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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Database Systems: Design, Implementation and Management, Sixth Edition
Publisher: Course Technology
Authors: Peter Rob, Carlos M. Coronel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Text

At over 800 pages, it is short compared to other texts but isn't short on information. The text and database concepts are easy to understand and contain many end-of-chapter review questions to test your understanding. Lost of colorful charts, screen captures, and diagrams eases the learning curve. The concepts are applicable to most database systems in use today.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Still good, after all those years...

I first read this book six years ago. It was the right time at my carrer. I had just finished a C++ project that hadn't gone so well.

With all the failures of the project still fresh in my mind, it was easy to appreaciate how useful the book was. We could have used many of the concepts in the book in that project.

And here is the catch of this type of book: it is not appreciated until you go through a project wihtout it. Giving it to a college student as reading assignment will be a waste of time. It is more useful to the professional with some experience under the belt.

Unfortunately, it remains little read by professional programmers. It deserves a lot more attention and careful study.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Numerical Recipes in Fortran
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Authors: William H. Press, Brian P. Flannery, Saul A. Teukolsky, William T. Vetterling
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Proprietary source the Achilles' heel for non-students

This volume, and its companions for other programming languages, is an absolute classic. The authors strike the right balance between cookbook solutions and theory, so that most of us get just enough background to choose the right algorithm but not so much to get drowned in theory. This edition is the first devoted only to Fortran, but is the second edition published by the authors. It includes a number of additions and corrections, many of which appeared in Computers in Physics (now the journal Computing in Science and Engineering published jointly by the IEEE and the APS). My only criticism is, where were these books twenty years ago when I needed them? I would recommend these books to anyone involved in the application of numerical methods. They are tremendous time savers.
I never bothered with the discs, as most of the routines are fairly short and not a problem to type in, but I recommend the companion example books to help get the routines running.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCAD Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Visual C# .NET and the .NET Framework Exam Cram 2 (Exam Cram 70-320)
Publisher: Que
Authors: Amit Kalani, Priti Kalani
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great resource for exam preparation

I used this in conjunction with the Training Guide. In hindsight, I could have gotten by with just this book for exam preperation but the Training Guide is a better long-term resource.
I used the Exam Cram books for 316, 315, and 320 in that order. I was pleased with all 3 books. I particularly like the questions at the end of each chapter and the two practice exams at the end of the book. After taking them, I always felt prepared for the exam and passed all 3 with ease.