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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Save your money


This book is typical of O'Reilly books, in that in the first chapter, they attempt to summarize the entire book. For a non-Perl programmer, attempting to learn the language, it will leave you frustrated and confused. The book is poorly organized, poorly written, and the author tends to ramble when he should be quantifying examples he's given. There are clearly better books available for learning Perl, and your money is better spent elsewhere.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not all it's cracked up to be


This book is certainly the most authoritative work on C++ out there. It's modeled after the classic Kernighan and Ritchie book on C. However, what I am really looking for is an authoritative **reference** work on the language, much like Harbison and Steele's reference book on C - which presents the language in a straightforward way, without side discussion about programming topics.
The two biggest flaws of this book are its preachiness, and its inexcusable number of errors. I find Stroustrup's writing to be terribly condescending, almost as if he knows the One True Way programs should be written, and that we are mere heathens who need to learn the enlightened way. He also equates programming in C++ to the way he likes to program, even though C++ can be used in many different styles.
Secondly, I'd like to echo the words of an earlier reviewer: this is possibly the buggiest computer book I have ever seen. It will likely take me several *days* to apply all the errata to my copy (I have the second printing), and about every second or third page will have a correction when I'm done. It's obvious Stroustrup never ran any of his code examples through a compiler, judging from the staggering number of typos and outright coding mistakes. A terribly sloppy book.
If you want an authoritative book on the language, I wish there were an alternative. But, since there isn't, I have to give this book a mediocre score rather than outright panning it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements 3
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Richard Lynch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Remarkable book and software combination


I wish I could give more stars to this book. I am new to Photoshop Elements and retouching photos in general. I have many old photos some of which have been through a fire and some that have associated water damage. I was able to repair these photos to look like new using the techniques and tools offered by Richard Lynch. One of the worst cases was a photo that was in an oval frame. The photo was badly faded, with a different level of fading in the region shadowed by the frame. Each of the three colors making up the picture had different levels of fading. On top of that, there was a rust stain around the oval where it had touched the photo. Although I did spend time on this photo, it was straight forward to repair with the techniques I learned from this book.

The book is written almost like a text book. I found the lessons to be deep, but the text to be very well written and very concise. Mr. Lynch writes to teach and not to show how much he knows (although this is quite evident by reading the book). The book is not just how to use the tools supplied in Photoshop Elements 3, but is about obtaining a deep understanding of the makeup of an image and how to manipulate the image with the knowledge.

Extremely impressive. At this price, it really is a gift from Richard Lynch! Thank you!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Murach's OS/390 and z/OS JCL
Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates
Authors: Raul Menendez, Doug Lowe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A highly recommended and reliable tutorial


Collaboratively written by experienced professional programmers Raul Menendez and Doug Lowe, Murach's OS/390 And z/OS JCL is a comprehensive, and exhaustive tutorial, reference, in the form and formate of a complete and effective guide to understanding the JCL used to run programs on an IBM system. From the basics of JCL operating system code, to writing code in JCL yourself, to mastering time-saving features, tape data sets, and much more, Murach's OS/390 And z/OS JCL is a thorough, step-by-step book that guides anyone with even the most cursory experience in operating systems down the most effortless path. Sample programs and meticulously presented ideas help clarify the solid computer science foundation of this essential, core reference for anyone who needs to concern themselves with the ins and outs of JCL. Murach's OS/390 And z/OS JCL is a highly recommended and reliable tutorial that will aptly serve the user as a continuing reference work.