starting to think about what I could do with a MySQL database.

Notwithstanding the comments of one or two other reviewers, I have no experience of programming in any language, and yet I found this book started in the right place for me. What really made it valuable is that every concept is demonstrated right away in a real example that you can try out yourself and invent variants on to see the difference. This helps to sort out all the stupid questions and confusions that an expert probably can't even imagine your having.

Apart from Unix commands in the appendix on installation, there is not a single example in the book of something that has to be typed in 'on faith' (not quite true of the 'Dummies' book, though almost). In every chapter you are told what to type, what it does and why. Larry does move fast, and I had to puzzle over his explanation of database design and normalisation, along with his initial explanation of getting data output from the database in PHP. But this is only another strength of the book. He doesn't cut corners but he does ask you to think and not skip over too much.

Like some other people here, I have been to the book's website and forum and asked a question, and like them, I got a useful answer straight from the author. I will definitely choose his books again, and have a good feeling about Peachpit's Visual QuickPro/QuickStart books in general.

The design is equally well done. The fact that every script is shown both as an illustration and as annotated text makes the book much thicker than it might have been, but it is useful to see the script on its own and explanations (even if sidenotes to the script would have achieved both purposes, surely). The Comic sanserif used to show code is far better for long-distance reading than the monospaced font used in 'Dummies', and colour is used very effectively. I feel lucky I found this book!