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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Essential Guide to Telecommunications (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Annabel Z. Dodd
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent read, comprehensive yet understandable

As a sales professional looking to enter the telecommunications field I have been looking for a good book which covers the fundamentals of the industry. Not only did I find that with this book, but this is one of the most well-written books of and non-fiction I have ever read.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SQL: The Complete Reference, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: James R Groff, Paul N. Weinberg
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent book

I needed to come up to speed quickly on SQL. This book served as an excellent learning tool, then later as an excellent reference. I found the explainations and examples very clear and concise. The organization of the book was clear and allowed me to focus on the areas of SQL I needed to know most. Don't let the thickness of the book scare you, you can easily pick and choose your chapters and it reads quickly.
I tried another SQL book prior to reading this one, and found it complex and confusing.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle PL/SQL Programming, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steven Feuerstein
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5

The "Oracle PL/SQL Programming" boasts of a superb PL/SQL introduction. This all-encompassing volume has additional information, which is a welcomed improvement over the previous edition. There are new chapters on Oracle triggers, the internal architecture of PL/SQL in the Oracle database, and in the use of PL/SQL with java. The latests of both Oracle-8i and Oracle-9i were included.This is one PL/SQL text that I will recommended for most users of the software, (whether a beginner or an expert). Its extensive coverage ensured that no stone was left unturned.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Model, Rig, Animate with 3ds max 7
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Michele Bousquet
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
No meat on these bones.

I love Michele dearly -- she is a sweet person who has contributed a lot to the Max training scene -- but this book really misses the boat for all except those who are complete beginners to character animation with Max.

For those folks it will suit as an outline to the concepts needed for character animation, but for anyone who has even slightly worked with Max this book is as much of a skeleton as that needed to rig your creatures. There is a halfway decent chapter on using Meshsmooth and box modeling techniques for those unfamiliar with this, but that's about it.

The biggest omission is due to the nature of Max 7 itself -- now that Max ships with Character Studio just about every aspect of rigging your own bones from scratch (and not using Physique but the Skin that came with Max 6) is just plain obsolete.

It is clear this is just a rehash of her previous Max 6 edition, but the rules of the game have changed, and anyone not using Character Studio nowadays is just working way behind the times.

What's really odd about this is Michele knows Character Studio very well indeed, having written a book on release 3. That she did not follow up with a book on release 4 or, more to the point, included that within this tome is just plain unfantomable (her CS 3 book is out of print but worth seeking out).

Pass on this disaster and save your pennies for the character animation book coming out in the fall that promises to cover CS 4 along with Max 7.