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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An excellent overview of cryptanalysis

As he did in Fermat's Enigma, Singh succeeds in communicating recondite mathematical concepts to the non-mathematician in The Code Book. But the plot thickens in Singh's second; what if being the first to find, "The Proof," meant having the upper hand in matters of terrorism, or the key to victory in World War? Singh shows that cipher-math has played an important role in historical events, and will continue to play a role in the security of individuals, corporations, and countries.
While I won't be losing sleep trying to win the book's $15,000 Cipher Challenge, (I've got a Pentium II) I will now think hard about how cipher technology is used and regulated. Should the government be allowed to prohibit absolute cipher-security to protect citizens from harm, or does the right to privacy outweigh the risk of computer-aided crime and terror? I'm not the one with the recipe for Coke under his pillow, but if I were, thoughts of cipher legislation would keep me from resting easily.
I really enjoyed The Code Book, but it should have been thicker with the stories for which Singh suggested there wasn't enough room. I hoped for more stories about the race between cryptographers and cryptanalysts, desperate to gain any intelligence advantage, holding the future of the free world in their hands; as a diversion from the objectives of the book, Singh chose only to relate the cracking of Linear-B. (Not quite "The Day of the Jakcal.") Otherwise, however, The Code Book is, "Uif Tiju!"

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential .NET, Volume I: The Common Language Runtime
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Don Box
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A good "Don Box book"

This book is written by a professional architect for professional developers but not immediately for primers. The content is clear, precise and describes in depth all important technical aspects of the CLR. I am waiting the volume 2 - XML Web Services.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows XP Inside Out, Second Edition (Inside Out)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, Craig Stinson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The One on My Desk

This is the book I keep on my computer table standing just to the left of my monitor. And I have to admit that I've never read it. When the operating system is doing funny things, this is the book I reach for. The index is good enough that I can usually find what I need to know with only a couple of trys. And when I get to the area I want, the writing is clear enough that I can fix whatever it is that's giving trouble at the moment.

I don't know if it covers everything there is to know about XP, but I don't care. It has so far told me anything that I wanted to know.

I'm going to quit writing this review now. Someone just brought me a company notebook that was used by an ex-employee who left no record of the password. The book has an entry in the index - Passwords, Recovering From Lost. What more can you possibly ask of a book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning JavaScript Second Edition
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Paul Wilton
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Beware: Not the Second Edition!

I already have a copy of the year 2000 edition of this book and it was a great book. I found this 2003 book and I ordered one because I thought it was the second edition. But I WAS WRONG. It is exactly the same as the 2000 edition, covering only NN up to ver 4 and IE up to 5. I had to return it at my own expense.
If you already have a first edition, DON'T BUY this book. You would end up with two copies of the same book. If you don't have a first edition, I would still recommend JavaScript Bible by Danny Goodman or O'Reilly's JavaScript than this book. They are more up-to-date.