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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Unified Modeling Language User Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh, Ivar Jacobson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very useful for me

I took this chapter by chapter and went straight for what I was interested. Found it surprisingly easy to read. I liked the Common Modeling Techniques portion in each of the chapters which shows how you might use the UML diagram or notation.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mastering Windows 2000 Server
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Brian M. Smith, Doug Toombs, Mark Minasi
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
All of Mark Minasi's books are great references

I have a fun job of testing new technologies and make recommendations to management, therefore I walk unbeaten path often. Since Windows 3.1, each time I venture into a new Microsoft technology Mark Minasi's books have been there offering me valuable guidance. Don't let the title mislead you, it is a complete reference to many computer subjects. His easy approach helps you learn more than what you can from some of the dedicated books on the subject you are searching for, as it may be about MS Terminal server, IP Configuration, DNS or DHCP. A book of this size can not be read like a novel, hovever it is a great book for an administrator who may refer it every day, and also a practician like me who runs there in a hurry.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Software Project Management: A Unified Framework
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Walker Royce
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must have.

This is one of the top books on software project management. One of the best on the suject.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ How to Program (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Very Good Book on C++ (Emphasis on Beginners)

This book is probably 75% identical to the Deitels' "C How to Program" book (4th edition, like this book). So, for a little more information, you might take a look at my review of that book here on Amazon. The biggest differences between the books are:

- Even though most of the examples are the same, their implementations have been redone from a C perspective to a C++ perspective. This is not a C book with C++ tacked on. It's a C++ book that leverages examples from a C book. If you hadn't read the other book, you'd never know the examples didn't originate for use in this book.
- This book includes an Elevator Simulation case study using the Unified Modeling Language (UML) to emphasize the object orientedness of C++ and to show the reader how to implement a fairly good-sized project in C++.
- Although the C version of the book also includes a C++ segment, this book gives a far more in-depth coverage and includes some things that aren't included there (the Standard Template Library comes to mind).

So, which book to choose? If you're using these books for a class, there's no choice: get the one the class requires. If you're trying to learn C++ on your own from scratch, this book is the best choice. If you don't know whether you should learn C or C++, this is also the book to get: it's probably heresy to say, but if you know C++, you essentially know C. If you're a pure C type, you might pick up the C version as an excellent reference and read the segments on C++ and Java included in that book. Those segments are condensed enough that you shouldn't be bored going through them. As with the C book, in the preface of this book, the Deitels state that the book is for everyone (beginners to experts) who want to learn the language. They've made a very good stab at that goal, but realistically, I'd have to say that those who are professional programmers in other languages will find this book too long for their needs.

A couple of additional notes. First, the use of color in this book seems to be a recurring motif in the reviews here. I was very pleased with the book's use of color. As fully explained in the preface, all that color conveys information to the reader: it's not there for decoration. First, the code examples (and there are a lot of them) all have a light yellow background, so they are automatically offset from the rest of the text. Then, the type within the coding segments uses other colors to mean certain things: comments are in green, keywords are in dark blue, errors are in red, constants and literal values are in light blue, and all other code is in black. Newly introduced code is also highlighted for emphasis. This is very much in keeping with what various IDEs do to make code more readable (see any of Microsoft's Visual xxx products, the Eclipse Project Universal Tool Platform (specifically, the C/C++ Development Tools), and the Bloodshed Dev-C++ IDE). Beyond that, the book also uses colors to emphasize the titles of the programming tips in the text (i.e., Good Programming Practices, Common Programming Errors, Performance Tips, Portability Tips, Software Engineering Observations, and Testing and Debugging Tips). Again, all of this is an excellent way to convey more information to the reader and is not "distracting" in any way.

On an entirely different note, as an aside, this book is used in Florida State University's COP 3330: "Object-Oriented Programming" course.

Overall, this is a very good book. Experienced programmers might prefer something more terse, but all others will be pleased. I give it 4 stars out of 5.