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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft ADO.NET Step by Step
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Rebecca M. Riordan
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good Intro to ado.net

First, this book assumes you are already familiar with either vb.net or c#.net. This may be the reason some others have had problems, as her examples require some familiarity. An example from early in the book is "Add a call to the RefreshValues procedure to the end of each of the CheckedChanged event handlers." If you don't understand that sentence, you will have a hard time getting through this. You will want to start with one of the vb.net books (I recommend Coding Techniques for Microsoft Visual Basic .Net by John Connell for starting out).
Otherwise, all of the sample code has worked fine and the errata listed on Microsoft's web site only has a few code sample problems.
So why 4 stars instead of 5? I think that she could have explained some of the topics and code a little more for those of us who are newbies to ADO. She seems to assume that the reader is familiar with ADO and is moving to ADO.NET and as a result does not explain some things quite as well as she could. One example of this is in DataTables. There is a table showing dofferent forms of the Tables.Add Methods. In the table, it shows 4 options and the text describing the entries in the table pretty much matches the table exactly. Then the examples only show 1 of the options and the remaining three options are never further explained or demonstrated.
The other problem I had was that there seems to be no point to the code. You will add a foreign key to a table and the code will add it and then display the name of the key you added. But then it is never used again in he program. There's a lot of how, but not very much why.
Still, I have used this book a few times now as a reference. It is the most complete book I have found so far in showing you how to do something in ADO.NET, so the technical content is very complete.
So, here's the summary. If you're already comfortable with VB.NET or C#.NET and especially if you are moving from ADO to ADO.NET, then I would recommend this book. If you are just starting with .NET programming, start elsewhere and then come back here. At the very least, it makes a good, complete reference to ADO.NET.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Developing Web Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual C# .NET, Second Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation, Jeff Webb, Microsoft Corporation
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good supplement for exam, not a learning tool

The book is good if it is used as a review tool before the exam. I learned using Wrox's Professional ASP.NET and MSDN. I bought this book to give me hints on what to brush up on. Used like that, it works well. There are a few hassles- e.g. there is a paragraph on tracing which suggests that pageOutput has to be false for tracing info to go into trace.axd (it doesn't matter, true or false). There are only 100 practice questions on the CD for the 2nd Ed, not 150. P.s. MeasureUp practice Qs are the best ones, harder than the exam.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Flash MX 2004 : Training from the Source (Training from the Source)
Publisher: Macromedia Press
Authors: Jen deHaan
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good - but inconsistent on format

The book made for easy reading, and I was able to knock it out in just a few days. The biggest problem I had was the inconsistent way of how the step by step instructions work. At the beginning of each step, they have a "summary" of what you are going to do in bold, then it proceeds to give detailed instructions on how to do it. For the most part, this holds true, but sometimes, the instructions picked up from the bold part, having expected you to have performed that already??? Also found several invalid references to variables.. and other mistakes, such as telling you to add labels to specific frames, before telling you to add keyframes at those positions. It had the feel of a step by step book, that nobody bothered taking the time to test before publishing. Other than that, it was an okay book, and had a realistic in depth example to work with and build upon.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Data Mining: Concepts and Techniques
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: Jiawei Han, Micheline Kamber
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Impossible to Read

I've been working with Data Warehousing for a few years, and stumbled upon this book here on Amazon a few weeks ago. I was leery at first because of it's obvious textbook price/look, but purchased it anyway, much to my delight.
The book provides a very vendor neutral view of Data Warehousing and Data Mining, many data mining ideas and examples are presented throughout the book without any specific programming language used. I feel it allows you to implement the idea in your preferred method.
I found the book more than worth the price, in fact I was asked to give a guest lecture/presentation at a University Data Mining class in the Spring and will definitely pull from this book for my presentation.