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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs - 2nd Edition (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Get this book from Barnes and Noble it's only $52!

I have read a lot of reviews here which lament the use of Scheme for teaching the fundamental concepts in this book. People have stated that while the book pretends to be language-independent it relies solely on Scheme, which invalidates the point.
I disagree strongly!
I think part of the problem is that it takes a bit of time to really "grok" Scheme. If you've never been exposed to it before (as I haven't), Scheme may seem strange and unnecessarily arcane to you at first. However, after doing it for a bit you will realize (as I have) that Scheme is amazingly flexible, succinct, powerful and unbelievably elegant. It incorporates all the features that other languages such as C++ take for granted and skip over, and exposes the real machinery behind them, without introducing a whole host of obscure syntactical details. This clarity and elegance of Scheme has helped me understand all other languages I have to deal with so much better!
Thus, in presenting the topics of this book in Scheme, the authors are actually succeding in making their discussions language-independent! Truly, the difference here lies in what your goals are: if you want to program in some specific language and just memorize it, this is not a book for you. However, if you actually want to understand how that language works, this will be akin to an epiphany for you. A very good book!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Step-By- Step.
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Michael Halvorson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Step by Step, Microsoft's Visual Basic 6.0 Professional

Have been associated with computers in one way or another since the mid 1950's and must say that Mike Halvorson's 'Step by Step, Microsoft's Visual Basic 6.0 Professional' is one of the better do-it-yourself books I've run across in all these years. Mike takes you by the hand and guides you through ever-increasing steps of difficulty, and seems to cover the field pretty thoroughly. He provides just enough room, however, to make the user THINK.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Protocols (TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I've owned this book for years and still use it often

Its said that a well designed product is one that is not only of immediate benefit to the user, but also one that grows in sophistication with the user, to a point where its functionality evolves over time to become a part of the user.
I bought my first copy of this book years ago. I forget how many copies I've had over the years. I've bought copies for countless young protocol engineers and support fellows.
I crack this baby open almost weekly.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Building Electro-Optical Systems: Making It All Work
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Authors: Philip C. D. Hobbs
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

When I meet someone new-to-me in the field, I have taken to the habit of eyeing up their bookshelf, looking for the books that they use. Whenever I see this incredible tome from Phil Hobbs, I know they have an excellent resource. Frankly, I believe that you should be embarased if this book is not on your shelf. This book is simply too good to miss. I recommend that you stop reading this review and buy it!
Phil has managed to cram information of a 100,000+ academic pages into this 727 page gem. His mastery of separating the chemicral from the root of the information is truly amazing. This guy understands what it takes to make a system work and astutely put it into this work. He gives pointers for lab rats as to the number of "post-it" notes to use to elevate an optical component, as well as detail theoretical discussions of detector sensitivity and the practical impact of the electronics.
The writing is sometimes folksy and hip. I find this an incredible relief from the academic 3rd person passive forced by many publishers. Phil occasionally gets funny and at least a few times, his folksy style is only used to clearly underscore the salient point that he is making.
My negative criticism of Hobbs is primarily why it took him until 2000 to publish this book---I could have used it 25 years ago, and whis I had this book in college! Also, a glossary would have been nice to include.