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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Absolute Beginner's Guide to C (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Greg Perry
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great book for beginner programmers

This book is perfect for beginner programmers. Or if you are moving into C++. It helps you understand all aspects of C

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Hugh E. Williams
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A good grounding in PHP/mySQL

I've been entrenched with JSP heavily for the last couple of years, so I haven't familiarised myself with PHP yet. I needed a book that would show me a larger picture than I got in a web developer's job, and showed me how to put it together with more modern techniques.This book is a perfect example of why I choose O'Reilly whenever in doubt. Chapter 1 is an overview of how web applications are put together. Chapter 2 goes through all the basic PHP syntax (stuff that would take other books several fluffy dry chapters to process). Chapter 3 gets you through all the mySQL and sql basics so you feel comfortable with that, too.There's no 4 page tutotial entitled: "Using a text editor: Wordpad" There's also no kitch "Employee Database" example cop-out. Instead, Hugh and Dave give a realistic and usable storefront application. This book alone is probably enough for the independent web developer to get a functional site up for her/himself or a client.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java How to Program (6th Edition) (How to Program (Deitel))
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
You get what you pay for...

I think I have bought just about every 'learning Java' book out there, with limited exuberunce, until this book. The advantage this text has over others is to successfully 'weave' the learning of Java as the chapters progress. Other texts do accomplish this to some extent, but I've never seen this achieved to this degree of balance. This book is a heads down, hands on learning device.

Many books provide a single example that gets more and more complex as the chapters, and (hopefully) your skills, progress. Deitel certainly does this (via an Elevator simulation), but also accomplishes this on many different levels with plenty of smaller programs. Each example is explained *line by line* without exception. Additionally, you are provided with example program output right on the page.

I've noticed many 'learning Java' books show you code snippets and little output if any (e.g. Eckel's book, which I love for other reasons), leaving it up to your imagination to put it all together in the context of a complete program.

This text appears to be prepared for the classroom, from its thorough content (25 chapters, 7 appendices, 1400+ pages, cdrom) and available lab and instructor companion books. There is a nice, effective use of color without being distractive like some other texts I've seen.

The negatives are the length, cost and (ouch) the weight. It is one of the heavier books in my collection, for sure!

To summarize, if you are a C programmer looking to quickly jump into Java, or perhaps a genius with a photographic memory, this may not be your first purchase. If you are a newbie, have limited experience with Java, or have been disappointed with other texts, I think you may find this to be the most complete book out there.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The CISSP Prep Guide: Gold Edition
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Ronald L. Krutz, Russell Dean Vines
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A golden score for the golden edtion.

With computer and network security fast becoming the most important thing for administrators to worry about it is a good thing to have a reference manual that is both up to date for technical practices but also the manual must be more than just a study guide. This book does both and with the additions this manual makes a great go to guide for any administrator or manager.

The authors have put together a very comprehensive text making sure that they not only cover the exam objective, they exceed them. Over 900 pages of information that works for the CISSP exam but I have found that this book can also work for the new CompTIA Security+ exam as well as Microsoft new 70-214 exam.

At first glance you might think this book is written to the advanced level technician; however after reading through the text I found that the concepts and ideas were written for just about everyone. I was most impressed with the section on cryptography; this 175 page section is most useful for my job.

I also found that chapter on law and ethics very interesting reading and overall the book has given several new ideas to think about in terms of what can or should be done in everyday network practices. Also the authors have included several appendices on topics outside the exam realm which make this a very compete manual.

The book have over 700 practice exam questions so you have an excellent chance of passing the exam since the questions have explanation included. The cd-rom included uses the Boson quiz engine with hundreds of questions included. Couple this with the authors' advanced guide and you have an unbeatable combination to work with.