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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This Book SAVES you Time!

The SJCP exam has a lot of questions about what is legal or illegal. This book tells you exactly that and it saves my time! Many experienced programmers still can be perplexed with tricky questions and the authors do a great job in dealing with those traps. Your search for the best SJCP preparation is over, get this book and start reading it everyday and you will PASS the exam with Flying Color like me! Thanks Kathy and Bert, I wonder why you didn't write this book 3 years ago?

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MySQL (3rd Edition) (Developer's Library)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Paul DuBois
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent reference!

SQL has always seemed to be a complicated topic to broach, especially if one has no way of practicing with it. mySQL being an open-source implementation of it makes it possible to experiment with it without breaking your bank account; still, I found the packages and other options confusing. Therefore, I picked up this book, hoping to get my ideas straight.
This book does not disappoint. I was able to install a simple webserver (Apache), mySQL and PHP based on the instructions in the appendix, and got to playing with it in a very short time. And the things I can do with it!
I plan to gain more proficiency with this, and then start implementing ideas from "Translucent Databases" by Peter Wayner, using Java and mySQL. Without a doubt, this book is masterful and an excellent source for a beginner, and a great reference for more advanced users.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: On Intelligence
Publisher: Times Books
Authors: Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Shows the way ahead...

I am a neurosurgeon and I picked up this book with a great deal of scepticism because in the past, neither through my professional studies nor through reading many popular books, have I really been able to answer some fundamental questions regarding our brain. Questions like how do we think? what is imagination? what happens during the so called "a-ha" phenomenon, when you suddenly understand something that you did not a moment ago and many other such questions have been plaguing me for years. And believe me, there arent many satisfactory answers floating around.

Hawkins has made a fantastic contribution by giving us A model to think about these questions. His memory-prediction paradigm is very attractive intuitively because it automatically explaines so many facts about our brains and their evolution that other theories just ignored. But even when tested in hard scientific experiments, I predict that the basic structure of his arguement will remain intact, though details may differ.

We still do not know a lot about the architecture of the brain, the way neurons are connected to each other and the way brains develop their enormous computive capabilities. As we learn more, it is likely that Hawkins paradigm will be refined, but in the long run, we will owe Hawkins gratitude for allowing our brains to understand how our brains work!!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: An Introduction to Database Systems (Introduction to Database Systems)
Publisher: Addison Wesley Longman
Authors: C. J. Date
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
good for academia, bad for the rest of the world...

I used this book for a college level database course. The author has done a superb job overall.
Superb job at covering major DB concepts.
The writting of the book as well as exceptional orginization of the book show that the author is indeed an expert on the topic. I found that while the author is not the best at explaining the concepts in the book, he is still very good. This leaves the reader with some thinking to do in order to fully understand the material (which is fine).
The book is very wordy. This is positive becuase it keeps the book interesting and not dry. (The author is very good at connecting with the reader, something not found in many computer books). On the negative side it opens the door for more error of interpretation(although the author's skills prevent this, mostly). On complicated issues in which a section needs to be re-read several times, there is much more to read.
Last, b/c of the wordiness most of the book cannot be used as a quick reference guide. (So students make sure to underline, highlight...)
Plenty of practice questions and suitable answers.
In general this is a superb book for an introduction, the concepts will stay with the good reader for many months. A definite buy!