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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Delphi 7
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Marco Cantu, Marco Cantù
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A great book with the needed detail

To cover all the reviews so far, they all have a bit of truth in them.
The book is not for the absolute beginner, but then no one book can cover it all. The book is basically for anyone that has learnt to move past the "hello world" program and understands normal programming theory (variables, loops, records etc), and really wants to get involved in "real world" programming.
This book teaches use of multiple forms in applications (how many single form applications, really exist in the real world, except for beginners books), differences in the use of Delphi Database Architectures, the use of the JET engine for access to Excel, etc., the use of Web Services and a little more in depth on Rave etc. as well as an introduction to .NET programming
If you are an absolute beginner programmer(nothing wrong with that), then another book may be more suitable, but if you are already across several languages, then this book is probably what you need to move to the next step.
Yes it is true, that the absolute basics have diminished with each book, but how many ways can you write the if...then loop, and I still have my Delphi 2 and 3 books for the basics (if I hit a mental block).
Anyhow, I hope this makes it a lot clearer, like all his previous books, it is well written and another welcome addition to my library.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential ASP.NET With Examples in C#
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Fritz Onion
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Highly recommended for experienced developers

I've ordered this book primarily based on rave reviews of fellow webloggers as well as the fact that every single book from AW .NET series was worth the money. This book did not disappoint.
Fritz has found the right to mix of giving the reader the theory and practical advice. The author assumes that the reader is familiar with .NET and is experienced in application design (I soooo wish more authors would make the same assumption!).
This book gives an experienced developer enough background to be able to make some of the most important design decisions such as when and how to separate presentation logic in custom controls; how to manage state; what data caching option to use etc.
The flow of Essential ASP.NET is absolutely impeccable. Every detail and feature of the technology is introduced at exactly the right place. I liked the flow of the book so much I've used it to put together a presentation on ASP.NET for our team.
A couple of points I wish would be better:
- The book has no description of ASP.NET Web Services - the only major topic omitted. - There's a few graphics in the book that suppose to illustrate processing sequences. The layout of those graphics could have been done better and didn't really clarify the text they were trying to illustrate. - The chapter on configuration spends a lot of its text describing how to work with .config files. This topic isn't really specific to ASP.NET and could have been shortened.- The author gives valuable recommendations on design choices, but most of the advice is directed towards an Internet web application developers. I wish the author would give more consideration to options relevant to Intranet developers.
Overall: highly recommended for experienced developers.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCNA ICND Exam Certification Guide (CCNA Self-Study, 640-811, 640-801), Fourth Edition
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Wendell Odom
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good CCNA Refresher

Every journey begins with a single step. The quote is trite but is most appropriate for someone who has decided to pursue a career in Cisco networking. In order to begin the Cisco journey, the first step real step is the CCNA exam. Unless they are extremely fortunate and have someone (an employer or educator) to offer guidance, chances are the beginning networker will be taking this first exam on their own. The CCNA exam certification guides from Cisco Press offer the guidance they need to take that first step. In recent years, Cisco has made it even easier on the novice by dividing the material into two separate exams. CCNA candidates also have the money-saving option of getting their CCNA the good old-fashioned way: as a single exam.

I chose the Cisco Press books because I'd learned that if you want to get the right material weighting for a Cisco exam, it's best to pick your apples right off of the tree. In my previous experience, Cisco Press books had a tendency to be somewhat dry but I quickly learned that this misconception is no longer true. I found that the author, Wendell Odom, brings a friendly approach to the material that makes it quite readable. His examples are handled very well and his explanations are good. He doesn't write in the "just-the-facts-ma'am" way that tends to be the norm in technical books, so I will definitely be looking for titles by him in the future.

As the name implies, The ICND Exam Certification Guide (ISBN: 1-58720-083-X) can be used to study for the Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) exam (640-811). The book itself weighs in at around 650 pages and is divided into five parts covering LAN Switching, TCP/IP, Wide Area Networks, Network Security and Final Preparation. These sections map to the objectives of the exam which covers basic switch configuration, basic IP routing, basic access list configuration and basic remote access configuration. This book takes each topic and explains the details regarding its implementation. The basic configuration commands are presented, explained and then given in the form of an example. The examples are generally pretty clear and the commands are shown in relation to the surrounding commands, so the context of the command is clear. This book is the opposite of the INTRO book, as it covers a small amount of material to a deeper level. There are some new topics presented, like route summarization and Link State protocols, which weren't on the old CCNA exam. If you are ready to recertify, but aren't ready to move on to CCNP, then this is the book to pick up.

The CD included with the book has an excellent test bank. I found it to be very useful in preparing for the test and working through the book. There were a few answers that were just plain wrong, but I've come to expect a little inaccuracy with my test banks. The questions are not overly easy, but they're also not all that tricky. They're about the right level of difficulty for this exam. One especially cool feature is the "Study Saver" which makes the question bank your screen saver. Cisco has an affinity for simulation questions on their exams, so it's good that they also included the Boson Netsim LE on the CD. The bad news is that all the functions and labs are not unlocked unless you go through the "upgrade process" which consists of downgrading your wallet to the tune of $125, which is supposed to be a great deal compared to what they usually charge. I didn't want to spend a lot of time with what is essentially a simulator demo, but feel free to give it a try. However, if the interface doesn't really make you comfortable, try something else like the Cisco Interactive Mentor CD's or one of the many other simulator options out there before shelling out your hard-earned money. One option that I recommend is finding a few routers (nothing fancy) for a few hundred bucks. Sure, they're more expensive than buying a simulator, but they're also more powerful and you can use them as building blocks towards having a live CCNP lab and maybe even a CCIE lab much further down the road. In addition to the test banks and Netsim, the CD's also include PDF versions of the books and 25 IP subnetting practice exercises.

I read this book in preparation for my CCNA recertification. Since it is intended for someone fairly new to networking, I experienced a bit of the "duh" factor. However, I was still able to learn a few interesting facts and reinforced a lot of what I already knew. I used this book in tandem with its INTRO counterpart to prepare for the single CCNA exam (640-801). I was pleased to see that, although the CCNA has been split into 2 books, the author has included a reading plan that allows you to read the 2 books in a back-and-forth order that makes it easy to use the same set of books to study for the single test version. In closing, I found this book to be very well written and in invaluable tool in preparing for my CCNA recertification. On my 5 ping scale, I give it 5 pings.


Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mobile and Wireless Design Essentials
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Martyn Mallick, Martyn Mallick
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I recommend to every person interested in Mobile and Wireles

Anyone dealing with mobile and wireless computing needs to have this book on their desk. It is a great reference, providing a comprehensive and non-biased overview of the different facets of this market space.
It is uniquely written in such a way that it can be read, understood and enjoyed by a wide variety of readers. From any IT sales staff needing to understand the competing technologies - to project managers needing to implement optimized mobile and wireless solutions - to the hard-core techies looking for an introduction into new technology - this book will apply...
Read this book if you want a competitive advantage in mobile and wireless computing...