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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Executive's Guide to Information Technology
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Jon Piot, John Baschab
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Extremely in-depth & informative, but also easy to read

The Executive's Guide to Information Technology is book focused on the "business" pieces of managing IT, such tasks as IT organization design, vendor selection and management, communicating with business users, IT human resource management, establishing IT steering committees and managing the overall demand within the IT department. The book fills the gap between abundant vocational "how to" books and the business of managing the whole IT function.
Overall the book does a good job making the case that the key principles it outlines are the best predictors of a successful IT department. The book is replete with real-life, and often humorous anecdotes from the authors experiences in turning around distressed IT departments. IT managers will quickly recognize many of the symptoms of an IT department in trouble. The book is written in a fairly readable, conversational tone, and there are charts and graphics throughout to further explain key points.
At just over 500 pages, the book is lengthy compared to competing offerings. However, it is written in a way that lets the reader pick and choose specific chapter topics, without losing much of the context. Additionally, the book includes a CD-ROM with documents, spreadsheets and links to the underlying research that went into the book, making the book a good value.
In all, the book is a relatively easy read, thought-provoking, and a great reference for IT managers (or aspiring managers) who want to learn to think like senior executives and ensure that their IT departments are running on all cylinders.
Opening chapters on "why MIS departments matter" and the symptoms of under-performing IT departments.
Vendor selection and vendor management chapters.
IT steering committee chapter - why have one, what it can help IT accomplish.
IT budgeting chapter - shows key components of IT budgdet, how-to's and benchmarking information.
Nice forward by a Prof from Harvard.
Portion of chapters on IT organization describing in painstaking detail the exact roles and responsibilities for every position on the IT team. This stuff needs to be there to make the book comprehensive, but not new news for experienced IT professionals.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C# Network Programming
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Richard Blum
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent coverage of the basics of network programming

This is a good book for learning network programming especially from Microsoft .NET viewpoint. The book has extensive coverage of Sockets which is the standard API for programming with TCP/IP. I am teaching a new course on Internet Protocols and Client-Server Programming and I am thinking of adopting the book as a reference for the programming labs we do in the course. I have few minor shortcomings on the book which I will pass to the author directly but overall the book is very good.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Active Server Pages 3.0 (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: David Buser, John Kauffman, Juan T. Llibre, Brian Francis, Dave Sussman, Chris Ullman, Jon Duckett
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the best introductory books ever

All programming books are both overwritten and underwritten.
When you begin reading and learning the content is simply too much. As you progress you find yourself seeking other resources for "filler" information.
I didn't realize until I grew frustrated with the book how effective it was. I had gone from a complete beginner to someone who could put together access driven web applications and I didn't even realize how far I had come.
I now have over 30 programming and database books that is use as resource guides for particular problems etc. Each book helps me get past a certain problem/hurdle. Like a lawyers library I couldn't proceed without it.
That is simply the nature of programming these days. We beginners often underestimate the amount of knowledge expert programmers have. The trick is to take what we can from each resource. In order to progress we must keep adding to the resource collection.
This book is the staple of my collection. I refer to it almost daily and as my knowledge base expands I find myself making better use of it.
So its a must for the beginner in my opinion. Whether you just want a foundation to take free script from ASP Programming sites, edit it, and add it to your projects or you are looking to chase a programming degree or career this book gets you rolling.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Assembly Language for Intel-Based Computers (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Kip R. Irvine
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Can be used only as reference, not for learning.

It is obvious that the book is very poorly organized, I haven't seen worse. And looks that it is done deliberately, to confuse the reader from the beginning to the end. The book is not for beginners, and can be used mostly as reference. I wonder why colleges continue to use it as learning material - don't they have any choice? I'm very much afraid to fail the class with that text.