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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Data Modeling Handbook : A Best-Practice Approach to Building Quality Data Models
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Michael C. Reingruber, William W. Gregory
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
I'd rather visit the dentist

This book is about as much fun to read as a book about differential equations. Good concepts, but the context is very dry and puts me to sleep. I've been in the industry for several years, and I bought this book as a reference. But I find myself cringing every time I need to use it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Flash Math Creativity
Publisher: Friends of ED
Authors: Keith Peters, Manny Tan, Jamie MacDonald
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Forget the Coffee Table...Keep this One by the Computer

This is honestly one of the best books that I've picked up in a long time. There are so many books lately, that appear to be nothing more than a ploy at being the first book on the latest release of such and such software application. Flash Math Creativity avoids using interface clips from the Flash authoring environment, in order to concentrate on the content and not on something that has a much more limited shelf life. This book has so much to offer beyond getting acquainted with Flash 5 or MX or whatever. Becuase of the choice of displaying only raw code, it's probably not the best choice for a beginning Flash user. The examples, although excellent, aren't always well annotated, and often leaves you scratching your head -- but that's part of the fun.
I really appreciate the fluid examples, and the challenge of using the provided content for further investigation. These experiments should keep me busy for some time.
The graphics are quite beautiful and it would be hard to look at them and ignore the value of these creations on the basis that it doesn't have a practical application in the area of web design, as one reviewer stated. Plus, when did I start reading books and enjoying Flash only to do corporate stuff.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Terrific History of Cryptography!

I found The Code Book an extremely interesting and informative read. I think Singh did a phenomenal job at bringing together the numerous length of history and presenting it to the common reader in a easy, readable fashion. I am impressed once again at Singhs' ability to create such a organized and clear work like he accomplished in Fermats' Enigma. I knew nothing of cryptography before reading The Code Book, but now I know not only the history, but many techniques of encoding and decrypting as well. The figures behind the process were equally fascinating and I found out about many people that I previously knew nothing about. I found the explanations behind Mary Queen of Scots, the Enigma, the Navajo code, Bletchly Park, RSA, and quantum cryptography to be both intriguing and educational. I would highly recommend this book.

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
A Fantastic HTML Reference & Tutorial

A few years ago, I decided to learn about the organization and construction of Internet WebPages. As with any computer-related topic, there are many, many books available from a variety of authors. I settled upon Elizabeth Castro's "HTML For the World Wide Web, Visual Quickstart Guide, Fourth Edition". I found it to be a very well organized, well-written and easily understood reference that can also be used as a tutorial for learning HTML. In fact, within a few hours of going through the book, I was creating my own WebPages using a variety of tags using Elizabeth Castro's clear explanations which not only describe the correct syntax for all of the HTML tags, but their purposes also. She also explains the contents of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and touches upon the incorporation of JavaScript (with a few simple JavaScript examples) and the insertion of applets. (Note: the writing of applets themselves, as well as the writing of complex JavaScript, is beyond the scope of this book.)
One of the best aspects of this book are the distinctions that Elizabeth Castro documents regarding differences in behavior of various HTML tags between the two major Internet browsers: Internet Explorer and Netscape. If you are concerned about the appearance of your WebPages on the two major browsers, it is very important to note these specific tag behavioral differences to ensure that the WebPages will appear correctly on both browsers, or to encourage a user to use one browser or the other for best viewing results.
Overall, I rate "HTML For the World Wide Web, Visual Quickstart Guide, Fourth Edition" with 5 out of 5 stars. If you are planning to create your own WebPages, this book is a definite must-have, or you can get Elizabeth Castro's newer release, which includes XHTML.