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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Wireless Hacks
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Rob Flickenger
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A Fascinating Read for Wireless Enthusiasts

Despite the dubiously provocative title, this book in essence, is a practical guide to the wireless frontier of telecommunications. The term `hacking' is often perceived as a negative act, while the term `hacker' in the computer tech realm is heeded as a compliment--tinctured with hues of creativity and technical prowess (to infiltrate network systems). The term `hack' in this book, refers to something entirely different. It's defined as a "quick-n-dirty" means of getting to the core of a technological problem; or a resourceful and unconventional way of accomplishing a task.

This book offers a panoramic view of the wireless landscape in practical and easily digestible terms. The background and evolution of wireless technology is brought into focus, with wide-lens coverage on existing wireless standards that define the Wi-Fi revolution today--the 802.11b and 802.11g protocols, their antecedents, as well as latter counterparts that have yet to pervade the mainstream. The characteristics of each protocol (frequency bands on which it operates, data speed capacity, etc.) along with their real-world applications, virtues and limitations, provide the reader greater understanding. These inherent strengths and weaknesses, when framed into context, empowers the consumer to make an informed decision on a wireless format best suited to his needs. A panoply of wireless devices and concepts (e.g. Bluetooth technology, mobile phone carrier networks, etc.) are also highlighted. And wireless-oriented acronyms (e.g. TDMA, CDMA, GSM, etc.) that obscure the telecommunications domain are effectively elucidated.

Each chapter stands on its own--laid out with a specific subject matter--so that page-by-page reading is not necessary for comprehension. Chapter 5 ("Do-It-Yourself Antennas") presents tried-and-true, home-spun devices for extending wireless network range, while Chapter 7 deals with wireless security--offering tips for recognizing network holes and providing suggestions on securing a network.

While valuable troubleshooting tips are plentiful, much of this book is dedicated to specific wireless schemes (or "hacks") for achieving optimal wireless network efficiency. Leaving no computer user behind, each "hack" is delineated in various Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. And each hack is rated in terms of difficulty: beginner, moderate and expert. An expert-level hack might be entitled, "Photo Blog Automatically with the Nokia 3650", which instructs users on photo publishing from the road, without having to log on to a computer.

Practical and sometimes unconventional tools are provided for implementing and enabling wireless technology in a home environment and elsewhere. One segment provides beginner-level, step-by-step instructions on how to turn your laptop into a spectrum analyzer (without installing any additional software) for the purpose of locating all wireless networks within range.

In its entirety, this book is concisely laid out for ease of comprehension. The technologies that have come to define the wireless revolution are illuminated and relative strengths and weaknesses of various network standards are highlighted. Resources for optimizing networking hardware are provided--from extending range and intensifying data throughput, to managing and exploiting valuable wireless resources--in creative and non-traditional ways. Riveting in content, it brings into focus the intensely dynamic pace of wireless evolution, while effectively familiarizing the reader with the infinite bounties of telecomm's wireless dimension.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Information Security Risk Analysis
Publisher: Auerbach Publications
Authors: Thomas R. Peltier
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Painfull but good

This book contains some great information for performing risk analysis. The content however appears to have never been reread and contains many errors and typos. The book also contains about 100 pages of regular text and approx. 300 pages of tables which are not available in an electronic format. So basically if your going to use the book for real life analysis, be prepared to retype all the tables that appeal to you. It is truely unfortunate that there is no mechanism for obtaining an electronic version of the tables in this book.As far as technical content, the book is very good and does a great job of breaking in someone new to the world of risk analysis.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The perfect HTML book to get you started.

I have seen too many HTML guides that are page after page of straight text with few illustrations and no examples. Now these are fine if you're just interested in theory, but what if you want something to get you started coding HTML?
At the recommendation of a friend I purchased this book. Within a few weeks of using this book, I felt very comfortable coding and editing HTML WITHOUT any kind of WYSIWYG editor (Frontpage, Composer). I started creating all my HTML pages using notepad or wordpad. I figured out how to do some simple style sheets, tables, text editing, all kinds of links, images, etc.
The book is set up like this: First it's organized into chapters by topic. Each chapter contains a number of new things to learn. Each section, such as "Using Background Color (page 98)" contains a short intro paragraph (usually no more than a few sentences), step by step written instructions, tips, plus two illustrations, one of the code and one of the output of that code. The book also contains a very thorough index, color chart, html tag list, and compatibility guide.
If you want to learn the basics of HTML this book is just the thing. It will take you through the whole process from planning, through design and building your site, to publishing it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How to Do Everything with Photoshop CS
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Colin Smith, Colin Smith
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Amazing Book, Targets all user levels

I got the book a little while ago, and couldn't wait to go through it. I was afraid it would be a step by step droning writer, but I don't think I could have any further from the reality. I think everyone will benefit from the in depth examples, and the greatest part about the book is so much valuable content contained in those pages. If you haven't ordered this book, I highly urge you to as soon as you possibly can.
Before I end this review I would like to add that the Camera Raw plugin is only valuable to people that own those cameras, and I am sure that is why the author didn't include it.