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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Steve Krug
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Don't Make Me Read!


That was the nick-name I gave this book -- I got so much value without having to read a densely written text. It's one of the most usable, practical, and well designed books I've ever read.
Bottom line: I learned how to conduct beautifully effective user testing with minimal investment, time, and reading!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: William R. Stanek
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The most helpful book I've ever read on Exchange


If you use Exchange, you need this book. Period. All the new 2003 features are covered. Beginners will find everything they need to get going, while experienced admins will find things they didn't know. (For example, why and how you set RTS values for the X.400 MTA or to configure Outlook Mobile/Web access for firewalls in multiserver configurations).
The book even teaches configuring mail support for Outlook and Outlook express. Everything from IMAP to POP3 configuration, accessing multiple mailboxes, delegating access permissions.
I'm an die-hard GUI hacker, and the book discusses that, but also goes deep into the details. The books gives pointers on mobile access, web access and all the related wireless issues. It even discusses RPC over HTTP. The most detailed discussion on the data store I've found. Everything you'd expect on storage groups, mailbox stores, public stores, content indexing, replicating public folders.
This is an excellent book and I recommend it very highly.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Developing Windows-Based Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual C# .NET
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft Corporation
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
An introduction Book


While it was not as informative as some other books. I have never layed eyes on this book yet feel compelled to review it. My dad always told me "idle hands are the devil's play things" Maybe that is why I took LSD when my hands were idle, who knows? But this book I am sure is very good and I hope you read it and get confused because this is not for dummies!!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: ASP.NET in a Nutshell, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: G. Andrew Duthie, Matthew MacDonald
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent Reference -- So-So Tutorial


I picked this particular book because it was by O'Reilly, and their reference "ASP in a Nutshell" is excellent. However, that other book is by a different author, and ASP.NET is far more complex than classic ASP.
The dilemma the authors faced was that if they wanted to create an excellent reference at a reasonable price, they had to skimp on creating a good tutorial. Well, they succeeded in creating an excellent reference at a fair price. The book is almost 800 pages, and I think they used the space very well. But as other reviewers have noted, if you need a slower-paced introduction, you will need another book. O'Reilly & Associates have apparently realized this, because they also publish "Programming ASP.NET" (which I know little about).
To me, the authors seem to be very knowledgeable. The book is well-organized and doesn't skimp on any ASP.NET topics. They know "classic" ASP extremely well, which is helpful if you yourself are migrating from classic ASP.
C# and other non-VB programmers will notice a slight bias towards Visual Basic .NET, but honestly this shouldn't be a problem for anybody, especially if you were used to switching between VBScript and JScript in "classic" ASP.
If I could change one thing about the book, it would be the introduction to ADO.NET. ADO.NET only bears a superficial resemblance to "classic" ADO, and the bound ASP.NET data controls are completely new. Yet the chapter that covers them is only 23 pages long. The chapter is explicitly written as an overview, but if you have no other printed reference handy the chapter ends up being just a teaser. The examples in that chapter are fairly similar to the ones in the MDSN library, which are quite "lazy". I would have gladly paid another $2.20 for 50 more pages to expand upon the topic. Instead I will have to find some good examples on the web somewhere, or buy another book (not likely).
I don't own any other ASP.NET books, but I can say that if you could only buy one ASP.NET book, this one would be a good choice.