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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Study Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Toby Skandier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Passed the Network+ Exam with a 97%

Take your time and get a firm grasp of all of the concepts offered in this book and you will pass the Network+ Exam with no trouble. The Chapter questions were very similar to the Live Exam questions.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Robin Williams Design Workshop
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Robin Williams, John Tollett
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great Ideas!

I have really enjoyed this book. Being a designer, I sometimes need ideas to help get me going, and this book provides it in spades. I really like the way that the author took some ideas from concept, through to completion. It really provides a great insight into the designer's mind. I wholeheartly recommend this book!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A+ Exam Cram 2 (Exam Cram 220-221, Exam Cram 220-222)
Publisher: Que
Authors: James G. Jones, Craig Landes
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
How can I convince you not to buy this book?

Three weeks ago I read the reviews of this book on Amazon.com, which were mixed, and decided to give it a shot. Oh cruel fate, why me? Why didn't you warn me, faithful reviewers? And why did I open the enclosed software, making it impossible to get my money back?

This book is awful. Number one problem: It's simply too long and has too much useless information. I'm talking 50% - 75% useless. The history of what company invented which cable and what lawsuits they had and why they invented the cable and on and on and on and on and IT NEVER STOPS! Dozens of paragraphs start with the phrase "you won't need to know this for the exam..." Worse still, dozens of paragraphs END with phrases like "you won't be expected to memorize any of this for the exam." Well gee, why did I just read it then?

The second problem is the author's use of analogy to explain concepts. So the parallel port is the yellow brick road, and the data bits are Dorothy and her pals, and the bus is like the gateway to the emerald city, and the port is like the evil gatekeeper, and the CPU is the wizard of Oz ... Are we supposed to rent the movie so we can understand this or what?

The book is darned clever. Oh my it's clever. The author is a regular Dave Barry. I've read dozens of technical books, and sometimes it's nice when the author breaks up the monotony by surprising you with a "zinger." But every page? Quite annoying.

The book has trouble deciding who its audience is. Sometimes it points out the painfully obvious. ("Alcohol is a liquid that evaporates" - No kidding!) Other times the book drifts into obscure acronyms and jargon which even someone with a degree in Computer Science (like myself) would have trouble following.

To be fair, the information seems fairly up-to-date and complete, and the book seems well proofread. If I was just doing this for a hobby, and I had lots of time to read amusing anecdotes and side notes, this book would be great. It would also be good if I was maybe a high school kid who didn't know much about computers.

I'm betting 99% of you out there are like me, you probably know half of this stuff already and you just want to pass the test. And you're going to hate this book just like I did. You have been warned. :)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Linux Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Richard Stones, Neil Matthew, Alan Cox
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
For Linux kernel modules see the Second Edition

The March 1, 2000 review posted by Daniel Sheltraw pertains to the second edition of this book. Both editions of this book are excellent, but the <first> edition has no information on writing kernel modules. Be sure to order the <second> edition if you are looking specifically for information on writing Linux kernel device driver modules.