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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy XI Official Strategy Guide for PS2 & PC
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: Michael Lummis, Elizabeth M. Hollinger, Edwin Kern, Kathleen Pleet
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
It may be flawed but its still good

First off i would like to say the guide is really helpfull for level 40 characters who have been wasting most of there time on leveling. This book helped me on things like mob elements and many easy money making quest. As far as the missons go I can tell why it stops at rank 5(Rank 5 is the rank where you can ride an airship and also th last rank to give any special things, like being able to enter a ballista match at rank 3). I read another review that said that it did not cover the conflict system wich i am happy it doesnt for it is explained several times during the game and also in the manual. Also the crafting part of the guide is better than decent for it covers the easy and helpfull crafts rather than the new lvl.150+ crafts which are for people lvl.60+. The only flaw in the game was that it did not cover the Zilart/Promithia mission but this is under standable for in no strategy guide has the ending been revealed and also finding out what happens on your own in an MMORPG is half the fun.()====()XXXXXXXXX>Bye.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is a must read for all SQL Svr DBA's and programmers

This book should be required reading for anyone who is a DBA or programmer for SQL Svr applications. It is far and away the best book on the subject.
The first thing I will point out is the lack of screen prints. Unlike most other computing books this book has almost no screen prints. Only one chapter has any at all, and that his the query performance chapter where screen prints of query execution plans are shown. The book is tight and lacks the filler and fluff in almost every other SQL Svr book.
The next thing is the style of writing. The author says he tries to write the way that people speak. That is exactly how the book reads: very plain spoken and easy to understand.
The next great thing about the book is the range of topics covered. I didn't expect to find anything about full-text search or transaction management in a book like this, but they are there. I didn't expect any discussion of Automaton, but there is a chapter on it. In addition to what one would expect in a book like this, many other related topics are discussed in detail as well.
The query performance chapter could be sold by itself - its that good. I learned more from it than I have from whole books about query performance. The indexing internals were particularly useful, especially the part about covered indexes and index intersections and joins.
The chapter on cursors was also a godsend. I used it to convince some colleagues to redesign their part of an application we are working on. Like most of the book, no one has said it better.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows with C# (Core Reference)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Charles Petzold
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Essential for Windows Forms Development

This book has been my best guide in learning the ins and outs of Windows Forms programming. Petzold leaves out the designer in the IDE but for good reason: to give you an in depth understanding of the underlying framework. He does a thorough discussion, particulary with the features of the GDI+, and the examples are easy to understand and to adapt for your own experimentation. If you are learning and expecting to program in Windows Forms this book is an absolute must have.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: AutoCAD 2004 for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Mark Middlebrook
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
What's new in this edition

Okay, so it's more than a little vain for me to rate my own book, but I'd like to correct some misstatements by a previous reviewer and provide some accurate information on what the book does - and doesn't - cover.
At the risk of sounding defensive, I have to say that "A reader from Somerville, MA USA" doesn't accurately represent the book - or AutoCAD. There never was an AutoCAD R3.3. Perhaps this reader means Architectural Desktop 3.3, which was built on AutoCAD 2002.
AutoCAD 2004 doesn't offer new ways to xref. As Chapter 1 of the book describes, AutoCAD 2004 does provide some welcome improvements for working with xrefs, including "a simple method of opening xrefs for editing, more sensible xref search paths, xref change notifications, and a Reference Manager utility." The book addresses all of these changes in Chapters 13 and 15.
AutoCAD 2004's plotting system is in almost all respects identical to the one that Autodesk introduced in AutoCAD 2000 - in other words, plotting didn't change substantially in AutoCAD 2000i, 2002, or 2004. Nonetheless, Chapter 12 of the book does discuss the new shaded viewport plotting options and the incompatibility of AutoCAD 2004's new True Color capability with traditional color-dependent plot styles (CTB files).
So this reader is mistaken about what has changed in AutoCAD 2004 and whether what *has* changed is covered in AutoCAD 2004 For Dummies. Those who want to see what I regard as the most important new features in AutoCAD 2004 and where they're covered in the book can see for themselves on pages 15 and 16 of the "Look Inside" sample pages available from this Web page.
I will agree that this book is not for someone who is well-versed in a recent version of AutoCAD, although I think that the book will help people who are upgrading from old versions (e.g., AutoCAD R14) or whose skills have grown a little rusty. The coverage of new and advanced features is in most cases brief because this is a concise book for beginners rather than a 1200-page tome that attempts to cover everything.
The most important changes in this edition of AutoCAD For Dummies are:
- Coverage of the interface and command changes in AutoCAD 2004, including the new tool palettes, xref improvements, and mText tabs and indents.
- A new "Introduction to 3D" chapter that describes the concepts and commands required in order to get started creating 3D models in AutoCAD. (This one-chapter introduction doesn't pretend to make you an expert in 3D modeling - full treatment of the subject requires a separate book.)
- A new "CAD Standards Rule" chapter that introduces readers to the "why, what, and which" of CAD standards and then discusses the CAD standards checking and enforcement tools in AutoCAD 2004.
- A significantly updated "Drawing on the Internet" chapter that covers the new Reference Manager, PUBLISH, and drawing protection features.
As with the previous edition, this book is for users of AutoCAD 2004 *and* AutoCAD LT 2004. I'm not writing a separate LT book this time around. Instead, I've noted the differences between AutoCAD 2004 and AutoCAD LT 2004, which are few for the purposes of a book of this type.
And as with all of the previous editions, AutoCAD 2004 For Dummies is not just about how to run commands. Throughout the book, I emphasize real, practical techniques for creating technical drawings with AutoCAD. In my view, that's the real strength of the book.