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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MySQL (3rd Edition) (Developer's Library)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Paul DuBois
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent reference book

The book MySQL is an excellent book. My employer uses MySQL for many of our database needs and, being relatively inexperienced with databases, I had to be brought up to speed quickly and with good, accurate knowledge. This book is that resource. The coverage includes everything from setting up databases and tables to new users and permissions. When I have a question I almost always go directly to the book as opposed to the help pages that came with the database itself. The clear wording and solid explanations along with the excellent examples make it an extremely handy reference to have around at all times. I find myself referring to the book quite often for the finer points in creating SQL statements to do what I need them to do. The examples in the book cover almost every situation I've needed them to. Very rarely do I have the need to go elsewhere or seek additional resources for an answer. If you are going to be developing applications that interact with a MySQL database (whether your language is Java, C, PHP, or PERL) you need this book. It covers all of the functions and common tasks as well as database administration, security, and maintenance and repair. This is a great book and I would highly recommend it to everyone working with MySQL databases.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy IX Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Brady Games
Authors: Dan Birlew
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
A bad guide for a bad game

To be honest, this strategy guide, if you want to call it that, is almost worse than useless. Actually I ended up passing more up in the game because of it rather than having it helping me. Here's the bottom line: the guide is incomplete. From what I can tell, Squaresoft wanted it that way so you would have to go to Playonline to get the REAL info that you need. I can understand that they want to promote their site, but I think that making their guide worthless is not the right way to do it. I'm just thankful I got the guide as a gift and did not waste my own money on it. Whatever you do , don't get the guide. For that matter I wouldn't reccomend FFIX as a whole. I've played every Final Fantasy except 2 and 3 and IX is by far the worst in my opinion. In a way though, I think it is somewhat fitting to have such a poor guide to go with such a poor game.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCNA Certification Library (CCNA Self-Study, exam #640-801)
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Wendell Odom
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent Author but challenging methodology

The CCNA Certification Library (ISBN: 1587200953) contains two volumes: the CCNA INTRO Exam Certification Guide and the CCNA ICND Exam Certification Guide. This review is made from the perspective of a CCNA Candidate with little to no knowledge or experience of Internetworking in a Cisco environment.
The CCNA INTRO volume tries to prepare the reader for the CCNA ICND volume while addressing the content of the INTRO exam 640-821. With such a methodology, this textbook ends up raising more questions than answers in the mind of a candidate that will have to wait for the CCNA ICND volume to get clarifications on a great number of topics.
This new edition of the CCNA Certification Library has the following characteristics:
Pros:- Odom makes the text accessible from the perspective of a CCNA candidate. Generally, topics are presented according to a progressive line of thought laid out in the introduction of any chapter. This plan usually presents what will be covered and what will not.- The textbook is written in a conversational format and emphasizes on four things:1. exam format 2. exam content3. real world tasks. Odom presents not just how to configure network equipment but how to make effective configurations. 4. Practice, with the addition of the NETSIM LE simulator on the accompanying CD-Rom, along with a to-the-point guide about this software in Appendix C of the book.
The author also presents:- An excellent comparative analysis of routing protocols.- Some key sample configurations with interesting considerations about "real world" behavior of the Cisco equipment they run on- An excellent coverage of Frame Relay, ISDN and IP Access Control Lists.- Some good Design Principles- A good collection of web links and RFC references
Cons:Some chapters including "IP Addressing and Subnetting" and "RIP, IGRP, and Static Route Concepts and Configuration" (ICND volume) contain too many non technical illustrations and lack a precise conceptual framework. This makes it difficult for a CCNA candidate to find and retain key points.
Overall, in this new edition of the CCNA self-study kit, a conscientious effort has been put forth by the author to make the content of the CCNA exam more accessible while still trying to provide a solid understanding of some key networking concepts and technologies. However, the degree to which the two volumes overlap along with the methodology adopted, sometimes make it very challenging for a CCNA candidate to get a clear and precise understanding of the technologies covered on the exam.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers
Publisher: Delmar Thomson Learning
Authors: Gary Dunning
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers (Electrical T

What the publisher's blurb and the other reviews DON"T say is that this is a LAB MANUAL! If you don't have the appropiate software it's value is very limited. I will be returning it to exchange for a real "Intro to PLC's".