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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mastering Windows 2000 Server
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Brian M. Smith, Doug Toombs, Mark Minasi
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Easy-to-read, broad overview of Win 2K Server

Before I say how much I like this book, I'll confess I have not read it cover-to-cover, as I have the 3rd Edition and it is over 1800 pages. But it is a refreshing change from other texts on the same subject written by folks who think MS products are infallible.
Why did I get this book? I'm not an IT person, but I write a lot of code... mainly for PHP/MySQL-based web sites that usually run Unix-based systems using Apache servers. When offered the challenge of designing a huge web-based application for my employer's intranet, I accepted, but only later found out I had to run my scripts on a Windows 2000 Server. And to make it worse, I would not be allowed to administer the server... only our IT department staff was allowed admin rights to it. And if that wasn't bad enough, no one on our IT staff knew how to run Win 2K Server. Yet they expected me to have all the answers for them. This book has given me the answers.
Now, don't get this book if you are looking for guidance on running PHP/MySQL on Win 2K... no no no. There's plenty of information on the net for that. What I'm talking about is the stuff like Active Directory, or DSN, or SMTP... things that I needed to know to get all our users up and running with the correct permissions to specific directories, databases, email, etc. Its a good introduction to the topics to familiarize yourself with the terminology. If you need advanced coverage on a topic, you may need to get other resources. But this has been a great starting point for me.
One point I want to re-emphasise... before I bought this book, I bought another book on MS IIS 5.0 which just about made me sick to my stomach. The other author was some kind of pro-MS zealot and laced the book with lots of sugary-sweet praise for MS. But not Minasi. I was impressed with his balanced perspective and his mix of both compliments and criticisms.
Anyway, I recommend this to people who know little to nothing about Windows 2000 Server.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Flanagan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excelent resource

I had a VERY basic knowledge of JavaScript coming to this book, (i.e. I could make an alert popup) and no knowledge of other programing languages (well HTML, but that doesn't counts). I found it to be an excelent resource and teaching tool. True, some parts are complicated, but you can skip around chapters with relative ease, and I could always figure things out with some puzzling. It's nice how authoritative it is, and how completely it documents the syntax. It takes a while to get into the programing mood and understand its power though, so it requires some thought to get into the more advanced techniques. I would recommend this book to anyone, with the possible exception of someone without a strong basis in HTML. Also, quite frankly, what you get out of this book depends on your intelligence. If you like to read manuals (like I do), and have a strong basic computer knowledge to back this up, it'll be all you could hope for.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ Coding Standards : 101 Rules, Guidelines, and Best Practices (C++ in Depth Series)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Herb Sutter, Andrei Alexandrescu
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Improve your group's coding standard and improve your coding

More than any other language, C++ cries out for a set of coding standards. It has an unmatched combination of expressiveness and efficiency, but is also unmatched in sharp edges and dark corners. Although a universally recognized coding standard would serve to raise the quality of code in the industry, reduce training costs, and serve as the basis of customized standards for teams everywhere, no such standard has been written because previous attempts have always foundered on the rocks of religious rat holes, overly localized vision, insufficient consensus, and not enough time to adequately research all of the issues.

Enter Alexandrescue and Sutter to fill this void with "C++ Coding Standards." Two of our most respected and visionary C++ authors started with dozens of guidelines gathered from years of personal experience and correspondence with hundreds of developers. They researched them and added hundreds of citations of books, articles, and web-sites. Then they and "C++ In-Depth Series" editor Bjarne Stroustrup put together a blue ribbon panel of tech reviewers that scrutinized and discussed the items, refining and focusing, to remove the superficial ones that cause rat hole discussions and to reinforce the bedrock guidelines that keep teams developing quality software year after year.

C++ teams everywhere will be re-evaluating their coding guidelines against this new standard. This is destined to be an important book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Darn Useful

I purchased this book to obtain a better understanding of web usability design for my own small business site.
This book presents web usability design clearly. So clearly, in fact, that the design ideas presented can be understood and applied.
I approached the book by reading the Preface and Introduction, then other topics according to design issues that I encountered. This approach has worked well, although I plan to read it straight through when I have time.
Definitely a good value.