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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Unix Power Tools, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Shelley Powers, Tim O'Reilly, Mike Loukides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
one of the most useful books in my library

I bought the first edition of this book way back when it first came out, and it's still by far one of the most useful books in my library. I find myself referring back to it any time i have to write a quick shell script. It's a big fat book that contains no end of useful tidbits and information. I'm not sure what's changed in the second edition, but it's one of those must-have items for any library.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PCs for Dummies, Ninth Edition
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Dan Gookin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Author Dan Gookin will not let you down...

His style makes any tech topic easy and fun to learn. This new edition covers broadband, digital photography, beating back spam, Tablet PCs, and all kinds of other great things. To keep up with new things your computer can or should do, or as a safety net for anything that might pop up, this book is the handiest reference you'll find anywhere!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Publisher: Anchor
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
My students are eating this baby up

I'm using this book as a text in a computer ethics class I teach at an area University. The students are eating this material up like it was candy. Singh's book is well-written and engaging (in a dry way), including enough technical detail to intrigue the computer science majors in my class and enough detail about the people involved to keep the non-technical majors interested as well. I personally find the last chapter on "Quantum computing" and "Quantum cryptography" to be less good than the other chapters, but overall, this book is really, really good stuff.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Software Project Survival Guide
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve C McConnell
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Concerns about the approach presented

I must admit I have only read the other reviews of this book, but I do want to make a comment. Reading this book if you are in a CMM Level 1 organization is probably a good idea, because you'll need survival tactics. If you're in a Level 2 or higher organization, this is an indication that you still have cowboy/cowgirl tendencies and aren't getting on board with what the rest of your organization is doing. I just got a copy of 'A Discipline for Software Engineering' by Watts Humphreys and think it has a lot more meat to it, since it teaches not survival techniques, but engineering discipline that we all need to demonstrate. I'm going to recommend we start a corporate effort to make all 'serious' programmers aware of the techniques it presents. We need more engineering discipline, and fewer tricks to be successful when the organizations we work for are undisciplined.