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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Cisco Networking Academy Program CCNA 1 and 2 Companion Guide, Third Edition
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Inc., CISCO Cisco Systems, Cisco Networking Academy Program, Inc., ILSG Cisco Systems, Aries Cisco Networking Academy Program
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
CNAP - CCNA1 v3.0 and 2 third Ed.


I ordered this title through Borders in P.R., I waited 12 weeks for it to get it, and I need to make a full review before starting with this new version at our Cisco Regional Academy, just because it's very important to see how it matches the curriculum, searching for errors...and I found from the beginning more than 32 pertaining the section of optics...it really dissapoints me to recommend this for my students, just because is not a good starting point to learn concepts or descriptions with those mistakes...I am actually teaching this at the Aspira Cisco Academy in P.R., I think it was to fast to develop this new version and its not the first time I found such things, I got a lot of titles with the same problems, instead of those books that are not fully revised, when thinking from the point of view of the people who are making a large investments in their educational preparation to keep them up to date, that's why I like to review them before any...recomendation.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: How I Trade for a Living (Wiley Online Trading for a Living)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Gary Smith
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Classic Trading Book


Gary Smith has done a masterful job describing how he trades for a living. Although the author primarily now trades mutual funds, the strategies outlined in his book are just as applicable for traders of individual stocks, stock index futures, and stock index options. What I appreciated most about this classic trading book was the uniqueness of the trading techniques presented, especially how Mr. Smith combines market sentiment with market momentum. Anyone who is serious about ever trading for a living and understanding the price action of the stock market needs this book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Google Hacks, 2nd Edition (Hacks)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Money-Saving Compilation


This book is what exactly you expect from O'Reilly - great tips, well written, carefully organized and attractively formatted.
It may be that all this information is available for free at various sites on the internet. That does not detract from the value of having valuable information at your fingertips when you need it. Each hack in the book can be located and read in minutes, saving hours of "free" search time. That alone makes the book's price a bargain.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Web Designer's Reference : An Integrated Approach to Web Design with XHTML and CSS
Publisher: A-Press
Authors: Craig Grannell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Nice guide to modern web designing



It seems as if nearly everyone and his brother is writing books supporting standards-compliant web design with XHTML and CSS. I have read and reviewed a half dozen this year alone. People are obviously trying to tell us something - plain HTML has to go!! "Web Designers' Reference: An Integrated Approach to Web Design with XHTML and CSS" by Craig Grannell is the latest of these pronouncements.

The reasons are clear and compelling. The World Wide Web Consortium which promulgates web design standards has decreed HTML as obsolete. Newer, more compliant browsers, will in time not support the older tags and code; the new standards facilitate much better use by the disabled of screen readers and non-graphic browsers. Not least, the newer code makes writing and revising code easier and more efficient, as well as more capable.

These are certainly good reasons for web designers to move to the new code. Nevertheless, surveys show that most web pages are not compliant and that thousands of designers continue to use deprecated code. I confess that I am one of them. After a number of years learning and getting used to HTML, the need to learn new and more code is onerous. The inertia of habit is a factor I'm sure.

For those web designers like me, Mr. Grannell's book is a welcome addition to the literature because it systematically deals with the topics under discussion. In its coverage of XHTML, CSS, Javascript, and complementary coding like php, it provides a nice framework guiding "old dogs" like me into standards-compliant code. Not only does it provide some historical perspectives on these codes, it compares the old with the new in regard to all of the important elements of web design.

The author is an experienced web designer and operates a design and writing agency. He also writes articles for a number of computer magazines.

Grannell's goals are to teach cutting-edge, efficient coding, and how to master standards-compliant XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.1. There are a dozen chapters. He breaks down the elements of web design into modular components so that one can focus on each element separately, like page structure, content structure, layout, navigation, text control, user feedback, and multimedia. Relevant technologies are explained in context of producing a typical website.

If one finally decides to move forward, as many suggest, this is a very good volume by which to get your start. It will facilitate a fresh start for the "old dogs". For new designers, this is a nice primer to learn what is expected, in an overall sense, of good, advanced web design.

This is a well-produced book with clear writing, comprehensive approach, dozens of practical examples, and downloadable files with the code examples used in the book. The author writes in a logical sequence much like an engineer would. It is a heavy text-book-like read, only lightly sprinkled with style and personality. It should appeal primarily to novice designers, but has enough advanced information to satisfy an experienced designer who is looking for that fresh start.

The structure of the book facilitates the "fresh-start" idea. It starts with a web design overview giving an experienced user's tips on what software to use to write code, what browsers to design for, how to build pages from the very top to the bottom. (XHTML, unlike HTML, requires a preliminary document-type definition (DTD) to validate. Only after the introductory section does the first HTML tag appear.)

Like others writing in this area, he firmly advocates design for standards compliance, usability, accessibility, and last and least, visual design. Marketing Department people may want to choke on that priority list but there is no inherent conflict between function and aesthetics. Grannell does not spend a lot of time on the aesthetics aspect.

The middle chapters concentrate on modular construction of pages - the XHTML introduction, the structural elements like text blocks and images, the logical structure of the links and navigation flow, and finally, the stylizing with CSS. Comparisons of pages styled with HTML vs. CSS compellingly demonstrate the benefits and advantages of CSS. There will be no going back once you've decided to upgrade your technical approach.

Basic CSS concepts are explained and illustrated with code samples and screenshots. Grannell describes how to use CSS for text control, navigation, and layouts. There is a broad section on frames and another on forms and interactive components.

The last chapter covers testing and tweaking including how to create a 7 item browser test suite. Much time is used throughout the book in discussing overcoming browser quirks. There is detailed technical information, especially in regard to the XHTML introductory section of the page, which I have not seen elsewhere.

There are three welcome reference appendices at the end covering XHTML tags and attributes, web color coding, and a very comprehensive entities chart noting currencies, European characters, math symbols and more.

Much of this material is covered elsewhere in the growing set of publications about standards-compliant code. This book has the virtue of having a useful overall perspective on web design and acts as a framework for new designers and converting designers to renew and upgrade their technical approaches.