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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Advanced Programming in the UNIX(R) Environment
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
APUE is the standard for Unix/POSIX API programming


Simply stated, Stevens' _APUE_ is the standard for learning the POSIX APIs for file/directory I/O and operations, processes, signals. (The only thing this book doesn't cover is threads, probably due to the fact that this book came out in 1992.)
Required reading for any aspiring Unix system programmer, this book serves as both a great book for learning as well a reference. I've had this book for close to 10 years, and I still refer to it.
Evrey Unix programmer should have a copy of this book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Maximizing ASP.NET : Real World, Object-Oriented Development
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Jeffrey Putz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the few books that takes you beyond the API.


I found this book, while looking around for a book that goes beyond writing 20 line sample pages, and examines how a well-designed ASP.NET application should be built.

Although I did not come from an ASP background, this book does emphasize how one's thinking should change when making the move from ASP (or any similar technology, such as PHP), to ASP.NET. If the point of this book had to be summed up in a single sentence, it could be the author's claim that "an ASP.NET application is more than just a bunch of pages", as many ASP sites seem to be.

The beginning of the book is only for those who still need to be converted to OOP, and it argues the case for designing classes for your business objects, instead of just passing around a bunch of strings or integers. From there, other ideas, built on top of that start, are introduced, like creating an object-relational data layer, so that your business code can deal with objects, their properties and methods, instead of SQL statements, results sets, and fields.

There are other topics covered in the book, like server controls, or HTTP handlers, but the author's argument for a layered or multi-tier design is the most significant, because it is what almost every other ASP.NET book lacks.

This book is light on its coverage of ASP.NET's API, or C#/VB syntax. Pick up any of the dozen books on ASP.NET to learn the syntax, and the API. This is an idea book. It doesn't cover every little detail, but it gives you an understanding of how, in principle, a manageable web application can be be designed.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Concurrent Programming in Java(TM): Design Principles and Pattern (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Doug Lea
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Probably the best Java book I've read


Although Doug Lea works for Sun and built essential parts of the Java platform, this does not make him a good author. I had to get up to date with Java threading and bought this book. Mistake. From the computer science standpoint it is excellent, but as a typical project constrained programmer I found it absolutely boring. The author steps through the different chapters and subchapters as if he was trying to fill a "this is all I know about threads" list with life. No suspense, no "I could use that", no explaination of common pitfalls... I fell asleep a couple of times reading this book. Next to "deadlocking" Java threads can pose lots of other problems that this book does not cover. For instance threads and Swing or building an event dispatcher that works. A book that covers all that and that I hereby recommend is "Taming Java Threads" from Allen Holub. Two stars, ...it is solid but not useful...



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Creative Projects with LEGO Mindstorms
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Benjamin Erwin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
More than just a ?do this? book!


The thing I like most about this book is the numerous "Asides" found throughout the book. The author takes the opportunity to explain scientific, engineering, mechanical, musical, etc. concepts and principals. The book includes not only how each of the 30 projects works, but he also discusses the trials and errors he made along the way. This background on how he solved different problems allows the reader to learn how to develop better machine, creations and robots of their own imagination.