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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: After Effects in Production: A Companion for Creating Motion Graphics
Publisher: CMP Books
Authors: Trish Meyer, Chris Meyer
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Rare gem

There are plenty of reviews so I just wanted to comment on the "suggested progression" of preceding this book with "Creating Motion Graphics" by the same authors. There is no need to have gone through "Creating Motion Graphics" before using this book. At most,I'd recommend this book IMMEDIATELY after Chapter ONE of "Creating Motion Graphics" since this book is VERY step-by-step, and when one is just starting out, it is MUCH more helpful to go through several complete and broad projects to get ones feet wet(such as this book) than learning, in depth, a few concepts at a time, which is what you get in the first book if you go through chapters 2 and further. (You might be able to skip the first book altogether if you're already familiar with the adobe interface -- which I was NOT). After completing this book, THEN I'd suggest continuing in the first book at chapter 2 -- so that learning the concepts they teach in depth in that book have more meaning.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Practice of System and Network Administration
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Thomas A. Limoncelli, Christine Hogan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

I agree with some of the worse reviews: This book addresses all the touchy-feely stuff not found in other manuals.

That, however, is what it's for (It's plainly stated on the book! Read the friendly Meta-Manual!) and it <em>is</em> in fact a wonderfully lucidly written cornucopia of information in that field. It also is delightfully platform-independent, even if it is perceivable that the authors have a UNIX background (but which Sysad doesn't?).

It's a simple fact that Sysads get other things wrong more often than the tech stuff: Communicating changes, seeing it all from the user's POV, negotiating (yes, they deal with salary, too), saying "yes" so that it isn't understood as "yes to all"; saying "no" so that it isn't understood as "fsck you!".

That's why we're often hated as arrogant BOfHs. This manual endeavours to fix that, and it just might succeed.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional Assembly Language (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Richard Blum
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
For the High Level Programmer Going Low Down

Be aware that this book is very Intel oriented, specifically the 32 bit Intel Pentium family sometimes called X86 or more officially IA-32 (Intel Architecture - 32 Bit). If you're working on a Motorola, Sparc or any other architectured machine, go buy a different book.

Having said that, within the Intel world, this book is an excellent introduction on how the IA-32 architecture has developed over time. It is a good introduction to the basic concepts of assembly language programming. It's a fairly high level book, aimed at the programmer who works in C++ or something like that who might want to optimize his code or at least understand what the compiler did to him.

To go with the book, you probably want to go to the Intel web site and download the Software Developer Manuals for the processor you are using (it's about 12 meg for the Pentium 4) or you can order them on a CD. But start with this book, it provides a basis, a foundation that will make the Intel manuals a lot easier to get around.

Good book to start out with assemblers.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learn to Program with Java
Publisher: Osborne/McGraw-Hill
Authors: John Smiley
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best introductory technical book I've read

In short, if you really want to get the basics of Java, buy this book.