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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition (All-in-One)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Shon Harris, Shon Harris
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Technical depth and great coverage

The amount of information and the number of topics that ISC(2) has included in the CISSP exam is a bit overwhelming. I spent big bucks to go to their review class and still did not feel overly confident about my knowledge level for ALL the topics this exam covers. I was also not positive of exactly what I should zero in on.
I have found this book quite helpful because it seems very difficult to find information on ALL the topics that ISC(2) has in their outline for the exam. Even searching on the Internet for hours there are some topics that I could not find any real useful data on. But it seems to be all here in this book.
The amount of practice questions in each chapter and the CD has helped me "zero in" on the exact concepts I think I need for the exam.
I think this is an excellent choice and recommend others to check it out!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How Computers Work, Seventh Edition
Publisher: Que
Authors: Ron White, Timothy Edward Downs
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great book for learning computers.

I just received " How Computers Work", Fourth Edition. I wanted to write and let you know how much I am enjoying it and certainly will be a big help for me in my studies as a Computer System Specialist. So easy to understand and it puts everything in a more clear picture on how the working of a computer really operates. The CD was great and really enjoyed how it was presented on each topic. I wish this was one of the main books we are required to have in my course at school. We are studying Networking and your chapters of this subject which was Peer to Peer, Star, and Token are easy to understand and the visual effects really help to understand what a network operations really does. Again, just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying this book. It will really help me, which it has already in the few hours I been studying it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Developing Windows-Based Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual C# .NET
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft Corporation
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Just right.

There is a bunch of material that can be used to prepare for 70-316. For example, a lot of the information in this book can be found in the MSDN library. But I am sure you would first want to get a feel of what this brand new exam is like. You would want to get a summary of the .NET Windows Applications paradigm, a summary that is dense and gets to the point. This book did just that for me. For my level of preparation, this book turned out to be a good choice.
As I started reading this two-language book, I soon got used to identifying the mistakes committed by those who wrote the C# code by copying and pasting the VB code and then changing the keywords. I'm talking about missed semicolons and such. I got disappointed here and there when a topic that was mentioned in the index of the lesson was not discussed anywhere in its body. Take "multicultural test data" for example, in chapter 5, lesson 3.
Apart from that, the book has managed quite well to lead me through the most important topics of the exam. As I got used to the concepts, I was able to ask the right questions in newsgroups and do refined searches in the vast MSDN library. I found the sample exam included in the book very useful since I was relying on it more and more as the exam date approached.
Considering my two years experience with Windows Applications using VC++ 6.0 I passed 70-316 and I don't think I needed anything else besides or instead of this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Authors: Steven L. Kent
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A history of Atari, plus some other stuff

This is really two books in one. The first half is a detailed history of the rise and fall of Atari. It is chock full of interesting details, and rightly focuses on the fascinating personalities who drove the company that did more than any other to take video games mainstream. The author's years of covering the industry and these people paid dividends in this section.
By contrast, the second half of the book, which mainly covers the rise of Sega, Nintendo and Sony, feels rushed and is far less comprehensive. Many part felt like rewrites of news articles, rehashing history rather than bestowing new insights. I don't want to sound too harsh, because this is a good overview, but this section falls short compared with the high standards set by the Atari history.
I also have a couple format quibbles. Many direct quotes are offset from the main text in bold. This is distracting. Some quotes simply repeat what had just been stated in regular text. I understand the need to back up assertions with quotes, but some of the comments are bland and don't really add anything. Other sections begin with quotes that are only tangentially related to the ensuing text, or were from speakers who don't make further appearances or whose comments are not elaborated on. Another complaint is the use of excerpted passages from contemporary news articles that don't give the source up front but force the reader to look up footnotes in the back. If a passage is important enough to offset from the main text, the reader should be told right away who wrote it and in what publication.
Also, I thought the title was slightly misleading, since this is more a history of the video game *industry* rather than of video games themselves. A subtle distinction perhaps, but while there is background on certain titles, especially from the Atari years, I had expected more on actual games.
Overall, the book is informative and interesting though I believe it falls short of its lofty claim of being an "ultimate" history.