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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming PHP
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Rasmus Lerdorf, Kevin Tatroe
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good Book

Programming PHP is a great introduction to PHP. The chapters are well written with good examples that explain what is being discussed. The chapters are not written in a "read one after the other" fashion, so you can easily go to the chapter you need information on and find what you are looking for. This book did have some errors in the sample code, but if you read the text and actually try out the examples you can easily figure out what needs to be fixed to get them running. Since the O'Reilly "Programming" series is more about advanced programming issues, I think this book should have had the title "Learning PHP". It just seems to be an introduction, because it did not delve into any advanced topics. It is worthy to have on any PHP developers bookshelf. Recommended for beginners.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Pragmatic Project Automation: How to Build, Deploy, and Monitor Java Apps
Publisher: The Pragmatic Programmers
Authors: Mike Clark
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Make your computer do the work

This little book could double your productivity by showing you how to make computers actually help you do your job. Do you spend too much time chasing configuration bugs, following checklists, and performing repetitive tasks that take time away from your coding and design duties? Then "Pragmatic Project Automation" is for you.

This isn't the kind of "software process" book that tries to sell you on following a methodology. There's no preaching, and there are no outlandish claims of productivity increases. Instead of selling snake oil, Mike Clark just wants to explain, in a clear, effective way, how to use open-source tools to automate your builds, release process, and application monitoring. Java tools like Ant, CruiseControl, and JUnit are the centerpieces of this book, but shell scripts and batch files also make cameo appearances.

There's even a section on assembling novel monitoring devices. Admit it -- wouldn't it be cool to have red and green Lava Lamps that light up according to the status of your project build?

The beginning programmer might wonder what all the fuss is about, but anyone tasked with delivering software on a schedule will appreciate the many ways in which this book will help them.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent beginners book

This book is well organized and thought out. After the simplified explanation of what HTML actually is, the book progresses through HTML in an order that truly mirrors the path a new user would take. Chapter 3 starts with simple "Text Formatting", then chapters 3 and 4 deal with images - exactly order in which a first time page author would need to work. Page layout of the book makes it very easy to follow and understand the current topic. Every page has a brief explanation of the tag or attribute being discussed and pictures of both the HTML code as it would appear in a text editor and how the code would appear when displayed in a web page.
This book does really keep to the basics, after writing a couple of pages you'll be ready for a more advanced reference, but HTML for the World Wide Web will make those first few pages painless and easy.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop 7 Down & Dirty Tricks
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Not bad for the money

I'm totally new to Photoshop. I adapt quickly though. I feel like I have developed a very good understanding of layers and effects from following the examples in the book. I'm not into downloading the same exact examples that refer to the book; I like to follow the directions and either do exactly what the author did or substitute with my own graphics. This book is so well done that I was able to do just that. It's very well written. So from a beginners standpoint; I was able to get up and running in no time with this book; that says alot about the book and it's content. I would have liked a little more detail as far as getting those space aged colors and effects (in the same detail as the projects) in his final examples. But for the price; I'm absolutely satisfied. I only go to the bookstores to actually look through the books i'm interested in; then I head on over here (amazon) for the reviews and for the savings.