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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Francesco Balena
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent book

I am an intermediate VB programmer, so I needed some help on some fundamentals (hate to use the help!) and more importantly needed some guidance in exploring the more advanced features of VB6. This is the ONE!
The chapters on Databases, User Interface and ActiveX programming are the best. Hey, I am flying high now, lol.
Besides the points that this is an excellent book for all VB programmers, I found there are very few errors, which is something really important. The source codes are excellent, I used some of them in my own application. One example is the HTML editor, simple to use and a good tool to test your HTML codes.
Generally, I love this book and recommend all of you to buy it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft ADO.NET Step by Step
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Rebecca M. Riordan
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Just read 90% of these reviews.

The main reason i'm even writing this review is because for some reason I didn't think to look at book reviews before picking up this book. Little did I know that this book is actually a great door-stop and nothing more. Just read most of the reviews here and you will understand why.

-Poor coding
-Poor format

Please pick up anything else! I really enjoyed "Database Programming with C#" as it is much clearer and written much better.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis : Techniques for Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation, and Modeling
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: R. K. Jain
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Lays the foundation

This seminal book was the most complete mainstream text on the subject when it was first published in 1991. The reason it remains popular eleven years later (which is an extraordinary life for a computer book) is because it's an applied mathematics book that focuses solely on performance analysis, simulation and measurements. Technology may change at a rapid pace, but the techniques for measuring it do not.
The book is broken into six parts consisting of 36 chapters and ten appendices. Part I is an overview of performance evaluation. I liked the chapter on common mistakes and how to avoid them, and the guidelines for selecting techniques and metrics.
Measurement techniques and tools are the focus of Part II. the eight chapters in this part address the full spectrum, including workload types, characterization techniques, capacity planning and benchmarking, and data presentation. Most of the chapters are generic enough to be timeless. The chapters covering execution monitors and accounting logs are showing their age, but the concepts are still valid. I especially liked the chapters about data presentation and ratios.
Part III is a refresher in statistics and probability, and can safely be skipped if your knowledge and skills are fresh. Part IV delves into experimental design and analysis, while Part V covers simulations. The remaining six chapters of the book, Part VI, are devoted to queuing models.
Note that although the math is clearly explained you need college level skills in order to fully comprehend the techniques presented. I recommend investing in MathCAD or a similar program to make it easy to work the exercises that end each chapter.
This book is one of the handful that will be on your bookshelf for years to come. It's probably one of the most frequently referenced works in the performance analysis, resource management and capacity planning knowledge domains. Because it has well designed exercises at the end of each chapter it's also well suited as an advanced college level text. In my opinion it's essential reading for performance and capacity analysts, and provides an excellent foundation for more specialized books, such as those by Menasce and Almeida, that address topics such as e-commerce performance, web services, etc.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Jakarta Struts, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Chuck Cavaness
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good, but could have been better

This is my second Struts book, Wiley's book is was the first. And this is by far much better in explaining Struts than the first. My only disappointment of the book is the lack of one more chapter that could have went through the process of building the Store front app. Thats what next for me to do, I dont think it will take much to set it up, but doubt it if some one not done any struts before. So there is the reason for 3 stars. But I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to learn Struts, although I doubt they would be able to write anything without a mentor.