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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Wi-Foo : The Secrets of Wireless Hacking
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Andrew Vladimirov, Konstantin V. Gavrilenko, Andrei A. Mikhailovsky
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Protecting a wireless net

In the post dot com era, one rare shining spot has been the explosive growth of 802.11 WiFi. Almost overnight, a grassroots movement has engendered widespread adoption. But almost as quickly has come the realisation that the very wireless nature of your network can expose you to far easier evesdropping than a traditional wired network, where an intruder might have to first gain physical access.
This book goes into the details of how to detect and possibly enter a wireless net, and also how to prevent this. The text makes clear that these are two sides of the same coin. To do either well, you must also learn the complementary ability.
All the key buzzwords are explained. Like warwalking, warcycling and wardriving. The authors even suggest their own variant - warclimbing. This is where you ascend a tall building, and use the altitude to help search widely for nets. Though if WiMax ever becomes popular, a lot of these war* ideas may be moot.
Various open source tools are suggested for your work. Especially sniffers!
To offer more protection, the book takes you into the latest encryption standards, like AES (aka. Rijndael), and how to deploy it. They don't discuss the underlying maths, so don't worry if your discrete maths background is a little rusty!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mastering Windows Server 2003
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Christa Anderson, Michele Beveridge, C. A. Callahan, Lisa Justice
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Where's the Meat at?

Truly a disappointment! I'm new to Server 2003, but far from new to computers & windows. Theories, history, the evolution of networking ... none of which I cared about! Just show me step by step how use Server 2003. How do you add users, computers, setup domains ... the basics, so I thought. Don't waste your money.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes, Third Edition
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Ben Forta
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Not-so-shallow SQL Essentials!

I learned SQL while I was school and it's been about few years since. So I was trying to refresh my SQL, and my first impression of "10 minutes" series was that you would get an overview of the subject and then a few basic examples to help you get started; But I was wrong. Despite the short length, this book "cuts through the crap" and gets straight to the point. The book is oriented by examples and I found those examples very useful and practical. Author starts out with very basic "SELECT" statement to various join statments and transaction. Although I do agree that it is not the "Bible" of SQL, I think this is a very good guide that I would refer to whenever I'm not sure about a SQL statement. Very well done!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Deluxe Learning Edition--Version 2003 (Pro-Developer)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Missing MSDN is worth it

I phoned Microsoft (here in the UK) and they admitted it was a mistake to omit the help files CD - they are posting mine. Still it took 30 minutes on the phone to find someone who knew what they were talking about ... The book is ok but I prefer the much larger Programming VB.NET.