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Product: Book - CD-ROM
Title: Cisco CCNA Network Simulator: CCNA Self-Study, Router Simulation Software for Hands-On CCNA 640-801 Skills Enhancement
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Boson Software Inc.
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Shop around, there's better

It's hard to believe that Cisco/Boson is still using Visual Basic in a "modern" product. And not the .net flavor either. If they can't update the application to a modern language and a serious user interface, it makes you wonder where else they are cutting corners. Although it might support the certification, I found this router simulation too clunky to use.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Moving to VB .NET: Strategies, Concepts, and Code
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Daniel Appleman, Dan Appleman
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Nothing Special

Appleman's Developing ActiveX Components with Visual Basic 5.0 was so good that I bought Developing COM/ActiveX Components with Visual Basic 6.0 when it came out. Both of these were among the very best VB books of all time. Unfortunately, Moving to VB.NET is not in the same camp. The book tries to introduce VB6ers into VB.NET, but does a very bad job of getting from A to B. Most developers can understand most of .NET after discovering that it's 80% Java with keywords changed. Instead of starting with this foundation, the book wastes a lot of space explaining prinicples that are new to only the most hardcore Microsoft zealots. In Appleman's defense, this book was first published when .NET was still in beta and was likely rushed to press. Don't get me wrong, there is some great technical content here as Appleman is still a great technician and good at explaining the "internals" of things. The COM Interop and Accessing the Win32 API chapter is particularly good and helped me get through a VB6/VB.NET integration project. If you're totally new to VB.NET and find this book on sale, buy it; otherwise, don't bother.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Study Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Toby Skandier
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Has most of what you need to know...

I took and passed the Network+ exam today using this book almost exclusively to prepare for the exam. I passed with a 780/900. I have to let it be known to others out there preparing for this test that this book does not contain ALL the information you need to know. This book will touch on most subjects, but many subjects do not go in-depth enough for this to be the all-knowing Network+ study companion. To be more specific from what I can recall from the test, there were some very specific questions about Linux client configuration and DSL configuration that were not discussed about at all in this book. Strong points of the book are the tables and graphics, they will point out all the major specifications you will need to memorize for this test. The most notable ones I recall are the well-known ports and IEEE 802 standards. The included CD has alot of practice questions even though as mentioned in some of the other reviews there are some typos and some conflicting technical information that can confuse the reader. I was going to give this book a 3 star rating, but realizing that this book still did help me to pass the exam, I have given in a 4 star instead. Just remember, it doesn't have EVERYTHING. Good luck out there.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential ActionScript 2.0
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Colin Moock
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Flat out incredible

As a long time Flash Developer and having used ActionScript 1.0 extensively, I have really benefitted from this book. Colin answers so many questions about best practices and takes an extremely practical approach to Flash development - obviously born of considerable experience. His explanation of OOP is very good as well. I can't recommend this book enough. Just get it - it has the answers you're looking for.