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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCDST 70-272 Exam Cram 2 : Supporting Users & Troubleshooting Desktop Applications on a Windows XP Operating System (Exam Cram 2)
Publisher: Que
Authors: Diana Huggins, Will Schmied, Ed Tittel
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not enough depth

This book provides a good high level overview of the material. The main shortcoming is that it makes statements like "make sure you know this or that" but doesn't explain or provide examples. I took the test and passed, but don't think this book contributed a lot to my success. This book is worth a read, but don't rely on it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Pro Oracle Spatial
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Ravikanth V. Kothuri, Albert Godfrind, Euro Beinat
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent book, fascinating topic

Pro Oracle Spatial is a well written introduction to Oracle's spatial database extensions. Using this mechanism you can attach geometry data to your records and then search them using geometric patterns. Think of Yahoo maps as a good example of this. in fact, the case study portion of the book is a mapping website that you can search and overlay points of interest on. In addition the book demonstrates, to some degree, finding the best route between two spatial points.

It's a thick book on a thick topic, hard-backed, and well illustrated. The style is as walkthrough. Going through each section of the SDO extensions and showing how they are used in context. It's not a good reference work.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Design Patterns
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Elisabeth Freeman, Eric Freeman, Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

This is probably the best book anybody could have ever read on the topic. I'm glad that I bought this book. I also have 'classic' GoF book but having bought this one there is hardly any reason to look back on to the GoF book. C++/Smalltalk examples and boring paragraphs of texts? Not anymore!. If you are Java developer, just buy this book. Highly recommended.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Wicked Cool Shell Scripts
Publisher: No Starch Press
Authors: Dave Taylor
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Try Scripting Web Applications

The book is aimed at all users and systems administrators of linux and every unix variant, including most importantly the MacOS. If you already know some scripting, you should be quite at ease here. Taylor does decide to restrict his discussion to the Bourne shell and its descendent, bash. He drops the C shell! But, as he points out, the scripts he gives can be easily rewritten in the latter if you desire.
The book can be roughly divided into two parts. The first is essentially traditional scripting tasks. A user from 1988 would see original material here, but no qualitative surprises.
The second half of the book is more interesting. It centres on Web applications. For example, when running a Web server that uses CGI, Perl and C are often the choice for implementing logic. But sometimes you can get by with a simpler approach - using a Bourne shell. Taylor shows how to do this to make simple web pages, with images, even. Cool! Though this outlook lacks the full expressive power of generating dynamic pages via Java Server Pages/Servlets, these latter alternatives can be quite forbidding to learn. If you are already comfortable with sed, awk, grep [etc], you may want to try this approach, provided your web site is not too complex.
In summary, the web scripting approach suggested here may be the most distinctive and useful sections. Worth checking out.