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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Leaves much to be desired


I will not claim to be a master of final fantasy VII, because I am not. Speaking as a person who has not mastered every materia or defeated ruby or emerald weapon. However, it is true that i have gone through FFVII a total of 15 times (thats a lot), and my best time is 14 hrs and 36 mins, so i have some good stratagies for beating this game. The first 3 times I beat final fantasy, I used this guide a lot, and after that I only referenced it for Chocobo breeding. Now there are a fer main things that this guide lacks that are essential to the game.
1: There is no section on how to level up your limit breaks-for those who don't know, you use the first limit in a level ten times and then when you get the second you kill 80 enemies with anything ACCEPT SUMMONING SPELLS.(NOTE: for vicent you just have to kill 60 enemies at each level, and for cait sith, i think you have to kill 120 enemies before you get slots.)(Thanks to my cousins David and Ryan, without whom i would not know this)
2: Enemy readouts are totally unreliable. I went to reference monsters countless times only to discover inaccurate HP numbers, items dropped, items morphed, weaknesses, etc. While bosses were for the most part accurate, the guides to boss fights were hardly definitive (you can come up with much better stratagies on your own).
3: THIS BOOK IS FILLED TO THE MAX WITH SPOILERS. Being as I'm complaining about this I won't reveal anything, but trust me there are a lot of them.
4: Bone village treasure hunting is almost entirly ignored. (nuff said).
5: The Chocobo breeding section is mediocre, only facts not strategy.
You could find much better unofficial guides, or better yet online FAQ guides! So, don't waste your money.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Authors: SIMON SINGH
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Entertaining and challenging overview of cryptography


This book is a joy to read. It contains a thorough chronological overview of the history of codemaking and codebreaking. Included are numerous exercises for the reader, not least of which is the 'code breaking challenge', which was solved last year but which is still very interesting to try. Singh is very good at writing this type of text, as was already demonstrated by his other book 'Fermats last theorem'. Both books succeed at popularizing the scientific enterprise, and demonstrate that it is possible to explain higher math to the layman.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd Ed.
Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
Authors: Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good advice for IT Managers who will listen


Reading the table of contents for Peopleware tells you a lot about the content and the tone. Here are a few of the chapter headings:
Quality - If Time Permits "You Never Get Anything Done Around Here Between 9 and 5" The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts For two decades, Tom Demarco has been writing in plain, narrative English about improving IT project team productivity. In this book, he describes some of the reasons for our failures, reasons most of us know about - but rarely do anything about.
Pick a chapter. Let's say "Bring Back the Door". Some of us remember the days when we worked in an office with a door, the days when it was taken for granted that engineers needed a quiet, low-distraction environment to focus on their work. Alas, those days are gone and the cubicle farm has become so noisy and distracting that many people find they can be the most productive only when no one else is around. As DeMarco says: "As long as workers are crowded into noisy, sterile, disruptive space, it's not worth improving anything but the workplace."
The best part of this book is in Part IV - Growing Productive Teams. The agricultural analogy is purposeful - "growing" productive teams takes time, care and feeding. One of the harmful "Teamicides" DeMarco discusses is the fragmentation of time, the requirement that most engineers work on multiple projects at the same time. If management wants to get the productivity that is derived from 'jelled teams', they have to know that "no one can be a part of multiple jelled teams", he says.
The book is a fast, easy read. The prescriptions for achieving greater team productivity aren't fast or easy. But you have to start somewhere. To start, read this book.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Complete Study Guide, Deluxe Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Dan Newland
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
All you need along with a little experience.


This book prepares you for both A+ exams (the book indicates the test numbers are 220-201 and 220-202, the test has changed to adaptive format and so the test numbers have changed to 220-221 and 220-222 - same questions, just adaptive.) If you have experience troubleshooting and or building computers, this book and a little common sense in all you need. There are incorrect answers to practice questions, but you'll find them if you read carefully.