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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Michael Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good Test Guide

This test guide is easy reading without being too vague and general, includes good illustrations with overall thorough explanations. I will definitely use Meyer's books in the future.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Python Essential Reference (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: David Beazley
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good Desk Reference but I suggest you don't buy it

This book is an excellent book if you already know the language and have some good Python books that explains the various language features (from Beginner to Intermediate Levels). I would recommend it if you need to quickly look up some language feature/syntax that you may have forgotten or can't quite remember. But it is not a good book for even an experienced programmer to learn Python from. The book is very terse wrt to the language features, with minimal information for somebody trying to learn about the language. The last 2/3's of the book is information on the Python libraries that come with a standard distribution. The Library section contains no more than what you will find in the documentation directory of the standard Python distribution. Considering approximately 1/3 of the book (99 pages) deals with the language and the rest deals with material that you can access and print (if required) from the current distribution that you have downloaded, it is not a particularly good book to purchase. It is a good reference book but to learn the language properly you will need to purchase other books on the subject - in which case you won't need this one! :-)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Planning Extreme Programming
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Kent Beck, Martin Fowler
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Expensive but excellent book

Planning XP is well-written, just like Robert's Uml Distilled and Refactoring. Reading it was as easy as reading a child's story book. Of course, the content of it are serious, for developers, customers as well as project managers.
This book talks in details the planning and requirement gathering part in XP process. The order of reading the three books would be XP Explained, XP Installed followed by Planning XP.
One shortcoming of the book IMHO would be that the example on the travel booking system should be elaborated on. We all learn from examples and it would be great if the content of the book is develop around this example to give a better understanding of the subject. Even so, this book is great in explaining about subject, simply because it's practical. It tells you how to go about doing it and not what you should do.
Do not refuse to read it just because you do not believes in XP. XP books are always littered with good tips which are applicable even if you are using other processes.
Comparing prices, this book is rather expensive, considering that I can get the GoF book one dollar cheaper here in my country. The GoF book is thicker and comes with hard covers.
Even though it is expensive, I would still recommend it, as I feel that this should be a book that everyone in a project team should own. Rush to your nearest bookstore now!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Windows XP For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Andy Rathbone
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
funny, but informative

Using Windows XP is much easier after reading this book, and be prepared to laugh a little. The author makes this book very informative and fun all at the same time. Most educational books are DULL, but not this one. Buy this book!!! ...