Sponsored links

Valid XHTML 1.0!
Valid CSS!
Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Art of Photoshop
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Daniel Giordan
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Trixie McGuire MyMac.com Book review

Intended user: Intermediate - Advanced
Although Daniel Giordan has written some of the clearest and best-organized books on "How to Use Photoshop", he has really outdone himself with his latest, The Art of Photoshop. It showcases Daniel Giordan's own work with clear step-by-step explanations. It is published in large format -10 x 10 inches- with color illustrations, keyboard shortcuts for both Macintosh and Windows users and screen captures, of the tools in Photoshop that all artists could master.
I must admit, that although I have learned tons from his "how to use" books, this book was a bit over my head. It is definitely aimed at the creative artist crowd! After picking this book up several times just to sit it back down. Several pots of coffee, brought me more than I ever thought I wanted to know about: PhotoShop - The following is a list ... from the book that I found ... explained and illustrated throughout the book.
Image Editing:
Optimizing - Tools for Optimizing the Tonal Range - The Histogram Window and The Info Palette are explained in detail ...
Enhancing Focus - Image focusing tools - The Unsharp Mask Dialog Box - ...- The Gaussian Blur Dialog Box ... - The Add Noise Dialog Box
Curves - Tools For Working with Curves - Curves Dialog Box ... Curves Tonal Grid ...
Color Correction with Curves ...
Adjusting Hue and Saturation ..."
Adjusting Layers ... Montage:
Silhouetting with the Extract Filter - The Extract Dialog Box ... The Painting Tools ...
Layer Masks - Layers Mask Controls in the Layers Menu - ... Layer Mask Controls in the Layers Palette ...
Clone / Stamp Tool - The Stamp Tools ... The Clone Stamp Options Bar ... The Pattern Stamp Options Bar - ...
Blending Modes - The Blending Modes Menu ...
Special Effects:
Custom Brushes - Brush Options Bar ... Brushes Palette ...
Distort Filters - The Distort Filters Submenu ...
Making Patterns - The Pattern Dialog Box ... The Tile History Options ...
Gradients and Gradient Maps ...
Liquify Filter - Liquify Dialog Box - View Options Control ...
Lighting Effects - The Lighting Effects Dialog Box...
I confess, I didn't create anything close to the illustrations showcased in this book. I did find new skills and inspiration, and I also managed the line scribble technique used on several of the illustrations in the book. Only my scribbles were not created with the same creative intention. I feel the book was a little overwhelming, and should have included a little more basic-basic Photoshop "how to" -Daniel Giordan is famous for bringing it down to the Intermediate level, but if you are looking for a book packed with advanced level options to create your own artistic statements -this is your book

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Search Engine Visibility
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Shari Thurow
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
solid information

This book does not work on the specific details of algorithms. If it did, it would be quickly outdated. Instead, this book is based on the fundamental concepts of the web. As search engines get more advanced, they will be more able to emulate the end user.
This book is simple and straightforward. Another positive part of this book is that it overlaps other issues a little to help you understand that there is more to a website than search engine marketing.
This book does not cover in detail some of the wordarounds for dynamic website configurations. Other than that its a good book. I believe those intersted in dynamic workarounds were not the target audience for this book anyway.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Internetworking with TCP/IP Vol.1: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Douglas E. Comer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Serious, understandable, professional

Many times you find books that tell you "How To" but hide the concepts underlying their topic. This book is an exception: The principles and architecture is explained in a well understandable way.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning XML (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: David Hunter, Andrew Watt, Jeff Rafter, Kurt Cagle, Jon Duckett, Bill Patterson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Friendliy XML book that's also quite meaty

I've seen 4 or 5 XML books and own two including this one. The other one I have is XML: A Primer 2nd Ed by Simon St. Laurent...I've seen other books as thick as or thicker than 'Beginning XML' and from a quick glance, I've found to contain little more than fluff.
'Beginning XML' does a good job of covering all the important topics related to XML like Namespaces, DTDs, Schemas, XPath, DOM, SAX, XSLT, CSS etc... much so that the title is not really accurate in this sense. The other introductory XML books out there do not even touch on these topics to any practical degree.
I would also not recommend a Microsoft Press XML book as, typical with anything from Microsoft, I suspect it will teach you XML in a style that forces you to be dependent on Microsoft tools. However, as MS is one of the most important purveyors of quality XML tools it would also be a mistake to ignore their offerings. 'Beginning XML' does a very good job of acquainting you with both the MS tools as well as some of the more important third party ones.
The author's style is very friendly and easy to read and succeeds in making very complex and often boring topics like XSLT almost tolerable and sometimes even entertaining. Even more importantly, he touches on all the important issues in depth so that after finishing this book you can consider yourself at least an intermediate level expert in the myriad XML-related technologies out there.
The only reason I'm not giving five stars is because there just might be something better out there. But then, I wouldn't hang around waiting for one, 'coz Beginning XML, unlike the other books out there, is going to educate you on the topic in a sufficiently comprehensive and useful way. XML and its related technologies is a huge and difficult field, and any book that looks like it makes for light reading will, in my opinion, fail to teach the subject properly.