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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: UNIX for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: John R. Levine, Margaret Levine Young
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
One of the better books in the "... for Dummies" series.


Unix is the least user-friendly platform, in my opinion, soany manual that's reasonably coherent -- as Unix itselfisn't -- is a godsend. I'm not a big fan of the "Dummies" series though I confess to ownership of a 1/2-dozen or more. I'd prefer a more straightforward, less chatty approach. Stll, "Dummies" as a rule are hard to beat when it comes to getting good information in a relatively pleasant and painless fashion. This book certainly fits that bill.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: REALbasic: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Matt Neuburg
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good, but outdated


This covers some really good information, and really expands on what is found in the included documentation, however it is woefully out of date, and only getting moreso with the impending release of version 5.0 next month. If it covered a 4.x version, I'd have given it at least a 4, 4.5 if I could.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages, Vol. 1: Core Technologies, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book is the reason I didn't sink


I started a new job 9 months ago, the assignment was to write several large scale web applications in JSP. I am an older female with a new computer science degree in a world of 20 something peers. They refused to give me ANY tips about JSP configuration or Tomcat...heck, they even put a few obsticles in my way in hopes of watching me fail. I HAD java experience, I Had perl experience I HAD HTML web develoment experience and I had a strong desire to suceed. I hit amazon and purchased a few books one of which was this one.
9 months later my applications are center stage and receiving RAVE review and this book played a huge part in that success. No, it doesn't take you by the hand if you're not already fluent in programming of some sort, but if you already know how to build websites and program in java, this book is a great tool. It doesn't force you to use some preconceived bean idea to build a cookie cutter application, it just gives pertinent examples and comprehensive explination of the most important and frequently used parts of JSP programming.
The index could be better, but over all it's a great book for new JSP programmers!!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Excel Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Raina Hawley
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Leapfrog your work beyond the ordinary


If you are one of the million users of MS Office, and had any use for numbers, you would hve used, with no doubt, MS Excel. Which of course has not made you any more productive, as much as MS would like us all to believe.
Now that you have Excel installed, you might as well use its power. With the help of two awesome Australians who share willingly their years of experience with Excel and VBA, you can too become a pro, at least as far as spreadsheets are concerned.
Here is a selection of some of the more interesting and handy topics and hacks covered:
- Lock and protect cells containing formulas- Tie custom toolbars to a particular workbook- Remove phantom workbook links- Extract data from a corrupt workbook- Use Replace... to remove unwanted characters- Create custom functions using names- Automate PivotTable creation- Explode a single slice from a Pie Chart- Create charts that adjust to data- Hack chart data so that blank cells are not plotted... plus 20 formula and function hacks and 14 macro hacks.
Last but not least, several very useful hacks on connection Excel to other applications using XML and SOAP Web Services.
Overall, as the Hacks series has proved so far, O'Reilly continues with its tradition of publishing useful books and pricing them so reasonably that anyone who has paid the price of the product would do well to buy the book as well.