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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Unified Modeling Language User Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh, Ivar Jacobson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A must have for UML

It's an excellent book, every Software Engineer should have one, it teaches you not only how to use properly UML, but it also help you understand and improve your OO concepts. Lots of good examples from real life.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential C++
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Useful for experienced Java Programmers looking at C++

As another reviewer mentioned, Lippman's _Essential C++_ is influenced by the approach taken in _Learning Perl_ (Schwartz).
_Essential C++_ isn't quite a slow, measured introduction to C++ that gradually ramps up from step zero. Instead, this book is most useful for someone who already has moderate to good experience in another OOP language such as Java. Lippman starts laying on the essentials of C++ right away: a (very) quick overview of C/C++ syntax, templates, introductory file I/O, pointer math, iterators, STL containers...
I started reading _Essential C++_ as an experienced C programmer who'd been doing Java for the past few years and needed a intro/refresher to C++, and I found this book to be very useful in learning the patterns in C++ that correspond to OO mechanisms in Java. (I'm a Java hack used to the Collection API, so the chapter on STL containers quite adequately answered the "what do I do for a HashMap?" question that popped up.)
This certainly isn't a comprehensive C++ reference, and novices to programming are most likely not well served by this book, but I think _Essential C++_ is a great way for the experienced OOPer (but maybe not C++ guru) to dive in at the middling depth part of the C++ pool and start picking up the important idioms of the language in a short number of pages.
Concise but in-depth. Thirty four bucks well-spent.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Mastering Windows Server 2003
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Christa Anderson, Michele Beveridge, C. A. Callahan, Lisa Justice
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best Ever!

I wish more people who have IT jobs, who own Mr. Minasi's books and enjoy the benefits of his website, would actually write reviews for this book.
Some reviews posted here have been inordinately harsh. May I suggest to a potential purchaser of this book that if you find yourself being aggressively swayed against this book based upon the harsher reviews that you at least go to your local store and preview the book yourself. Maybe take an overview look at Chapter 2 of the book. I suggest this because if you are turned away from this book due to "unbalanced" criticism you may be turning away from what I have found to be a great resource.
Some unfair criticism is as follows: 1. Mr. Minasi states right up front that Windows Server 2003 is not a drastic change from Server 2002 (I am talking about the Operating Systems itself). Accordingly some of the info in this book is repeated from his Server 2002 book. If this is your first Minasi book however you will get the benefit of both Server 2003 and Server 2002 since Mr. Minasi discusses both - as needs to be done. It does obviously address the changes and issues that come with Server 20032. Some criticism has been that there is too much fluff. Some sections may seem too "basic" for the intermediate user but let me suggest this: First, Mr. Minasi fairly advises the reader in advance when a section may be too basic for the more experienced reader and he directs such a reader to skip that chapter and directs the more advanced reader to the appropriate chapter. Nonetheless, even as a person who has been employed in the IT field, I found some of his "basic" stuff a nice refresher. 3. On the issue of Mr. Minasi's co-authors: For those of us who have come to be very happy and comfortable with Mr. Minasi's writing style, we would prefer that the entire book be authored by him. However, like the doctor who often refers to the specialist, I believe Mr. Minasi's intent was to offer up the same. I can't know for sure obviously. I admit that I always prefer his writing. However, let's be fair in that many books are co-authored and no book is perfect. (though one completely authored by him might be more perfect).4. Mr. Minasi is also fair in that right from the beginning he states that his book is not a book to prepare for an exam. This is true but may I suggest to serious IT "wanna bes" that this book is a great way to prepare for true understanding and can be purchased in conjunction with "cram" books. Don't sell that important facet of the book short. 5. As far as one true criticism: yikes the print is small. Accordingly, I have no rebuttal on this issue. However, I will say this: I will take one annoying small print book over several larger font-sized books that convey less.
I am neither a friend nor relative of Mr. Minasi's: simply a real life person who has worked in IT, had a system admin job and has and is benefiting from Mr. Minasi's book. I am sure there are other well written tech books, but this one is at the least worthy of being part of your library and at the most a great asset.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: AppleScriptThe Missing Manual (Missing Manual)
Publisher: Pogue Press
Authors: Adam Goldstein
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great for an AppleScript Beginner

Despite the fact I've been using a Mac for years, I've never spent any time with AppleScript. I never really gave it much thought - until I started looking at various AppleScript I pulled from the web. I picked up this book to educate myself a little better on AppleScript.

There are plenty of scripts ready to tweak and also plenty information to get building AppleScript on your own. I appreciated the pictures and figures on every couple pages break it up - which is good because it gets a little verbose at times. =) I also liked the "Power User Clinic" sections that give a little extra info.

Well done - I'll be an AppleScript expert in no time. =)