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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Howard Rheingold
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
smart mobs and trends

This is a very thought-provoking book and the evidence is all around us, from teens IM'ing each other to the current craze of "random mobs" where people use their cell phones to gather at some destination and do something silly, as was recently happening in New York City and elsewhere. These trends are more avidly followed in Europe and Asia than here, but, honestly, what if Rheingold's barking up the wrong tree and all this texting proves to be just as silly a fad as others in the past?
Bringing down governments is one thing, telling the gang where to meet for pizza is another. I really can't think of any good reason to use my SMS capability other than to probably annoy someone. 4 stars for a neat idea, but, really who cares other than activists or teens?

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Proven Portals: Best Practices for Planning, Designing, and Developing Enterprise Portals
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Dan Sullivan
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
What a disappointment!

I am building an enterprise knowledge/information portal for the military. I have done it for several Fortune 500 companies. This book is so high-level, so general -- its simply not worth the read. There are a host of other books that are wonderful. I would suggest start with a Change Management book first. After all, portals are not about creating a tool or a set amount of money...its about people. Understand how your people work first. Then worry about everything else.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Laura Lemay, Richard Colburn, Robert Kiesling
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Gets you started

This book is a pretty good reference. It will help you learn PERL, which is actually pretty easy. The first fourteen chapters are excellent introductions to the basics of PERL. The last seven are simply awful attempts to teach more advanced topics. If you are a compotent programmer who needs to learn the basics of PERL in a hurry to convert a shell script, this book isn't bad. If you want to become "Just another PERL hacker," you'll have to look further. TMTOWTDI, but this is not one of them.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Visual C++ 6
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Ivor Horton
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good book for a beginner

As I read the book, questions were answered as i came up with them. Very informative, explained why things are done, not just telling that is the way it is.