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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Book of Postfix: State-of-the-Art Message Transport
Publisher: No Starch Press
Authors: Ralf Hildebrandt, Patrick Koetter
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent Guide To Configuring and Administering Postfix

It had been a while since I had done any email server installation or administration and my past experience was primarily with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. I had never actually installed or configured Sendmail, or its formidable competition, Postfix.

From reading different lists and forums, it seems that Postfix has many fans, but there are also many pitfalls one encounters in trying to learn things the hard way and install the application. Using Hildebrandt and Koetter's book, that no longer seems to be a problem. At least, it wasn't for me.

The authors seem to have walked through an installation as they were writing and made note of the various quirks and the more important aspects to make sure they conveyed them clearly. However they did it, the book does an excellent job of walking the reader through a wide variety of scenarios and clearly explaining the best way to get through them.

The security features of Postfix make it an excellent choice for setting up a mail server, and The Book of Postfix will help you get it set up and properly configured in a fraction of the time it would take you without the book.

Tony Bradley is a consultant and writer with a focus on network security, antivirus and incident response. He is the About.com Guide for Internet / Network Security (http://netsecurity.about.com), providing a broad range of information security tips, advice, reviews and information. Tony also contributes frequently to other industry publications. For a complete list of his freelance contributions you can visit Essential Computer Security (http://www.tonybradley.com).

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming the Perl DBI
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Alligator Descartes, Tim Bunce
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

Of the 331 pages of text, 145 pages are an exact reprint of the CPAN DBI documentation (which I had already printed on my laser printer); 76 pages deal with text files, DBM, and SQL. This leaves 110 pages for DBI. For [the price], I was expecting more.
The actual 110 pages of DBI are fairly good. The authors should have included examples other than Oracle, and I did not notice any treatment of areas that are different between databases, such as date/time fields. But, the examples included should be quite helpful.
Eventhough I am returning my copy back to the book sellers, I would still recommend it for O'Reilly groupies, or people who can not print out the CPAN documentation, or if your job situation requires you to use DBI and you're starting from ground zero. Otherwise, check out CPAN and the message boards.
The greatest asset going for this book is the "Tigger" factor -- "It's the only one" on DBI currently being published (that I know of).

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent handbook for those without common sense...

I found this book to be very enlightening due to the fact that Nielsen has been around for quite some time. I did agree with some of his remarks, since most of what he said was common sense, but some I disagreed with. One of the things I disagree with is the fact that people dislike scrolling. I think he developed this mentality prior to the release of the mouse "wheel". I think that most people these days don't really mind scrolling if they have a wheel on their mouse. However, I must agree that it is quite a pain to be without one. Overall, I feel that this book is meant for those people going into Web "Site" Design, and not Web "Page" Design. It is also meant for those who are designing a website with a target audience of 100+ people. If you're making a general information web page, this isn't meant for you. If you are putting together an "information intensive" website, then you should read this book. It addresses many issues dealing with layout (Don't and Do's) and a lot of other things that people tend to overlook.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Graphics Programming with GDI+
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Mahesh Chand
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Straight to the point

There are not too many books dedicated to GDI+ and Graphics Programming in .NET but this book is definitely one of the finest technical books written on GDI+. As such I am a big fan of AW's .NET Series managed by Don Box and group because of the quality of contents and experts involved in the series.
This book delivers what is promises. Author's writing style is pretty straight forward, which I liked the most. Author talks to the point. As a beginner, you will get it right away.
There are some chpaters such as performance and best practices, Advanced Imaging, Advanced 2D, Transformation and Printing where advanced users will definitely learn what is not discussed in MSDN documentation or in any other books.
All explainations are followed by a sample code, which is pretty nice to have. Just read and run the code. All samples in the book are a seperate project so that's kinda cool.
If you are involve with writing drawing, printing, painting, and UI applications for Windows Forms or Web, you may want to try this one.