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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: An Introduction to Database Systems (Introduction to Database Systems)
Publisher: Addison Wesley Longman
Authors: C. J. Date
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
"The Way Things Ought to Be" for Database Systems

This is an absolutely horrible book. It is in NO WAY an "Introduction". I found that the text is so dense that I can only read for 10 minutes at a time. I have learned nothing from my readings except that I can't stand the way Date writes.
I bought the book because it is required reading for my Database Specifications class. I am returning it and will purchase an alternate book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Enterprise JavaBeans, Fourth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Richard Monson-Haefel, Bill Burke, Sacha Labourey
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent introduction for Enterprize Javabeans (EJB)

2 weeks ago I barely knew anything about Enterprize Javabeans (EJB). Now, after reading most of the book I can definitely say I know the subject. The author patiently explains us the basics - yet also goes into the deeper aspects of EJB. The book is filled with examples, which makes learning so much easier (don't you hate it when there are very few examples, or there is no sample output??). I must say, EJB is a pretty boring subject - but the book did a good job of keeping me awake! One comment I do have, is that the book doesn't explain very well how to deploy beans.. I still have problems with my weblogic server. But I guess that's not the point of the book, so it still deserves 5 stars.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Digital Photography All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: David D. Busch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great author, great book! Best for Digital Photography!

This is one all-in-one book that is truly comprehensive! I was surprised at both the breadth and depth of coverage. I really liked the approach, too. The first section, "Book I" contains chapters that quickly summarize the essentials of digital photogaphy and image editing, providing both overviews and helpful advice. This part would make a pretty good stand-alone pocket reference on its own. The same topics are covered in more depth in later chapters of the book, but without needless repetition. The later sections pick up where the introductory chapters leave off. Book II is a useful set of chapters on building your own digital photography studio, with lots of advice on selecting equipment and accessories. Book III has pro-level advice on taking great photos, with long, detailed chapters on close-up photography, sports, travel, portraiture, and shooting for publication. The other books show you how to edit and restore digital photographs with applications like Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, and Paint Shop Pro. All in all, I loved this book. If you're going to buy only one book on digital photography, this is the one you need.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design
Publisher: Artech House Publishers
Authors: Lee Copeland
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Critically Important Read for Software Test Engineers

Lee Copeland's book, "A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design" provides an easily read introduction into a critical but often ignored subject. As those familiar with the IEEE Standard for Software Test Documentation (IEEE-Std-829) know, Test Design is the first step in turning the "What" of the Test Plan into the "How" of test execution. The IEEE Test Documentation lifecycle is Test Plan - Test Design - Test Case Development - Test Procedure Development - (Test Execution) - Test Summary Report creation. Many test engineers proceed directly from Test Planning into Test Procedure creation, and do Test Design implicitly as opposed to explicitly. This can have a negative impact on an effective test program. This book clearly shows how to implement the test design process described in Drabick's book "Best Practices for the Formal Software Testing Process".

Lee's book provides a concise description based on excellent Case Studies of Black-Box (Requirements Focused) test techniques, moving from the simple (Equivalence Class and Boundary Value testing) to the more complex (Domain Analysis and Use Case testing). He provides the best description I've seen of test case development using orthogonal arrays. Lee then addresses White-Box (Structural Focused) testing, showing how to approach Control Flow and Data Flow testing. Again, he has the best description with illustrative examples of Data Flow testing that I've ever seen.

Lee then describes two Test Paradigms: Scripted Testing and Exploratory Testing that appear to be significantly different, and shows how the two can be used together for even more effective testing. That's the way I've always done testing, by the way.

His Defect Taxonomies chapter provides valuable insight on how to use such information in test design (I never thought of that), and he concludes with a short chapter that addresses the critical question When to Stop Testing.

The Case Studies on "Brown & Donaldson" and "Stateless University Registration" are effectively used to provide valuable insight into the techniques.

This book would be a good read in combination with the book from Rick Craig and Stefan Jaskiel, "Systematic Software Testing".

In summary, this book is well done, is an easy read, and should be read by every test engineer.