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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional Web Site Design from Start to Finish
Publisher: How Design Books
Authors: Anne-Marie Concepcion
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A rare gem of applicable knowledge.

It is seldom that you find such a beneficial book so easy to understand. As both a professional and casual web designer, I not only uncovered many things in this book that I knew nothing of, but my knowledge of things such as professional design planning was increased exponentially. This is a MUST HAVE for anyone who considers themselves a web designer, as a reference or as an educational guide. Concepcion, being a seasoned magazine writer, approaches very complex tasks in a down-to-earth manner, making it easy for beginners to understand, while not alienating someone more advanced like myself. I know what all of my fellow webmaster will be receiving for Christmas this year.

Product: Book - CD-ROM
Title: CCNA Virtual Lab, Platinum Edition (640-801)
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Todd Lammle, William Tedder
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Won't run on Win98

Despite what it says on the box and on the CD jewel case, this software will neither intall nor run on Win98. It requires NT4, Win2K or WinXP. Of course, you have to buy the software, have the install fail, and email Sybex tech support before they tell you that...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential COM
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Don Box
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The book is fantastic but requires your cooperation

The book is the best COM book I've read. I was tempted to give it 5 stars, but IMHO the only thing which prevents it from being perfect is that different chapters have different levels of complexity. Chapters introducing interfaces and classes are incredible. But when describing apartments, author quickly goes into details about marshalling. IMHO most of experienced developers are good enough to easily capture the essence of interfaces and classes, but understanding apartments is a traditionally difficult task. When reading the book, I had to have breaks just to make some drawings to epxlain to myself how apartments work. But if I didn't have to solve synchronization problems in my previous projects, I might have been left wihout understanding why do we need apartments in COM at all. I also think that low level details about custom marshalling are not really necessary.
However, this book is a must for a COM developer. But you should be really willing to learn the foundations of COM. I read a complaint from another reader that the author doesn't even mention MFC, and I must strongly disagree. COM is not about MFC or ATL etc. It is other Windows-based products that should refer to COM if they want to stay in touch with reality.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Basic.NET How to Program, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Tem R. Nieto
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Visual Basic.net How To Program

This is an excellant book on Visual Basic.Net for either classroom use or as a self taught course