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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ Primer (4th Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman, Josée Lajoie, Barbara E. Moo
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
this book is not a primer, nor a decent reference item


This book does a very good job of explaining the facets of the C++ programming language in detail, but, at the same time, in plain english. I do have to say that the order in which the author chooses to present some of his topics is a bit peculiar, but if this isn't your first object-oriented programming language, then you should have no trouble adjusting. Very complete and a heck-of-a-lot more readable then "The C++ Programming Language."



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Interaction Design for Managers?


This is a book about Interaction Design. I feel I need to say that right off the bat since the title, "The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity," as wordy as it is, doesn't say that. In the preface Cooper explains that the purpose of the book is to make a business case for Interaction Design. Therefore he wrote a book for managers. It's full of wacky metaphors not only in the title, but throughout the book. (Add this to the list of oddly-titled business and management book titles: Who Moved My Cheese? Crossing the Chasm, Swim With the Sharks, and so forth.)
I'm not a manager, so I can't say whether this book succeeds in making a persuasive business case for Interaction Design. It was heartening to see validation for my area of expertise in black and white. This is not a book for software engineers to read, though, as Cooper seems to have a real problem with programmers. Where Don Norman blamed bad design on designers in The Psychology of Everyday Things, here Cooper places the blame for bad software products directly on programmers.
An Interaction Design book written for Interaction Designers would have included more details about how to create and use Personas and Scenarios (two of Cooper's design techniques), and perhaps some advice on how to gain control and respect on interactive projects. But we don't get that.
This isn't quite the book about Interaction Design that Interaction Designers need. It does introduce important ideas and techniques, and does describe, in some detail, the problem of programmer-driven products. But I didn't feel that the solutions were covered well enough.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An excellent reference for anyone setting up web sites.


I liked just about everything about this text by Elizabeth Castro. The only place where I would fault it is the difficulty I had in reading the type in the demo sidebars.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe GoLive 6.0 Classroom in a Book (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Adobe Press
Authors: Adobe Creative Team
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A First Impression Only


This review's only a first impression of the book - I bought GoLive only recently and concluded that it was powerful enough that I was going to need some sort of coursebook to get the best out of it rather than just winging it.
Unfortunately, from a first glance it doesn't appear to include anything on some of the features I wanted clarification on - I've had to get that information elsewhere.
What it does cover - most of the standard stuff you'll need to create webpages and manage a site, how to make use of Smart Objects, how to do site design diagrams. What it doesn't cover - dynamic content.
As with the other Adobe Classroom In A Book I've tried (on Illustrator 10), the first chapter leads you through a very basic example using a fairly wide range of features, so you feel that you've actually done something useful. Then, in the next lesson, it takes you back to stuff like "How to organize your workspace" and similar basic stuff which tends to frustrate, since you've just spent the last lesson moving windows and palettes around.
Still, not a bad book - I intend to finish working through it - if it can't teach me anything about using dynamic content (which I've figured out for myself) at least it looks like it'll cover most other stuff.