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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Michael Meyers, Scott Jernigan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
So easy to read!

This book turned out to be an oversized paper weight. It over covers the basics, and wastes lots of space talking in detail about long out of date "historical" info. The author spends too much time writing about detailed situations and personal experiences rather then getting to the point. I think he likes to hear himself talk? I passed both parts of the test but it had very little to do with what was in this book. Since the tests require the taker to be prepared for 80 questions out of 1000, the less that has to be read ensures the more important information that will be retained. Many of the topics and details covered on the test aren't even in this book. I don't know what other book to suggest, I just know that this one isn't sufficient to do the job of aiding a newcomer in passing the test. Maybe it's fine for someone with years of experience but not for a beginner.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Advanced Windows (Advanced Windows)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jeffrey Richter
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Another Desk Brick from Microsoft Press

This book is the "Bible" of Windows programming. It is the most complete view of the Win32 API I have ever seen, and shows real world application of some sophisticated topics, yet it is written in such a way that it's easy for anyone with a little computer experience to understand.
Even when I have to use API functions in VB, I find myself reaching for this book to explain the API calls better than the Win32 help file that comes with VC++.
This book really is a must read for anyone serious about programming in Windows.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning the vi Editor (6th Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Linda Lamb, Arnold Robbins
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Essential material clearly presented

Like all O'Reilly's books this is a must have. I use vi every day since a long time now (at work) and I have discovered in this book many tips I ignored for too much time. Beside all the things I knew already I found a brand new look to my favorite editor. Great. Even if I'm french :-)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Unix Power Tools, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Shelley Powers, Tim O'Reilly, Mike Loukides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A powerful tool to have

This is a rare kind of book. It is not well suited for front to cover reading. But you will be reading it all the time.
Unix system contains hundreds of tools, commands that can perform an amazing amount of tasks. Each one of them can be tailored by using parameters to perform his concrete function in a different way each time, the one that best fits your needs.
Of course, nobody master them all, or all their parameters. Unix users read man pages when they need to search a forgotten parameter, or an unknown tool. After months and years of work, each Unix user has a personal way of using the tools provided. Not always the best.
That is the place of this book. Several knowledgeable writers offer their years of experience condensed in a few "tricks" for a specific task you may want to do. For example, finding a file. You have a brief description of some of the most useful parameters you can use (not all, man pages are for that). Then the book displays some examples on using them: finding files older than X days, finding big files...
This is an excellent book for experts and beginners alike. The first time Unix user will have a help for finding "how to do that" in Unix. The expert will find new and innivative ways to use the commands he thought he mastered.
As many reviewers have said already, this book will not teach you how to set a machine or configure a server, but it will help to improve your performance and your overall knowledge of the tools you use, and the tools you should be using.