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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A Discipline for Software Engineering
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Watts S. Humphrey
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
How to, Value, Aim for and Real case


I did skim read much of this book looking for the how to's and evidence of value, of which I found many in the 1st half of the book. The last few chapters tend to describe things he thinks are worth aiming for, rather than precise actions known to have value. The major exception is Chapter 13, which has a Quality Function Deployment table that describes how to balance competing development objectives.

The methods described in this book are known to be very successful, see "Software Process Improvement Works" [Ferguson 99]. The methods described are used by Microsoft, Intuit, The Boeing Company, Allied Signal, Lockheed Martin, NAVAIR, and SAIC, see SEI web pages.

I wish he had omitted his long explanations and labelled the sections "How to, Value, Aim for and Real case", then I could have bypassed the "Aim for" sections, as I was not interested in them. My impression, "A discipline for software engineering" is the work of a genius, read it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Excel 2000 Formulas
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John Walkenbach
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great resource for Excel Formulas


As a mid-high experienced Excel user, I found this book to be a useful resource to round out my Excel knowledge with coherent and concise explanations of Excel formulas and useful examples. While I don't think this book is a great resource for the beginner, I think it is useful for anyone who's job requires them to use Excel anyhwere from 10 hours a week or more OR for experienced Excel users who want to round out their overall Excel knowledge.
I particularly liked the author's ability to solve commonplace Excel logic problems with formula examples (i.e. finding the the number of unique experiences in a data set with a combination of clever formulas put together). His solutions and examples are clearly written and explained, particularly sections on dates and text manipulatios).
Where I think the book has shortcomings is in its struggle to pull these great solutions out from the more basic instructional writings. I have, however, heard many great things about this author and look forward to reading other works by him.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop 7 Down & Dirty Tricks
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the best Photoshop books around


If you're into Photoshop, then this is one book you'll need to buy. I bought it a few weeks ago and have learned some great stuff; matter of fact, I took a break from a lesson in it to go online and praise the writer. This is the kind of book I like: plenty of visuals and easy-to-understand writing. As an aside, there aren't many books that have such a warm dedication and introduction as this book does. I would go as far to say as this is the best Photoshop book I've ever purchased. I also have the "Photoshop 6 Wow" book, and that was close in competition with this one.
There are other fine Photoshop books out there, and the bottom line is there isn't just one book for Photoshop enthusiasts. The Wow book shows in more detail how to use the Extract command to remove an object from a photo; and on the other hand this book does a simpler job of showing some of the lessons in the Wow book. Me, I'm glad I have both of them.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Access 2000 Developer's Handbook Volume 1: Desktop Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Paul Litwin, Ken Getz, Mike Gilbert
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Simply the best


I have the Access 97 version of this book and thought it was time to upgrade - I needn't have bothered. 95% of this book is the same as the earlier edition. Apart from a very basic chapter on ADO there was little to distinguish this book from the 97 developers handbook. In fact a there are parts of the book that talk about "cool new features" that were introduced in Access 95! If you don't have an earlier edition of this book, and you are a hardcore developer, then it's an essential purchase - otherwise try the volume 2 enterprise edition. Maybe it contains all the "cool new features".