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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Secrets and Lies : Digital Security in a Networked World
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Bruce Schneier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Foundation Piece for Security Practitioners

Excellent read! Serves as a reasonable security primer for new practitioners and refreshing/stimulating content for the seasoned professionals. I loved the Attack Trees analysis concept and I am utilizing them to try to create more analytical, founded and measurable security policies and implementations.
Mr. Schneier is a little heavy on the Hell and Damnation we are all headed for and the shear futility of our security charge--I have been doing this for a while and although paranoid as hell I am a bit more optimistic.
Finally, I must commend the capitalist, self-serving conclusion he arrives at...the only way out of most of the security quandries he highlights is by outsourcing the organization's security services! God Bless America, where you can write a book to promote the re-invention of your own personal business...Where do I send my resume for Counterpane Internet Security, Inc.
Cheers and Kudos to Mr. Schneier

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: 3D Game Engine Design : A Practical Approach to Real-Time Computer Graphics
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: David H. Eberly
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Definitely written by a mathematician for mathematicians

This book reminds me of all the reasons I struggled through school trying to comprehend math. Most books then were written like this one, with unending streams of heiroglyphics representing formulas from somewhere in the book, if you could only remember where. A thoughtful use of white space would help and . . . use short sentences! Why writers like to use huge, uncommon words to muddy an already complicated subject is beyond me.
After reading and re-reading just two sentences of a chapter I feel somewhat knowledgeable in, I got a headache. The book is hardly practical as it's subtitle indicates. Most will not be able to comprehend it. There are many other more practical and understandable books out there.
This is not to say Mr. Eberly knows not what he speaks. He is very well known in these circles. He says he changed careers from being a mathematician to a computer scientist. I only hope he doesn't try to change careers to book writing.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
What a great book

I know I'll be labelled as a complete nerd for saying this, but I really enjoyed just *reading* this book. The style is amazing; I hope the authors are going to write more. It's really, really, clear and direct and without any "and thus it is therefore" sort of academic ponciness.
And maybe because of that or because they also know how to clarify technical topics really well, the light bulb really went on for some stuff I'd been kind of fuzzy on before. I kept saying "so THATs how it works." You'd think I would have known these topics already a little better, and I thought I did, but these explanations gave me that last 30% that really solidified my *understanding* of the topics, not just knowledge of them. If that makes sense.
I REALLY like the Exam watch tips, there's a whole bunch of really good tips throughout the book, to make sure that you're getting it as you read. And there are a ton of practice questions which I found really helpful; I know the test is supposed to be screamingly difficult and tricky, and these questions seem to be a really good prep for it.
There's also a CD that has two more full practice exams on it. (Did the first exam and man, [I did not do well]on threads but sailed through garbage collection, thank god.)
A few typos but frankly, under par for the course given some of the other books I flipped through.
I really like this book and while I haven't read all the way through the other cert books, I skimmed quite a few and would recommend this way above any of the others.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Access Version 2002 Inside Out (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Helen Feddema
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Into the bin

Don't think of spending money on this book.
It's no good as a quick reference and who has time today to walk your way through 1000+ pages?
The book is as unwieldy as the product it describes. Be happy, if you can get by without ever touching Microsoft Access (and this book).