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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Structured Computer Organization (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Andrew S. Tanenbaum
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Every programmer should read this one.

This book, probably the oldest of the Tanenbaum tetralogy, is in my opinion, the finest. This can double up as a first course in Operating Systems as well as Computer Architecture/Organization. I wish our school had used this as the textbook for our first year CO class. The material covered is fundamental yet very readable. Coverage of microprogramming(including some good stuff about x86 Micro Architecture), virtual memory, instruction set design, RISC v CISC, multicomputers. The tenet of this book is that a computer can be viewed as a series of layered machines, with chapters describing each machine. Overall a great value for anybody who wants to have a better idea of what goes under computer systems, without too much pains.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 Days (4th Edition) (Sams Teach Yourself)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Rogers Cadenhead, Laura Lemay
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Who is this book for?

If you are a beginner this book is not complete and sometimes is very confusing. A lot of very important language basics just briefly mentioned. You will not learn java using this book. If you already familiar with java this book will not give you any valuable knowledge. I would recomend "java in a nutshell". For beginners "how to program in java".

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java (tm) Certification
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Not just a certifiation guide

The book is very good, but I was unable to get the mock engine as promised. I registered the book and sent numorous complaints to the publishers. The publishers don't seem to care. I am stuck with this book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Take a closer look

I was impressed by the first 65 pages of 'Jakob Nielsen's 50 Web Sites'. For the first time, it seemed, someone had stopped to analyse the genetic code that made for a successful homepage.
What happened on page 66? .......... What happened was that I came to the deconstruction (criticism) of THIS site (amazon.com) and discovered that things were not as they seemed. Having purchased regularly from three of the amazon sites over the last five years, and having written over 200 reviews on this site alone, I think I know the site as well as any other customer. Thus I was surprised when I saw some of the criticisms levelled by Jakob Nielsen and Marie Tahir. I'm not saying that everything is perfect - and fair criticism is wholly constructive - however, the authors have left themselves open to the charge of superficiality.
Take as an example their criticism of the page tabs (they say that users can make use of the other navigation tools on the page). Personally, I ALWAYS use the tabs at the top of the page. It seems that Nielsen and Tahir haven't considered user preferences.
They say that 'Friends and Favorites' is a meaningless category name. Not to me, it's not. Nor to hundreds of thousands of other site users.
They say that 'Free e-cards' should be in the 'Gifts' category. WRONG - Gift Certificates are in the gift category. e-Cards are e-Cards. Gift Certificates are Gift Certificates.
They say that 'Hello' is an unnecessary level of friendliness. Is it? I LIKE being welcomed to the site (even though I know it's only an electronic gizmo). What Nielsen and Tahir failed to understand was that, after signing-in, the message says 'Hello, Graham Hamer' (or Hello, Father Christmas if that's who you are). As I say, the authors have been too superficial in drawing their conclusions.
They say that Photo albums and Photo frames is an odd and seemingly random combination of items. Eh? Doesn't the word 'photo' conjure up a link?
They say that 'Kitchen' should be grouped with 'Lawn and Patio'. Why? I don't grow flowers in my oven.
In Nielsen and Tahir's specific examples, they criticise 'A Painted House' as being a poor description of John Grisham's 'A Painted House'. ... What planet are these people from?
They criticize the fact that there is more than one place on the page to sign in. I LIKE that feature since both my wife and I have accounts with Amazon, I often find that I am 'signed in' on her account. Having a convenient location to click is a useful addition.
Nielsen and Tahir have completely misunderstood the meaning of the heading 'New Releases'. If they had bothered to click on any of the categories below, they would have understood its function. (Superficiality again.)
I could rant on and on for pages, but I think you're probably getting the gist of things. Having discovered that the authors had made such a poor job of deconstructing a site I know well, I now don't trust their judgement on the remaining 49 sites. That's a shame, because the idea behind the book is good - just poorly executed.