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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Biz Stone
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Enthusiastic, but concentrates too much on one program

This book tries to cover all aspects of blogging, from a bit of history, through creating and managing a small personal journal, to using blog technology as a corporate marketing tool. Along the way it covers an interesting variety of hints, tips and suggestions on how to make a blog look stylish, how to draw more visitors, and so on. It even covers an overview of using and writing blog-related applications and some thoughts about what might come next.
This book does well at communicating the excitement of blogging. If you are not raring to have a go by the end of the book, you're probably not cut out for life on the web. But beware, The world of blogging is astonishingly fast moving and fashion-conscious, so a book such as this can very quickly loose its cutting edge.
The main limitation of this book is the way it concentrates so much on one blogging system (Blogger), and assumes a particular way of working. On the up-side, the system it describes is probably the most popular, but that can so easily change.
If you would like to run a blog using the Blogger software or the Blog*Spot hosting service, and want to really get the most out of it, this is a great book. If you might be interested in other software and approaches, it's less vital, but still contains a lot of useful and interesting material.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Python Essential Reference (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: David Beazley
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Invaluable Reference

If I could have just one Python book while writing Python on desert island, this would be the book.
My copy just arrived from Amazon. First thing I noticed was the quality production (paper, type setting, layout, ...) and the font - a point or two smaller than I expected (bucking the trend to inflate books with a font I can read across the room).
The Index is 45 some pages (distinguised by a grey edge), using a mix of bold and regular font to make headings and subheadings easily distinguished. The page numbers are clear in the upper left corner of each page, making it easy to fan back to the indexed page. The paper was cut to leave a perfectly smooth and even right edge, so thumbing to a desired page is quick and accurate. And for each thing I've looked up so far, the result was right on, terse, but clearly written by someone aware and experienced and just what I might need.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Moving to VB .NET: Strategies, Concepts, and Code
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Daniel Appleman, Dan Appleman
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Only for VB6 developers

I thought I could gleam some knowledge from this book despite not being a VB6 coder. This was not the case. Dont bother buying the book unless you really are moving from VB6 to VB.net.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Writing Secure Code, Second Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Michael Howard, David C. LeBlanc
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book if you're serious about writing secure code

I got this book for free from Microsoft, because our company became a Microsoft Partner. I must admit that at first I was a little bit sceptical about it, because afterall this book is published by Microsoft and they have this reputation of selling rather insecure software themselves. But after reading the first few sections I knew it was going to be a very good read.
The book explains in very clear language almost every aspect of secure programming and gives a good overview of all common security flaws that can (and will!) enter your programming code. You'll learn how to securely design, implement, test and deploy your programs. Ofcourse buffer overruns are handled (Public Enemy #1 according to the authors), but that's only the tip of the iceberg. The book does a great job by identifying and providing solutions to common security pitfalls. Topics that are handled include: database access, user privileges and Access Control, Cryptography, handling secret data, user input, encoding and internationalization, RPC, DCOM, DOS attacks, .NET and writing secure program documentation.
I recommend this book to every programmer out there, even if you're not programming for the Win32-platform. Don't let the fact that this is a Microsoft publication refrain you from buying this book. If you are serious about writing secure programs this is the book to get.