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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book can bend your brain, and leave it changed forever

What a terrific book! I'm only halfway through, but am searching for a copy so i can finish reading it. It's truly a tremendous book. I started it thinking I'd learn some more about math (I was introduced to the book by a math teacher) but found way more than that. I literally see the world in a different way, and am constantly thinking about the ideas presented in GEB. It's an intellectual journey you'll never quite recover from. Absolutley Brilliant!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Linux Firewalls (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Robert Ziegler
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Poorly organized and doesn't explain concepts

I thought the book started out right, with some background on IP addresses, subnets, routing, and a definition of packet filtering. It also does a fairly good job describing what ipchains is, but it never put the whole picture together for me. The book kept repeating the same basic information about ipchains and then it gave many, many examples of the different permutations of commands and parameters to use to configure ipchains. I would have rather had a complete description of the command and how best to use it along with some constructive examples.
Also, the book never gave me a front to back picture of how packets flow through the firewall and are routed and filtered and in what order everything happens. I ended up resorting to the LINUX HOWTO documentation, which gave me more of what I was looking for.
If you already know something about networking and Linux, I'd recommend reading the LINUX HOWTO documentation and if you're hungry for a professional-level firewall book, pick up "Building Internet Firewalls (2nd Edition)" from O'Reilly.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Handbook of Applied Cryptography
Publisher: CRC Press
Authors: Alfred J. Menezes, Paul C. Van Oorschot, Scott A. Vanstone
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Shucks! No in depth discussion of elliptic curve crypto!!!

A disappointing book for those who expected a discussion of elliptic curve cryptography. I bought this book "blind" (from Amazon without first perusing it in a library) and so did not know what to expect. The authors spend one paragraph on elliptic curves and state that an in-depth discussion of such is beyond the scope of the book. The book is however a very good one for discussing most of the other approaches to cryptography. A serious student/practioner of cryptography should have this on his/her shelf, but supplemented by some of the other books on elliptic curve cryptography. The authors could no doubt write a second edition of this book which includes a discussion of elliptic curve cryptography. The handbook would then become a "Bible" of cryptographic specialists. -From a worshipper of elliptic curves.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Principles of Color Design
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Wucius Wong
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
the truth about this book

It explains very well the color principle and some design techniques. It is a good book for beginning graphic artists with no formal art background (those who never studied art/GD in school). There are 5 parts to this book. Part one establishes desing principles, part 2 examines common color principles related to the use of color pigments, part 3 helps the beginner develop systematic color thinking with the aid of excercises, part 4 introduces priciples and techniques for generating colors on the computer and part 5 presents color sets and guides for attaining color harmony.
Note, however, that this book is a bit outdated. It showed when trying to explain certain design techniques using old version Photoshop tool bar.