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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Step-By- Step.
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Michael Halvorson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Something Awful!

Slave females are expected to use all of their abilities to please their masters. Since one of the most pleasurable things a man and woman can do together is have sex, slaves are used often for sexual purposes. On Gor, a woman subjected to sexual use as a slave is not permitted to hold back or inhibit herself in any way. Surprisingly to the Terran, but not to the Gorean, the slave female finds that she cannot help but respond deeply and powerfully to the use of a master: her biological tendency to submission, when allowed to manifest itself, rewards her with extraordinary pleasure in sexual use and sexual drives far beyond what the free woman can experience. Gorean slave girls have been known to break their own bones on the bars of their cages trying to touch a man when they have been secured for a long time.
This book is not like that at all. It is very light and fluffy, lacking substance. All that is covered in this book is covered in the first twenty pages of the "Visual Basic 6.0 Programmers Guide" also published by micro$oft press.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Martin Fowler
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Implementation Techniques

Well, I finally got through this one, so it's time to write the review...

I have to say I was disappointed by this book. Even though it's presented a MF's Signature book, in hardcover no less, the author tells us he just expects it to be "useful". Yes Martin, it is, but I expected it to be excellent, not just useful.

Another, bigger problem is that the title is very misleading: those like me looking to find something on the level of the Gamma and Alur books beware, the are very few design patterns here, as this deals mostly with implementations techniques. A title like "Strategies for Enterprise Applications" would be more accurate so you know upfront what to expect.

It has also been noted that it fails short on the Enterprise tag, discussing neither security, nor messaging or deployment, and I agree. Finally, I feel it also fails in providing "a pattern language" since there are just too many of them presented, with too many words on them.

But even as flawed as it is, I find it a good book, that will teach you some tricks you may have missed, and is also an invaluable introduction and teaching tool (just not for those of us already deep into design and architecture).

A very positive feature of the book is that it denies neither J2EE nor .NET, playing to the advantages of both depending on the subject at hand. However, for true design patterns in those technologies get the excellent "Core J2EE Patterns" and "Enterprise Solution Patterns using .NET" respectively instead.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Authors: Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, J.D. Wiker, Steve Sansweet
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
better than the original?

To be honest, I was exceptional sceptic about this... Oh goody, an other d20 product. My dislike for the d20 is grounded on the fact, that you need something like a nuclear fission bomb to kill a 20 lvl fighter, among other things and the old West End Games) Star Wars was really deadly. Well, no doubt about it... this one has the same appeal. Suddenly, the guy with a holdout blaster can get you into real trouble and that makes gaming so much more interesting. As the Star Wars Universe expanded after Episode VI was done and gone, so did the Star Wars RPG after WotC baught the rights and relaunched it. The modular system allows for a story-driven appoach to character development without complication and balancing the game is not hard since Jedis are only Twi`Leks, too (or Whookies, Trandoshans, Humans, whatever) and not some overpowered fighting machines. The layout is great, full colour through and through, which is a rare thing in RPG books, and the rules are easy comprehendable. Furthermore, this is the book you need. That`s it. Oh, sure there are other great books about the Star Wars RPG out there, but to PLAY you only need this. Therefore, a great buy for a Star Was Fan and people who like to become one.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle SQL by Example, Third Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Alice Rischert
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book is Awesome!!

This book by Alice Rischert is one of the greatest Oracle SQL books ever written. I purchased the 1st edition of this book back in the day and it helped me pass the Oracle 8i OCP SQL exam. After reading the 1st edition, I was very much compelled to purchase the 3rd edition. The 3rd edition of the book is much better with all the errors from the previous versions corrected. This is the book they use for the students at Columbia University in New York. After you read this book and do all the exercises and test your thinking projects, you become a master of the subject. If you want to learn Oracle SQL, there is no greater learning tool than this book. Indeed, there is much time, effort, and loads of quality and research put into this book. The format of the book is reading and then hands-on labs which reinforce the topics you just read. After you read this book you should purchase the Oracle PL/SQL by Example third edition. It goes hand-in-hand with this book. AFterward, you'll know enough to go take the Oracle SQL and PL/SQL exam.