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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Kalen Delaney
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Just what I was looking for.

I would also disagree with the negative reviews here that rate the book at one or two stars. It is no where near that bad.
I am an experienced Oracle DBA who needs to support new SQL Server database applications in my company (a relatively new and unavoidable trend) so my concerns were questions concerning the history of the product, the memory and file architecture and internals, the support tools, the SQL interface, the optimizer, the database objects, etc. This books provides all this information and more.
If you are looking for a step-by-step installation and/or maintenace guide with lots of screen graphics or a design or special feature book (XML, etc), this is not the one for you. If that is the case it is not the fault of the writer. The book's front cover clearly says "The definitive guide to the architecture and internals of the premier enterprise class RDBMS" (a very debatable but not misleading statement). On this point the book definitely delivers. For the experienced DBA, it is well organized and not at all badly written.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Complete Study Guide, Deluxe Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Dan Newland
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Great as long as you don't want to pass the A+ exam

I am an Advanced IS Instructor at at Seattle area school and we teach computer repair with the A+ material presented in this book along with the lab booklet that is designed to go along with this book. We have seen many students who studied this material diligently take and fail the A+ exam time and time again. We do extensive hands-on and we use flash cards, do online testing, open Q&A sessions, etc. Still our students continue to come back to us saying the test has stuff on it that they have never even seen before. It is very discouraging. I know that the book has many mistakes in it as well. For instance, look at page 96 where it talks about USB. It says that it supports data transfer rates as high as 1.5 MBps. Now, look at page 867 where it tells you that USB has a total transfer rate of up to 12MBps. Think that is bad, wait...
Now go to page 97, where it tells you how Firewire 1394 has a very high (400 Mbps)(megabit)transmission rate while on page 839 it tells us how IEEE 1394 Firewire has a maximum data transfer rate of over 400 MBps (megabytes). Try teaching a class with these types of errors thoughout the book. It is not a pleasant experience, I assure you...
There are many other examples I could show you, but these two came from just one section on two pages facing each other. I think you can make up your own mind on this. I don't understand how so many people thought this book was "5-stars" great. It is poorly edited, opinionated, and not a good resource for the A+ exam being given today (adaptive test). It is version two...
Thanks, Jim Bennett

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Understanding .NET: A Tutorial and Analysis
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: David Chappell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Go Straight to the Heart of the Matter

If you looking for an easy to read, a quick, and concise primer on Microsoft's .NET there is no need to look anywhere else. Just a quick scan of the table of contents convinced me to take the plunge and purchase the book. Before I read this book, I had read some of the white papers on Microsoft's web site. Wow, was that tough reading!! Some of the information was good and yet it was really too raw to be an "easy read". I was looking for something that would begin to put some of my .NET puzzle pieces together. After reading David Chappell's book I now have the puzzle together with a very clear picture. I liked the balance he gives to the treatment of .NET vs. Java. He values both environments and understands the competition between both can only benefit software development going forward. I really liked the margin notes on each page of the book they are a real aid to capturing the main points from the adjoining paragraphs. Well, still thinking about whether to buy the book. If you consider your time valuable you will be repaid many times over because you have in a very concise and time sensitive treatment, .NET in a "nutshell". You can't get much smaller than that!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Robert Penner's Programming Macromedia Flash MX
Publisher: Osborne/McGraw-Hill
Authors: Robert Penner
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best FlashMX programming source of real information

I am a pretty discriminating purchaser of books, because I don't have much money to spend. I come from an OO applications programming and systems programming background and I've been using FlashMX since a few months after it came out. I read lots of books that are probably good for Designers working in Flash, but very very few good books for what programmers want to know. This book is the best I've seen yet. Most Flash programming books treat you like you've never written a line of code. This books doesn't start there, but rather teaches real concepts that will translate into code you will need to accomplish what you need to do in Flash. If you're looking for scripts to copy and don't have the desire to understand those scripts, then maybe look elsewhere, but if you are interested in understanding the code you write yourself, then buy this book. You will love it.