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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming .NET Components
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Juval Lowy
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Components are really really cool

The whole goal of .NET is "Do more with less". After a developer works through the initial learning curve of .NET, they'll usually want to learn how to do things better. If 'better' is defined as coding totally reusable code, then this book is for you.
It might sound silly, but a lot of time you think you are reusing code only to learn that you really aren't.
Three parts really stick out about this book (but that's not to say that the other chapters aren't as good).
1) Security - Yes, the ultimate pain in the butt for developers but an increasingly important topic these days. In all honesty, if you don't want to pay attention to security, then you probably will end up with some serious egg on your face at some point. This alone justifies the price of the book.2) Events- You can't do much in .NET without getting into events. I will say that his discussion probably caters to more advanced developers, but Events are not a topic for beginners. I really loved this section and I think he makes some superb points and makes them very clearly.3) Threading- Threading isn't for the weak of heart, and you will not learn how to use it effectively without making a few messes first. However, he does a great job of warning you of the pitfalls and explaining why they are pitfalls. If you are going to do any serious development in .NET, you'll need to understand the threading library. If you are coming from VB 6 (where writing good multithreaded apps was VERY PAINFUL) this will really help you with it.4)Remoting - This subject has entire books written on it. While this book is by no means the definitive guide on Remoting, it's discussion is very relevant and will definitely pique your interest in the subject. To be honest, I was 'too busy' learning other stuff to worry about remoting until I read this book. Then I felt like an idiot for ignoring it for so long. This book made me want to learn it and got me through the rough part of my learning curve, particularly in respect to component development.
Well, there's 30 other reasons to buy this book, but I only have 1,000 words..... but I can assure you that if you buy it, you'll be glad you did.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Extreme Programming Installed
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ron Jeffries, Ann Anderson, Chet Hendrickson, Ronald E. Jeffries
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Actually Doing XP? Here's an OK reference

"Extreme Programming Installed" provides information on the practice of extreme programming in your organization. It's meant for those already using XP, rather than a casual reader wanting to get more insight. The confusing writing style and layout of the book make it a difficult cover-to-cover read.
The content is useful, but the chapters are not tied together well, skipping from one topic to another seemingly at random. This causes a great deal of confusion on the part of a reader intent on reading the book sequentially. The detail level varies wildly, from excellent 50,000 foot overviews of concepts, to confusing minute by minute minutia of detailed work. The extremely conversational stream of consciousness tone and constant cross references muddy the points the authors making -- the reader's too busy trying to figure out what they are trying to say. This is a useful reference guide to groups who have already begun to implement extreme programming, but I cannot recommend it to those who want to learn more about this exciting lightweight methodology.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: How to Be Invisible: The Essential Guide to Protecting Your Personal Privacy, Your Assets, and Your Life (Revised Edition)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Authors: J.J. Luna
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Up-to-the-minute information!

I own both of J.J. Luna's "How to be Invisible" books, the original and the newly revised edition for 2004. J.J. Luna is an excellent privacy consultant and he keeps up on his trade providing you with correct and current information on protecting your personal privacy.
More info is available @ www.pcpitbull.com with feedback and advice. I have personally written Mr. Luna and one of his accomplices, "Senorita" with questions and suggestions and they have always responded in a quick and courteous manner. I believe this illustrates Mr. Luna's commitment to his readers; something most privacy advocates avoid so that no one can call their bluff.
In "How to be Invisible" the 2004 revision, Mr. Luna does more than just fill the gaps of his old book. He makes it a point to provide the reader with an overall sense of comfort in following his practices, holding your hand through the hard parts and sending you in the right direction to continue on living a private life.
In the beginning of the new book J.J. admits that the events of September 11th 2001 and the subsequent security measures enforced, changed or eradicated a large portion of the first rendition. The changes themselves though, were not very substantial. The theme is the same, the details are a little more detailed and overall I found this new revision to be more informative and helpful than the first. Mr. Luna filled the needed gaps and provided the missing links that every revision attempts to do, and he succeeded. The end result is an easy to follow, informative and moving guide to living a more private life.
Protecting your privacy is not something you should be ashamed of, it does not make you a zealot, it gives you the personal protection that you deserve in today's society. Mr. Luna's book gives you all the information you need to start sewing your modern security blanket. If you value your life and the life of your family, you owe it to yourself and to them to become informed. Start here!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ARM System-on-Chip Architecture (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Steve Furber
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An exceptional book

This is an excellent introductory book for the budding ARM programmer. I bought it because I am trying to learn more about programming for the GameBoy Advance, but that is only one of the many different devices that use the ARM.
For those who are scared by assembly language and the low-level details, this book is a good way to learn without being tossed into the fire.
If you already consider yourself an assembly wizz on another CPU, this book will give you a lot of the details that you might miss otherwise. For example, while the ARM can be coded for in a way similar to the popular x86 line, doing so can lead to very poor code.
The ARM chip is also RISC based, and in the past, RISC meant programmer unfriendly. This book shows you the insides of the most programmer friendly RISC chip you'll ever find.
I say that if you have any interest in programming for an ARM device (and believe me, there are plenty to program for), this should be on your shelf, right next to the documentation from the ARM web site.