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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Non-Designer's Design Book, Second Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Robin Williams
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I Love This Book!

I have been a part-time graphic designer for about a year but I lacked alot of the design skills I needed. By the time I was through reading this book I was a designer! I have already made drastic improvements in my work and can now design pieces faster abd better! The book is easy to read and easy to follow using before and after shots and detailed explainations. I have already bought the Design Workshop and plan on buying the rest of her books in the series! Even if you are a desinger and are good I would still recommend this book- to anyone!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (4th Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Tom Negrino, Dori Smith
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book gives me an UNDERSTANDING of what I'm doing!

In spite of the assurance in the book's introduction "We don't assume that you know anything about programming or scripting" you need to have a programming background to get value out of this book. I know HTML and a little JavaScript, and I was lost by chapter 2. Chapter 2 has a ridiculously steep learning curve, along with important points left unexplained (for example brackets are used in one script, with no explanation for the significance of brackets, when they should be used, etc.)
I've always been a big fan of Peachpit Press's books - this is the first time I was severely disappointed by one. I felt like a complete moron by the time I got to the end of chapter 2. In spite of years of teaching college courses in business and graphics applications, I was beginning to think - "am I just too stupid to learn programming?"
And I agree with another reviewer here about the irritating style. It adds insult to injury.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Joel Spolsky
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
worth the roughly 20 bucks you'll spend

I've enjoyed reading JoelonSoftware.com for several years now. Joel has a unique down to earth view on computers, programming and business that makes his blog worth reading. He believes in using the right tool for the job, and not just always using a hammer because you have one handy.

There are a lot of books and web sites on how business, software, computers and programming should be conducted. Most fail to understand the basics of what they are talking about because the writer has a theory that he thinks will solve everything. But the theory takes on a life of its own, and becomes more important than observed reality. Just the trap many political, religious and self-help demagogues fall into. They become pie-in-the-sky dreamers and less attached to normal life.

He seems to have a similar, if slightly younger perspective, on the field as Richard P. Gabriel who wrote his now famous "Worse is Better" essay about 10-15 years ago. Another writer/programmer he reminds me of is Paul Graham.

Others I would compare him too, though each if very different in their own ways, are the writings and blog of Wil Wheaton, The Cluetrain Manifesto, and the rants of Fred on Everything (Fred Reed), Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor, and much that appears on /.Slashdot.

Joel has not tried to generalize his very specific observations into a unified whole theory of all programming and computer management. But that doesn't prevent you, the home reader, from making those generalizations yourself. You may have to prevent yourself from thinking too much of it, least the Law of Leaky Abstractions take over. Joel gives one a good place to start.

I've used his "Law of Leaky Abstractions" in discussions I had many times.

Also, when I was thinking for a job I used his guide to interviewing when talking to perspective employers. Sure, he wrote it from employers to use, but I was able to easily enough reserve it's principals and applied them to finding out info about the company I was interviewing at. This allowed me find out what the bad interviewers really wanted to know when they didn't know what they wanted. It allowed me to show that I was smart and could get things done to the people who interviewed me. And since I'm employed again it must have worked.

Some of the best essays are:

The Law of Leaky Abstractions
Don't Let Architecture Astronauts Scare You
Interviewing (The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing)
Three Wrong Ideas From Computer Science
How Microsoft Lost the API War
Getting Things Done When You're Only a Grunt
Top Five (Wrong) Reasons You Don't Have Testers

It is definitely worth the roughly 20 bucks you'll spend on it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Internet Texas Hold'em: Winning Strategies from an Internet Pro
Publisher: Dimat Enterprises Inc
Authors: Matthew Hilger
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
It's a must read..

This is a great book and if you ever need any questions answered you can always talk to Matthew on his website.. I recommend this book for the beginning player or an advanced player.. One problem.... I wish it had more information on NL hold em, almost everything is directed towards limit.. You can however take some of the information and apply it to both.