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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How to Build a Speech Recognition Application: Second Edition: A Style Guide for Telephony Dialogues
Publisher: Enterprise Integration Group
Authors: Bruce Balentine, David P. Morgan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An excellent, highly practical book.

Large vocabulary recognition applications are hot. Callers can speak directly to computers to make reservations, trade stocks, track packages, and handle many other complex transactions. Convenient applications that allow you to use the telephone to interact with computerized tranaction systems will soon be ubiquitous. Designers with the experience and cleverness to engineer good applications are in demand.
This book provides an excellent guide for both the novice and experienced application designer. Balentine and Morgan are both well known and well respected in the User Interface and Speech Processing technical communities.
The book covers a wide variety of topics useful in creating speech recognition applications: speech output, speech recognition, natural language understanding, vocabulary suggestions, testing, etc. All of the topics are covered from an intensely practical approach. The authors provide lots of guidelines for application dialog definition, and distinguish required from recommended practices. They make an effort to point out good design practices. A careful reader of this book can not help but become a better dialog designer and application developer.
But this book is not just a cookbook, or a list of guidelines. Balentine and Morgan make sure the reader understands why a recommendation is made. In difficult or controversial areas, they discuss important issues that affect the application dialog. For example, in the chapter on barge-in they avoid the simple minded approach used by some technology vendors and discuss when barge-in should and should not be used, how to recover from error, and the legal issues posed.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Assembly Language Step-by-step: Programming with DOS and Linux (with CD-ROM)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Jeff Duntemann
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A good job on what it sets out to do

This book accommodates the beginner who has not yet learned to read hexadecimal. By leaning pedgogically on DOS, the author coaches the reader on programming Linux in assembler; an audacious task for which the author proves well qualified. The approach is gentle. The example DOS program on page 229 is equivalent to K&R's "hello, world."
The NASM assembler, provided on disk and is used in the examples, uses Intel mnemonics; allowing the book to sidestep the issue of AT&T mnemonics versus Intel mnemonics. This will be fault of feature, depending on what you need. Readers programming Linux in C and learning to cope with assembler in the GNU world where we use AT&T mnemonics, will need to supplement this book with assembler HOWTOs.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Advanced Programming in the UNIX(R) Environment
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The finest Unix programming book yet ?

This book, in common with all of Stevens's works is a fine example of how to write technical literature without boring the reader.
He starts with an discussion of the multitude of differing Unixes, explaining the geneology of each. Along with the work on standards, this is essential reading for any Unix user, from Wizard to Weenie.
As the book progresses, he takes you through the Unix API, step by step. IO, Processes, Tasks; it's all their. If you have a more advanced understanding, you can leap to the parts you want without fear of losing the rythm of the book. The best

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft® Excel 2000 Bible
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John Walkenbach
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Five stars? I don't think so.

No doubt the best reasonably complete guide to Excel 2000. It's well written with plenty of apposite examples and many of these are on the accompanying CD Rom.