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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How Networks Work (7th Edition) (How Networks Work)
Publisher: Que
Authors: Frank J. Derfler Jr., Les Freed
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
If I could give it zero stars I would.

For those seeking to expand their basic knowledge of networks, I was impressed with the graphics, illustrations, and technical descriptions. For what "holes" you may have in understanding network basics, this is a good one to gain an overview. Other Que books published have also been winners: "How PC's Work" and "How the Internet Works".

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Eric A. Meyer
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Code in a boat

I found this book to be extremly useful. A step by step manual of CSS and how it works with over 20 great examples to learn by. For someone looking to learn more about CSS and it's abilities, this is a great beginers book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows Scripting Self-Paced Learning Guide
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Ed Wilson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Learning Guide

First some background information:

I work in a rather large multi-operating system environment and have several sysAdmins working for me. Like most senior level system analysts, I own dozens of books on topics of system administration and programming.

I have purchased and read a number of books on windows scripting and was looking for a learning guide for my staff when I came across this one.

What this books isn't.

1. A definitive resource guide
2. A programmers refererence manual
3. A beginners programming book

I believe the strengths of this book is the way the author breaks down a script and explains each part. The author does a very good job of building on each skill learned as you move from chapter to chapter. The author makes use of typical problems encountered by sysAdmins and demonstrates how scripts can be used to solve those problems.

Having gone through the first 17 of 20 Chapters, I have found this book has provided me with an excellent foundation from which to build on my Window Scripting knowledge.

Each member of my staff will be receiving a copy of this book.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Microsoft SQL Server 2000(TM) Performance Tuning Technical Reference (Technical Reference)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Edward Whalen, Marcilina Garcia
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Introduction to performance tuning

The `SQL Server 2000 Performance Tuning' provides the reader with an extensive overview of the functionality that MSS2000 has for performance tuning. This book has been written by the manufacturer of MS2000, and has therefore some specific properties a reader has to taken into account. One of them is that every single tuning-feature is mentioned, although their relative impact (hence importance) on performance is not discussed. Another one is the white-book nature of the information presented; very general advice for the entrylevel DBA. For example: in the chapter `Hi-performance Backup and recovery' (it has only 18 pages) is says: "plan full backups for off hours", " use differential backups", "use multiple data files" etc.

This book has the title `Technical Reference' and should be regarded as such. The DBA, working in a company which doesn't consider performance-tuning important enough to dedicate a policy to, who is confronted with a sudden structural diminishing of performance and is to find out where this bottleneck stems from will not benefit from this book. For example, the book dedicates a mere two pages on "interpreting Graphical Execution Plans" and gives only 1 example. For a useful checklist on where to look first when confronted with the so-called `query from hell' one should read other books. But for the novice in tuning, the one who is unfamiliar to concepts like locks, RAID, system monitor, I/O,page vs rowlevel, differential backups, how to log in on queryanalyzer, index tuning wizard, etc this book can serve as an introduction. But once past this introduction, this book has served it's purpose.