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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A+ Certification for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Ron Gilster
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great book, but answers often contradictory.

I passed the a+ exams on 8/18/00 with the new adaptive testing format using this book, and by taking a class. In my opinion, this book is absolutely great for studying with, I read it once through, reread about 50% of it before the test, then looked at all the instant answers right before the test. The Cheat Sheet is very good, as well. However, some of the answers in the book contradict each other. For instance, four times it is stated that the maximum length of a parallel cable should be 15 feet (even in the final test review in the back of the book!), but at another point in the book it says that some will say 15 feet (*AHEM* THE BOOK IN PREVIOUS CHAPTERS!) but stick with 10 feet f for the test! Well, which is it!?! Also, sometimes on the test sections, the answers are flat wrong, or instead of using check boxes, they used the radio circles indicating only one correct answer rather than multiple correct answers. This is VERY frustrating! Also, the book did not mention anything about hex mode for printers, which was on my test. However, I took a class to supplement the book, so I knew the answer. In conclusion, these errors make up perhaps 1% of all the facts in the book. I must emphasize this book really emphasizes what will be on the test. It does not try to cover everything you could possibly be tested on. Other books will have every little thing you could possibly want to know for the test. This makes it impossible to weigh the importance of certain facts. For instance, you would not know if knowing your memory addresses or IRQ's is more important (by the way, IRQ's are much more important with the exception of memory addresses of the com and lpt ports). I recommend supplementation in conjunction with this book, but you most certainly can pass the test with this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential System Administration, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Æleen Frisch
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Getting a little long in tooth...

This book tries real hard to be all things to all *nix admins but falls short on some of the details. Don't get me wrong, it is a good book but not my first choice when I need to look up some forgotten admin lore. The author glosses over too many flavors of *nix instead of concentrating on a select few "market leaders" and covering them well. If you're looking for good admin books, check out the Evi Nemeth, et al. Unix System Administration Handbooks (Red and Purple variants) While more expensive, they are, well, more expansive.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Enterprise JavaBeans, Fourth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Richard Monson-Haefel, Bill Burke, Sacha Labourey
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Book for new and intermediate EJB developers

This book is aim at Java developers wishing to learn the fundamentals of Enterprise Javabeans. Knowledge of Java and JDBC is assumed.
If you ask to any EJB developer which are the best books about EJB, many will respond with two; Mastering EJB (Ed Roman) and this one. Mastering EJB also covered JDBC, RMI and other topics. The 1st and 2nd editions of Enterprise Javabeans (Richard Monson-Haefel, Orielly) focus specifically on understanding and using EJB. Both are very good and worth reading.
The book is made up of 17 chapters, covering the all basics, intermediate topics and some advanced.The first chapter introduces distributed object architectures and component models. This chapter gives the reader an understanding of RMI and CORBA, the technologies that EJB was originally built on.
Chapters 2 and 3 present the EJB architecture and the main services provided by the architecture. These chapters are very important to read because they cover essentially what is an EJB, the advantages of EJB and a few differences between EJB 1.1 and EJB 2.0.If you have read either of the previous two editions, you will like the EJB 2.0 specifics (e.g. Message Driven Beans) introduced in these chapters. A TravelAgent EJB is used as an example through out chapters 2 and 3.
Chapter 4 gives the reader their first introduction to EJB source code. We recommend you download the workbook and source code examples (...)Currently only Web Logic 6.1 and Web Sphere 4.0 versions are available.
Chapter 5 present Session and Entity beans with a quick overview of JNDI and Java RMI-IIOP. The chapter focuses on the Remote and Local (EJB 2.0) client APIs. The author also shows how to redesign an EJB to use a Local Interface instead of a Remote interface. What we really like are the code snippets used to demonstrate the theory. Chapters 6 and 7 go into detail about Entity Beans (CMP 2.0). Chapter 8 covers EJB QL, similar to SQL but designed to work with the abstract persistence schema of EJB 2.0 Entity Beans. Again, there are lots of code examples and helpful class diagrams. Chapter 9 provides a useful guide to differences between CMP in EJB 1.1 and EJB 2.0. Chapter 10 and 11 describe BMP and Entity-Container contracts (primary key class). These are explained quite clearly considering these are not simple topics. Chapter 12 focuses on explaining Stateless and Stateful Session Beans.
Chapter 13 presents Message-Driven Beans. After an overview of JMS, a ReservationProcessor EJB is described. This chapter shows sending messages between client and message bean. Chapter 14 covers transactions with some example EJB code.
In chapter 15, the author gives some design strategies that should be followed. These include passing objects by value and implementing a common interface. Chapter 16 is all about XML deployment descriptors. The last chapter (17) gives an idea of what to expect in future releases.
There has been alot added to this book since the previous editions. We recommend this book to all developers that would liketo learn about EJB step by step. It would have been nice to have more EJB Design Patterns, however, there is enough in this bookto keep most developers happy. Go buy it now!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: CMMI Distilled: A Practical Introduction to Integrated Process Improvement, Second Edition
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Dennis M. Ahern, Aaron Clouse, Richard Turner
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
this book is for the authors not for users

As previous reviewers have commented, this is a very good overview of the CMMI. The authors work in the industry, and have done an admirable job presenting the nuts-and-bolts of this enormous topic in a straightforward fashion. But if you intend to use it as a tool, like you would Paulk's book on the SW-CMM (SM), DON'T BUY IT YET. The editing in Appendix B renders this book useless to me (I need it as a tool). When I compare the constituents of the Process Areas in Appendix B to the CMMI (CMU/SEI-2000-TR-018), there is erroneous duplication. E.g., "Commitment" in PMC reads exactly like "Commitment" in Requirements Management PA (it shouldn't !). Ditto for Co in SAM, Co in MA, and the subsequent Maturity Level 2 Process Area commitments. The same erroneous cut-and-paste was made for the Abilities, DI, etc. The Level 3 PAs have the similar problem, erroneous cut-and-pastes from the RD template. I cannot use this book as I'd intended because of these errors, so I have to lug around the large heavy SEI tech reports instead.