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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design, Second Edition
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Michael J. Hernandez
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
What a load of Garbage!!!


Don't waste your money on this book. After wading through countless pages about the author, and his life, what's left is common sense rules that most people know anyways.I read the whole thing, and finished without learning a thing.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SQL: The Complete Reference, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: James R Groff, Paul N. Weinberg
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Superficial Treatment - Not a useful reference


Covers a lot of topics but only at the most basic level. I was particularly interested in complex DML statements such as updating one section of a Table based on data contained in the latest entries. I got more information from the Transact-SQL help screens from Microsoft. I suppose this would be a useful introduction for someone who new absolutely nothing about the topic, but as a professional reference it was a waste of money.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Marshall Kirk McKusick, George V. Neville-Neil
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Hardly a wasted word in this guide to the FreeBSD kernel


I have been administering FreeBSD systems for four years, and I read 'The Design' to get a better understanding of the system 'under the hood.' This book is definitely not for beginners, and intermediate users like myself can become quickly overwhelmed. Nevertheless, I am very glad FreeBSD developers like McKusick and Neville-Neil took the time to document the kernel in this book.

Before tackling 'The Design,' I recommend reading a book like 'Modern Operating Systems, 2nd Ed' by Andrew Tannenbaum. The reader needs to be familiar with OS concepts and terms like 'mutex,' 'semaphore,' 'locking,' and so on before reading 'The Design.' If for some reason you want to read 'The Design' but are not familiar with userland FreeBSD issues, I recommend Greg Lehey's 'Complete FreeBSD, 4th Ed.'

I was unable to grasp all of the material in 'The Design,' since some of it will appeal only to those coding their own kernels or who are equipped to debate the FreeBSD core team's design choices. In that respect the book is well suited for a college course (perhaps a master's level?) where the content could be discussed by a professor and students. I was able to critically read the chapters covering networking (ch. 11-13) as I deploy FreeBSD partly for its robust TCP/IP stack. Reading 'The Design' helped me understand some of Robert Watson's recent posts concerning removal of the GIANT lock from the networking subsystem, for example.

There are many other parts of the book which non-kernel developers will find accessible. Nearly every chapter features a well-written introduction to the technology at hand, such as memory management (ch. 5) or devices (ch. 7). I found various bits of history helpful, like the development of NFS (ch. 9) or UNIX itself (ch. 1). Those trying to understand issues concerning the new ULE scheduler will find ch. 4 enlightening. The 38 page glossary is also excellent and the index is well-constructed.

'The Design' is the sort of book I expect to consult when I need greater insight to a certain aspect of the FreeBSD kernel. It's an excellent companion when one reads the freebsd-current mailing lists and needs background on the latest hot design issue. I would be happy to see other operating systems have similar books published, so that an apples-to-apples comparison of their capabilities could be made by informed users.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Michael Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Book!


The thing I like best about this book is how readable it is. It not only contained all the information I needed to get my A+, but it was also a fun read, written by someone who not only knows about computers but also obviously loves the subject. Even the most difficult concepts were written in a friendly, conversational manner which made the learning enjoyable for me. I had no problems with the tests after I read this book.