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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional ASP.NET Performance
Publisher: Wrox Press
Authors: Matt Odhner, Doug Thews, James Avery, James Greenwood, Andrew Reid, K. Scott Allen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Belongs on your shelf with other red books

It's a shame that apparently Wrox has scaled back their book line since nearly going out of business, as this is one of the most practical, useful books I've read on ASP .Net. The book covers a lot of areas that generally are overlooked in the generalized books. For example, a great tip is to do your data binding in Page_PreRender instead of Page_Load because it happens after postback events are handled, thus saving you from having to perhaps do it twice.
The book also goes into more detail about the usefulness and dangers of viewstate, session and application objects, lots on caching, etc. This book will make you a better code monkey. Try and get it!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Exchange Server Training
Publisher: Microsoft Pr
Authors: Kay Unkroth
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Dump this book and buy another one!!

After the first 500 pages of this book I am definitely searching for another book worth reading as this one certainly is not! The format appears to be an attempt at a modular writing style but shows evidence that many different people may have had their hands in on the writing. Numerous different writing styles were encountered with excessive amounts of duplication of subject matter. Unfortunately with the large amount of duplication this book also suffers from contradictions from one explanation to another of the same specific topic. A large number of basic grammatical errors were encountered causing confusion and ultimately a trip to the WEB in hopes of finding better explanations for what should have been a simple topic.
About the only possible use for this book, besides filling an empty bookshelf, is as a last resort reference after you have already spent hours elsewhere and can not find any other explanation for a question. If you have a logical mind and approach technical topics this way then stay clear of this book. It will only give you a headache!!! I have used other Microsoft Press books that were well written and that is the main reason I purchased this one. I am definitely surprised that Microsoft bothered to put their stamp of approval on this piece of drivel! The contents could easily be condensed into half its size and the remainder of paper used to provide a better in depth look at Exchange Server or to help save a tree!!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Steve Krug
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very good book for beginners

This is a very good book for somebody who is new in Web usability field. Useful for web developers, designers, project managers and marketing guys. Common sense approach, easy to read, understand and practise. (Much better than "Web pages that suck", which just gives some bad examples of web usability)

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
It's All The Programmers' Fault

I am a software development professional and have recently managed a project where I used a dedicated design team to define the way the software would interact with its users.
Cooper has a valid thesis - that we need dedicated design professionals to design software that works the way it's varied users (AKA personas) need it to. Unfortunately, Cooper spends an inordinate amount of time making the point that "Software that is hard to use is all the fault of those evil programmers who have too much power that they are unwilling to give up."
If you can get past the annoyance of the simplistic explanations and broad generalizations (there are many), Cooper has a number of good points:1) That designers who specialize in software interaction design should be the people responsible for software's interaction with its users2) You need to design for particular types of users (personas as he calls them - I've also seen the expression "role" or "user role" to describe similar concepts)3) Time spent designing software is time well spent
I would have like Cooper to reveal more about the methodology and particular deliverables that he uses when creating the design (making it easier to apply what he is advocating without hiring Cooper himself). Clearly, this book was written to increase the credibility and sales of Cooper's firm.