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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Artificial Intelligence (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Winston
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Miserable AI book - avoid at all costs


Winston's book is really terrible. I mean truly repellently, malignantly bad. "Can it really be as bad as all that?" you wonder. Yes!! It's that bad!! For starters, the book is poorly organized. Topics that logically belong together are often several chapters apart. There is no overall structure to the book. It seems like a collection of topics in AI that were hastily assembled without concern for thematic organization or flow. For example, the forward and backward chaining algorithms are presented in a chapter (Ch. 7) on rule-based systems, but are not even mentioned in the chapter (Ch. 13) on logic! Perceptron training is presented AFTER backpropagation! Contrast this with the much better book by Russell and Norvig, which uses the theme of intelligent agents as a continuing motivation throughout, and which groups related topics into logically arranged chapters.
The examples in Winston are atrocious. The main example in the backpropagation chapter is some kind of classification network with a bizarre topography. This example is so trivial and weird that it totally fails to illustrate the strengths of backpropagation. The explanations of generalization and overfitting in backprop training are awful.
The only chapter of this book that is not an unmitigated pedagogical disaster is the chapter on genetic algorithms, although better introductions exist (e.g. Melanie Mitchell).
A further annoyance is the placement of all the exercises at the end of the book instead of the end of the chapters to which they correspond.
Avoid this book. It is truly horrible, and vastly superior books on AI are readily available at comparable prices.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: IT Services Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Anthony Tardugno, Thomas DiPasquale, Robert Matthews
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent reading if you deal with IT data centers.


This is a book that many IT managers have to read, it's a quick meal though, no details but a balanced dose of good ideas and a window on Service delivery where IT data centers is no longer a "cost center". The only thing I did not like is to center the data center around SUN and Oracle or a brand in general, although it is clear the book reflects the authors experience in SUN/Oracle environment.I advise anyone who has anything with today's data centers (no matter his or her technical level) to read this book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SIP Demystified
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
Authors: Gonzalo Camarillo
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Skip the first half


I found this book covered too many points on the spectrum. The first half goes over everything BUT SIP. Most people who want to learn the generic SIP structure already know how a simple telephone and data network operates.
This takes a little too long to get the the "meat" but from there on gives a pretty good detail of the SIP format for anyone looking at understanding the basic SIP code format.
As a fundamentals book for anyone wanting to start learning SIP programming it would be a good reference to have on the shelf. Skip the first half though.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Study Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Toby Skandier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book


This book is easy to understand and follow. It's very in-depth in most areas. The one area I would have liked to see more work on was Netbeui, as I never felt it explained it well. Besides that, the book is excellent.
The practice exams are hard, but will help you to figure out what you need to go over more. I didn't find many errors, and none that would have really messed me up. Great book, buy it!