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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Java(TM) Programming Language (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Arnold, James Gosling, David Holmes
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The definitive JAVA book -- from the source


This book is not for the faint of heart, however, it is equatable with bjarne's first C++ book. This is a refeence I find myslef reaching for time and time again, when I'm stumped. If JAVA programming will become your carreer, maybe you should by two, because the first one will likely disintegrate from using it so much



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Implementation (TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Gary R. Wright, W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A difficult read but well worth it


I bought this book shortly after finishing Volume 1. With volume 1, I found myself staying up late to read more, but volume 2 gets tiring after a while... it's literally a detailed analysis of every single line of networking code in the BSD 4.3 kernel. Although it's well worth the effort, I found myself reading no more than about 10 pages at a time (constantly flipping back, sometimes almost all the way to the beginning, to re-read something I hadn't quite absorbed the first time).
Difficulty aside, this book alone will honestly make you a TCP/IP guru - now that I've read volumes 1 and 2, the networking administrators where I work come to me with questions about issues they can't resolve. I'm literally comfortable saying that there's nothing I don't know about TCP/IP, and that's not a statement I'd make lightly (feel free to test me). But more than that, I learned a *lot* about writing good, solid code... in learning the networking stack as a whole, I was able to understand some higher-level software engineering concepts that had previously eluded me.
All in all, volume 1 is The Hobbit, and volume 2 is the Lord of the Rings - an oddysey not to be undertaken lightly, but from which you will emerge stronger and more powerful than ever before.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Visual Introduction to SQL
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: David Chappell, J. Harvey Trimble
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very user-friendly introduction to SQL concepts


I saw this book in a bookstore and it did not look very impressive based on price to number of pages ratio but I had a look at it, and after trying to learn SQL from some other books, this was a breath of fresh air. This is a book you can blow though quickly, doesn't require access to a computer or even much knowledge of any particular relational database system. I read thorough half of it in a few hours, but by that time I had developed a working knowledge of SQL. (Without ever sitting at a computer). They use a visual technique and repetition to show exactly what the SQL commands are used for, and how to use them to get what you need from the database. It covers your plain vanilla SQL and so may be 'slightly' different in syntax from the SQL your database uses (but in my experience, the changes are very very minor (eg, Transact SQL does not require a semicolon at the end of a statement)). This is an awesome book for anyone trying to 'figure out' SQL. Really lets you s! ee what the commands do and lets you understand it. I reccomended this book to a friend trying to learn SQL and he feels the same way about the book. SQL is really a pretty simple language, and this book makes the simplicity clear. Covers all major parts of SQL queries. Select, Update, making tables, altering tables, granting permissions, etc. Everything you need to get you started. IF you are trying to understand SQL, this book belongs on your desk. It was published in 1989 I think, but dont let that deter you. It is the best intro book on SQL I have ever seen!!!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cryptography Decrypted
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: H. X. Mel, Doris M. Baker, Steve Burnett
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not For the Casually Curious


This is well presented, well edited, well set up book. Thorough on the problems created by modern computer based cryptography. Why then, only three stars. Frankly because it is not for the mildly curious general reader. And I am still trying to decipher how public key cryptography works.:)