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Product: Book - CD-ROM
Title: Complete Java Training Course, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great material and lively content delivery

I found this training course to be very useful for refreshing my Java knowledge, as well as catching up on JSP, servlets and new classes in Java 2.Having the text both in book format (for when I am not studying at my computer), as well as the fully searchable and interactive HTML format with multimedia contents and Internet links, is great; also, there are several software goodies that come with the package, such as the Tomcat server and the Sun ONE environment. The self review exercises and assessment exams at the end of each chapter are a fun (and challenging, thinking of the Hanoi Tower now!) way to validate the understanding of the Java concepts one has just studied.Finally, I think the first chapters are a clear introduction to general programming concepts for the less experienced reader, with plenty of samples, exercises and links to more information. Definitely recommended.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Concepts
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Cay Horstmann
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
An introductory programming text based on Java---unusual.

I read this book in a bookstore, so this isn't based on deep experience with it. What I liked about it was that it was a programming primer that used Java as its example language. I was looking for just such a book so my wife could learn programming. 99.9% of all Java books assume the reader can already program in some other language. Unfortunately this book is FAR TOO EXPENSIVE for me to justify buying it myself.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java for the Web with Servlets, JSP, and EJB: A Developer's Guide to J2EE Solutions
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Budi Kurniawan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Guide to passing Web Component Developer Certification Exam

After reading all the positive comments, I bought this book. After reading it, I was totally disappointed.The writing style is good, but technically this book is weak and full of errors. There is no doubt that the author never tested the code. The code listing on the CD rom is just a bunch of text files ending with with .txt extension. The book is no more than a copy & paste of stuff taken off the net. For example, to explain the BMP entity bean, the author used a ProductBEan example, in the ejbLoad() call, the product ID member field was used. But does the author understand the ID field must be set somehow? This is done in the ejbActivate() call in SUN's online tutorial, but in the book the ejbActive() is empty. Clearly, the author does not understand the life-cycle of ejbs.
So if you are looking for a J2EE book, look elsewhere, if you are trying to learn some JSP, it may offer some help.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker, Second Edition
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: William R. Cheswick, Steven M. Bellovin, Aviel D. Rubin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Worth waiting for, a second time

(I had the pleasure of doing a pre-release review for the publisher. My wife and I enjoyed the meal they paid for. However this posting is done on my own.)
When the book first came out, it defined an Internet specialty. The Internet is now a bigger, and sometimes more dangerous, place. "Firewalls and Internet Security" won't guarantee your network's safety, but failure ignorance of the material in this book will guarantee its compromise.
The book provides an extraordinary combination of theory and practise, framework and procedure, technology and operations. The depth of the authors' knowledge and the pragmatic tone throughout the book make it unrivaled.
The writing is unusually accessible; it neither suffers from excessively obscure technical language nor does it pander to the reader with facile, superficial discussion. The humor is nicely spaced, and martini-dry.
A section on protocols is not simply one-more cursory review of what they do. Instead it provides a unique and thorough analysis of their security considerations, so that designers and network administrators can understand the strengths and weakness of the Internet's core technologies.
If you run a network and care about its safety, you won't be able to do your job well enough without reading this book. If you develop Internet technology, then remember that security is almost always impossible to design-in later. If you haven't read this book, you are not likely to get the design right.