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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Starting an eBay Business for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Marsha Collier
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
So Outdated!

I'm sure this book might have been useful when it came out three years ago, but as a current eBay seller who just read the entire book, I have to say the information is so outdated it's laughable now. eBay has changed so much even in the last six months that many of the things the author discusses don't even exist anymore, and have been replaced by new eBay enhancements. I would estimate that 10% or less of this book was useful to me. A waste of your time and money until an updated version comes out!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Digital Design: Principles and Practices and Xilinx 4.2i Student Package (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: John F. Wakerly
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Awesome text

Takes you through a trip from the basics of Karnaugh maps all the way to sequential logic design and beyond. A fun read too, with excellent problems.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Stored Procedures, XML, and HTML (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great sample code

The CD is loaded with over 600 samples of well-written, well-documented code.
Innovative approaches and advanced techniques are everywhere. You combine this with the thorough explanations of the code in the text itself, and you have everything you need to master stored proc programming.
I've been building Sql Svr stored procs for over 5 years now and I still learned lots of things I didn't know. Great code and clear explanations makes for one heckuva book

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Writing Effective Use Cases
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Alistair Cockburn
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Will change the way you approach processes and requirements

My background is not software engineering - it's service delivery and process development. I got this book on a strong recommendation from my mentor because one of my techniques, information mapping, has some gaps when it comes to portraying processes. I had heard of use cases before getting the book, but paid little attention to them.
Mr. Cockburn gives one of the most sensible, logical approaches to capturing, validating and modeling requirements I have ever come across. My initial concern that this book was focused on software requirements was assuaged by the numerous case studies that address processes and policies. This is the heart of what I do, and the book gave complete coverage of it. Of course software engineering-specific material is also addressed since this discipline has the biggest audience.
The sections from which I got the most knowledge are: setting scope for the use cases and the way to use a hierarchy of use cases to depict increasing levels of detail, business process modeling, and the tips for writing use cases. This material pointed me in the right direction for resolving some of the shortcomings inherent in information mapping, and also gave me some fresh ideas on how to effectively and clearly develop processes that are traceable to requirements.
One of the things I liked most about the book is its fast pace and reasonable page count. There is no fluff, and at approximately 300 pages it is an easy read for someone on a busy schedule.
My personal opinion is that this book should be promoted to a much wider audience than software engineering - the approach and techniques will certainly serve the software engineering community well, but are also practices that business analysts, process engineers and others in IT can effectively employ. This one goes in that special section of by library that is reserved for books to which I frequently refer.