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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macs For Dummies, Eighth Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: David Pogue
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Learn your Mac the easy way!


Honest, folks, what I knew about the Mac was this: start it up, & that's about it. I bought my Mac, and shortly thereafter picked up a copy of this wonderful book, and learned my entire Macintosh within about a week. In my opinion, Apple should bundle this fantastic book with every Mac sold, and include a coupon for the purchase of More Macs for Dummies, as well! The author, David Pogue, is very accessable to his readers, as well, by email and online, and is just a delightful fellow, as is reflected in this book. Keep a copy right next to your Mac for easy reference



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Service-Oriented Architecture : A Field Guide to Integrating XML and Web Services
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Thomas Erl
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
What This Book Is and Is Not.


I had high expectations when I ordered this book, and just having completed it, I felt like taking the time to share my opinions. I've read numerous computer books on various subjects. Most follow predictable form, and there's nothing wrong with that. These types of books meet an educational requirement and the more predictable they are the easier it is for readers to use them. This, however, is not such a book, and nor does it claim to be. This book calls itself a Field Guide - a guide you would want with you when you are in "the field". As such, it is structured with quick reference in mind. Not the type of quick reference guide you'd use to look up language syntax or reserved characters. This is a reference guide that you look to for cold, hard advice. If you are struggling with the many new issues that SOA and XML are hitting all of us with, you would use this guide to look for answers. And, on that basis, it really delivers. The author clearly has a depth of expertise that would cost an arm and a leg right now to hire. He has spilled his guts with this book, sharing not only product knowledge but also insights. The real benefit of this book is the insight, because that represents a body of knowledge gained from experience. That type of knowledge is hard to come by, which is why I can see this guide becoming valuable to organizations who lack experience with the whole XML/WS/SO field. I'm reluctant to give any book five stars. I feel that rating should be reserved for books that achieve unparalleled levels of excellence. I gave it four stars, because I feel this book is very, very good. It sets out to cover a cross section of organizational and technical areas that are most likely to be impacted by the arrival of SOA and all that comes with it. It blends strategic advice with best practices and an abstract exploration of common architecture blueprints. What the author has chosen to cover is appropriate and the manner in which he communicates the subject matter is efficient. I have no quarrels with recommending this guide, and I know I will continue to reach for it as new issues come my way in the future. If I had to change one thing about this book, it would be the location of the SOA modeling tutorials. For some reason they were placed at the end of the book, away from the other tutorials. I think a knowledge of SOA fundamentals up-front would help readers better understand the rest of the guide. Finally, I'd like to comment on what this book is not. This book does not talk about specific programming languages or middleware products. It sticks to standards, common architecture and general best practices. I find that approach appropriate for the world of SOA. SOA is fundamentally about neutral standards and platform independence. That makes this book also useful for just about any environment. Regardless of what vendor platform you are currently subscribing to, most of the information expressed in this book will be relevant, or, at the very least, of interest. This is equally useful from a learning perspective. Learning about XML/WS/SOA, middleware and integration without having to learn about the specific characteristics or unique features of commercial products gives you a reference point and plenty of ammunition for when you actually need to assess the product marketplace. Obviously, if you are working in a Java environment, you will want books on Java to build your systems. But when you design your system, I'd reference this book first. It helps you design a better architecture in abstract, before you implement your system with whatever development tools you choose. In other words (and to finally conclude this review), this book will not help you build Web Services. It will help you prepare for them, design them, position them, and integrate them.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A+ Certification for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ron Gilster
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Only a Complete Dummie could fail after reading this book


This book covered the test materials as completely as possible. I didn't have any problem passing this test (96%) after reading only this book. My friends recommended it to me. They were right. I'm just starting in this field and found this book easy to understand. Way to go Mr. Gilster. Thanks for writing a book easy enough for any Dummie to understand. Thanks for helping us to pass the A+ Certification test.
Anybody who can't pass the A+ Certification test after reading this book did NOT read this book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Google Hacks, 2nd Edition (Hacks)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Must-have reference tool.


This book is one that every computer geek should own. Google Hacks is a companion reference book for the mother of all search engines, Google. This awesome volume contains the history of how Google came to be, tips and tricks to get the search engine to give you exactly what you need, and fun games you can play on Google - such as the ever popular Google Whacking. I plan to not only buy a copy of this book, but also recommend at the next staff meeting that all my co-workers read at least the first part of Google Hacks.