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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Visual C++ 6
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Ivor Horton
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Easy and well written book.

I'm A teen trying to learn how to program and by not wanting to leanr toy languges like Pascal or Basic I jumped right into the deep end by learning Visual C++. Allthough some things were a little difficult to understand at first I made it all the way through the book and have been makeing really cool programs and plugins. I think Mr. Horton did an excellent job on this book

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Enterprise JavaBeans, Fourth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Richard Monson-Haefel, Bill Burke, Sacha Labourey
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

Bought this book on basis of glowing reviews by other readers. Have been unable to get to grips with it, however. It is not that it is overly technical, or badly written, just that it is so bland and uninspiring. Part of the problem is that I am starting to realise that EJB is not going to solve all the problems I hoped it would (well container managed persistence did sound too good to be true!). Nevertheless, I do not feel that this is the book we have all been waiting for and advise caution.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Databases with PostgreSQL
Publisher: Wrox Press
Authors: Richard Stones, Neil Matthew
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A good, step-by-step guide

To help me setup an accounting system on a PostgreSQL database, I purchased two books: I found that PostgreSQL Essential Reference answered 10% of my questions, and Beginning Databases with PostgreSQL answered 90% of my questions. Beginning Databases with PostgreSQL provided good step-by-step information that enabled me to get the application up and running with minimum frustration.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Practical C++ Programming, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steve Oualline
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
very good introductory book

First let me say that if you have read "Practical C Programming" much of this book will seem familiar to you. Especially it seems the first 12 chapters just substituted c for c++. However, this is only really a minor annoyance if you've read the other book first. To me "Practical C Programming" was very helpful in understanding a lot of topics and I was hoping this would be similar... to bad it's too similar. Now that's the negative part (unless you've never read "Practical C Programming") now on to the positives.
The focus in this book is definately on the "practical." The author gives many code examples with errors in them and says something like "This code doesn't produce the results you expect, why?" Then at the end of the chapter are the answers in case you can't find it. Sometimes you think "Doh, that's a stupid error" but that's the whole point of "practical," most of your programming errors will be stupid errors and this book helps train you to spot them.
The author also discusses style and code readability quite a bit. Often saying things like "C++ allows you to do this but don't because ..." which I found quite helpful.
While many things in this book aren't covered too deeply, I think it's probably a very good introduction book. I know perl and I've decided to learn c and c++. After reading "Practical C Programming," I decided that while C is good, it might help me to learn C++. Therefore I bought "Practical C++ Programming" and it's definately a good introduction. I would definately recommend buying a reference book of some sort that describes some of the details a little better as well as a book on GUI programming. In particular "C++ GUI Programming with Qt 3" looks promising. (assuming you plan on doing GUI programming)
So in summary, while this book is a great book, it is not the only book on C++ you should own. It is however very easy to read through from the beginning to the end. I only gave it 4 stars because a lot of the text is taken from "Practical C Programming" and certain areas need a little more detail (requiring another book). However I don't regret buying this book (like I have some other technical books) and I feel it has certainly helped me learn.