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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning ASP Databases
Publisher: Wrox Press
Authors: John Kauffman, Kevin Spencer, Thearon Willis, John Kauffman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
More then Great !

I didn't know a thing about ASP. After i bought this book, everything was very clear, the information and the method used in this book are very easy to understand, i would say : a good book with a good teacher (Kauffman). Buy it today.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: John L. Hennessy, David A. Patterson, David Goldberg
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Lots of Details with Little Explanation

As others have stated, this book is full of advanced computer architecture concepts, details, and real-world case studies.
However, while using this book in a class, I have come to realize how poor of a job it does at explaining said topics. I almost gave this 2 stars for an educational text, but for overall use I gave it 3.
The examples in the book give the answer immediately and provide hardly any explanation as to the answer. The most explanatory portions of the text are figures, which you have to reason through with little help.
An analogy to an example in this text is this:
Problem:"Addition is the sum of two numbers. As an example, add 3 + 3."
Solution:"3 + 3 = 6. Hence, addition is a useful operation and we'll use it from now on."
This is slightly exaggerated, but is not much different from how this book treats topics that a student needs explained.
I congratulate the authors on their knowledge and credentials, but they need to do a better job at instructing their readers.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Perl for Bioinformatics
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: James D. Tisdall
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great book, leads to others for true mastery

Published in late 2003, this clearly-written book picks up where "Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics" leaves off. Perl is very commonly used in the field of bioinformatics, and this book does a good job of surveying the more advanced topics in perl from the bioinformatics point-of-view. For a more thorough treatment of each of these topics though, the student will need to explore more specialized titles.

While Tisdall's first volume teaches the core of procedural programming in Perl, this one takes you into the world of object-oriented (OO) programming. The first two chapters explore namespaces, modules, packages, references and data structures, all of which are prerequisites to OO programming. Common bioinformatics algorithms are introduced such as dynamic programming and approximate string matching.

The next three chapters, 3-5, are the meat of this title. Here objects, methods and classes are introduced. Rather than just throwing out independent examples, these topics are developed by starting and building upon a Gene class, the first of several through which Tisdall guides the reader. Due to the practicality of these examples, they can even be used and improved by the reader for use in their own work.

After this decent treatment of OO programming the book takes a turn into other realms of perl, each of which seems to have been written as a short introduction and for which other O'Reilly titles offer more complete coverage. These topics include the use of Perl to access relational databases, CGI programming and graphics generation using GD. If interested in any of these the reader should check out "Programming the Perl DBI", "CGI Programming with Perl" and "Perl Graphics Programming", respectively.

Tisdall wraps up with a much-needed coverage of Bioperl, a large collection of Perl modules for common bioinformatics operations. I looked forward to this section most of all and was fairly disappointed with its brief, 28-page coverage. The entire chapter can currently be downloaded for free from O'Reilly's website as a PDF, but the Bioperl website has better examples and even a contributed course, though good documentation is still lacking in some areas.

In all, I like this book because it does a good review of introducing object-oriented programming in Perl using relevant bioinformatics examples and introduces the reader to other topics including the DBI, CGI, and GD modules. While I believe this makes the book very useful, the coverage of each of the topics in this book will certainly not give the reader a mastery of any of them. For that, one will need to check out the three previously mentioned titles, along with "Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules." This book does a fine job of introducing these four titles from the bioinformatician's perspective.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Web Metrics: Proven Methods for Measuring Web Site Success
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Jim Sterne, Jim Sterne
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Everything You Need to Know

One key phrase from this book sticks in my mind and summarizes the entire theme of the book, "You know your Web site is serving pages. But is it serving company?" Indeed, this is the most business-focused book among the ones I've read on web metrics. The author focuses on two major areas: marketing and customer relationship management metrics, which are closely related. If you're seeking a more technical book, I recommend "Scaling for E-Business: Technologies, Models, Performance, and Capacity Planning" by Daniel A. Menasce and Virgilio A. F. Almeida.
Not only does this book go deeply into the business-related metrics, but it also shows how select the most meaningful metrics (you cannot economically measure or understand everything). It also shows you how to develop a strategy for gathering and using the metrics, including convincing upper management of the need for the strategy.
Interestingly, you can also take the information provided in this book and use it as the basis for a competitive intelligence strategy, because the very metrics that are meaningful to your business are also key indicators for your competitors. You can either benchmark your competitors, or determine if their measurement strategy is as mature as yours. While the author didn't explicitly cover this, the material in the book certainly gives you the foundation for such a strategy.
If you work in marketing or are responsible for CRM you'll find that the book's approach and wealth of ideas and techniques can be put to immediate use. As a side note, if you are using this book in conjunction with a CRM strategy, you'll also want to read "The CRM Handbook: A Business Guide to Customer Relationship Management" by Jill Dyché, which touches upon the metrics aspects presented in this book, and goes deeper into CRM.
In addition to the material presented in the book, the accompanying web site is equally as valuable, especially the numerous links to related material that is grouped by book chapter.