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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle E-Business Suite Financials Handbook (Osborne ORACLE Press Series)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: David James, Simon Russell, Graham H. Seibert
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Kudos to All

.... Who has put every effort to bring this book in the market. This book is a one stop shop for businesses implementing Oracle Financials. It's time to come with similar books on other modules too. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Moving to VB .NET: Strategies, Concepts, and Code
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Daniel Appleman, Dan Appleman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
VB Guru gives us his opinion - Perfect

As the title suggests, this is a book for moving to VB.NET and not one to seriously assist in developing on the .NET platform today (e.g. as a reference or describing advanced techniques/tips, design patterns etc). It only helps (in a great way) VB6 developers to start thinking about the .NET platform and what needs to change in their thinking approach to developing software for the .NET platform. Obviously, if you are not a VB6 developer then look elsewhere; even if you have commercial experience with other languages (e.g. Java) then again this might not be the right book for you. Another prerequisite is to have access to the .NET documentation, as the author does not repeat what is in it and indeed some of the chapters require that you have read Microsoft's documents.
The first 3 chapters (part of `Strategies') are aimed at an audience who has never heard of .NET before. Alternatively they may be targeting an audience who has, but is waiting on Appleman's opinion on how .NET fits in the world - as opposed to the marchitectural views we find in Microsoft slides at various conferences. They make a good (if not very subjective) read.
Four chapters (part of `Concepts') follow, that are just essential reading to any VB developer. The migration from COM to .NET and multithreading are covered, as well as a view on inheritance (although more could be said on this matter).
The final 4 chapters (part of `Code') are full of must-knows and cover some of the .NET namespaces at exactly the right level, leaving the reader wanting to go write some code themselves.
No doubt once development on the .NET platform has matured you will want a more advanced book, but at this moment in time Dan hits the spot.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Michael Meyers
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
where's the 5th ed. Mcgraw-Hill ?

If you are a total beginner, this is the book for you. The author explains the concepts in excellent detail. If you're not too familiar with what is covered on the A+ you will be after reading this. That said, if you already have some experience in the field this book tends to seem long winded and boring. My recommendation would be to take a look at the A+ outlines on cramsession.com (there's an online version you can check out for free) and then if you feel like you need to go over anything, pick up this book.
The other thing I found very useful was the CD that comes with it. It has a lot of practice tests with questions that closely mirror what is actually on the A+ test. It's great practice (especially the "adaptive" version that acts like the real test). If you can consistently pass these you're sure to pass the A+.
Overall a good buy.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Optimizing Oracle Performance
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Cary Millsap
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fantastic internals coverage, worthy of the senior DBA

Cary's book has validated by belief that successful Oracle tuning requires an in-depth understanding of advanced software engineering concepts, including algorithm theory, queuing theory, Calculus, and multivariate statistics. Using these CS tools, Millsap explains the internals mechanisms of the Oracle engine.
After dusting-off my 1970's Calculus texts (thank God I took 4 semesters of Calculus), I was able to start this epic tome.
This is not an easy read! While not quite as slow as reading Ulysses (James Joyce), expect to spend many hours digesting and understanding the mathematical equations and concepts in this text.
For those with the appropriate College-level background (A Masters in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering), the book is wonderful (or so I'm told, I'm just an MBA).
Packed with queuing theory and advanced CS concepts, Millsap does a wonderful job applying the CS theory with the operational working of Oracle, especially with respect to wait event analysis.
The section of using SQL*trace and 10046 trace files are the hallmark of the Millsap approach, and Cary has done a wonderful job explaining this is plain English, with lot's of references to the v$ structures.
The only shortcoming of this book is that it may be too advanced for marginal Oracle professionals who do not possess the appropriate math and statistics background to appreciate the illustrations.
With respect to technical accuracy, the book is well annotated and researched, and the only issue I found was that Millsap's explanation of the pdf Poisson distributions were "fishy". (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)
Otherwise, this is an outstanding technical resource, worthy of the practicing Oracle database administrator.