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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Threads, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Scott Oaks, Henry Wong
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
3rd Edition is a whole new book


I also have an old copy of the 2nd Edition, which I would have given 3 stars. However, the 3rd Edition might as well have been published as a new book. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the organization, chapter layout and code examples are essentially all new - not just tweaked from the previous edition. If you're looking for a good book on threads, this is it.

The example code is well done, and the concepts are illustrated satisfactorily. If you download the examples from the web site, each chapter has a list of the code samples and the ant tasks to run to use them, which was a nice touch. While the concepts behind Java Threads apply to most versions of Java, I'd say this book is really geared toward the J2SE 5.0 environment.

It's too bad Amazon can't reset the rating for each edition, as the 3rd Edition is quite an improvement. Be sure to check out reviews starting in September 2004, when this book was published.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential System Administration, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Æleen Frisch
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good buy, though incomplete


The main reason I picked up this book was because of the small price tag. Everything is explained fairly well, and it is perfect for beginners in the genre. My only gripe is that some sections seem to be unfairly balanced in content (and yes I do know it is a "nutshell"). Anyway, if you are a beginner at UNIX and have (the money) to spare, this is the book for you!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Proven Portals: Best Practices for Planning, Designing, and Developing Enterprise Portals
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Dan Sullivan
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Very good high level management/project management info


ReviewThis last year has seen a lot of industry focus on portal technology and how it can change the way companies operate. And while there are numerous books that cover the technical "how to" of a portal package, there are fewer books that take a higher-level view about the "whys" of portals. Management is left without a complete understanding as to why portal technology matters. This book is designed to fill that gap.
Managers will appreciate the chapters on how to calculate the Return On Investment (ROI) on a portal implementation. Since portals tend not to be inexpensive, the practical knowledge in this area is beneficial. The author also mixes in a number of real-life case studies that will illustrate industry problems and how successful portal implementations solved those issues.
Project managers and portal architects will find even more highly practical information. The architecture of a portal design is examined, as well as the options present for implementation (such as J2EE vs. .Net). By the time the reader finishes the book, they should have a firm understanding of how to structure a portal architecture, as well as how functions such as searching and data warehousing fit into the picture. There is also good information on what types of requirements need to be gathered in order to successfully design an effective portal.
If you are a developer or administrator who is responsible for installing the actual portal software that is chosen, you might not find this book to your liking. Since much of the information is not tied to a specific brand of portal, it is not the book you will turn to for help in running the portal. But it is still advisable to understand the bigger picture, and this book can help you get there.
ConclusionIf you are an IT manager or a project lead who has been assigned to a portal project, this is the book you need to understand the overall implications of your portal implementation.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Little SAS Book: A Primer, Third Edition
Publisher: SAS Publishing
Authors: Lora D. Delwiche, Susan J. Slaughter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Type, paste, click: which one do you want?


I had friends who, 3 or 4 years ago, got into IT world by getting Oracle DBA certificates or MCSE fast. Their salaries were higher than mine as a database marketing statistician back then. Now many of them no longer have as strong market demand for their skills and experience. Some are trying to switch to so-called data mining fields. So they are coming to me to again seek fast track on how to master SAS, quickly.

I told them it took me 14 years to get to my curent level of using sas on mainframe, unix (now including linux) and Windows. I ask them how many OSs they are expert with running, say, their SQL servers. Apparently MS SQL server only runs on Windows? So my friends are having hard time even thinking of going back to big iron or Unix, although the big iron has been relatively more friendly to use overtime.

To help them feel better, I recommend this Little SAS Book to them. I told them the gist of the SAS software is quite independent of OS. To master SAS is much like to master some kind of KongFu. It may look simple. It is not. It may look boring or backward. It is not. If you feel I am talking like a Taoist, you are getting it.

This book, by the way,is not a good candidate for a pillow book, although its cover may give you a very soft look (should software books all have a 'soft' look?) and it looks no way near a tome. My point is you need to use the software with the book.

Good luck. Read the book several times to begin with. Every time you will see something different.