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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XSI Illuminated: Character
Publisher: Mesmer
Authors: Anthony Rossano
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Where's the beef?

This BOOK is amazing! From the basics of animation to the more advanced practices, this book is for any animator that wants to animate in XSI. Every animation feature is covered with this book. Unfortunately, since this book does not come with a CD that contains the scene files necessary, you must download them from Mesmer's web site. That's not the bad part. First, the contents were not uploaded. Then, when they were uploaded, they were a temporary version to make downloaders happy. Unfortuantely, when you finish downloading the 43.9MB file, you find that this "temporary" version of the scene files CRASH XSI. I'm sure that the scenes will be nice and relate well with this book WHEN THEY ARE UPLOADED IN THEIR COMPLETE FORM. Until then, this book is a great fundamental resource, but a poor learning tool. 4 stars = Good Book + Bad Content. 5 stars = Good Book + Good Content.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Classroom in a Book (Classroom in a Book)
Publisher: Adobe Press
Authors: Adobe Creative Team
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Reference for All User Levels

After some hesitancy in upgrading the software, I decided to buy the upgraded Classroom in a Book (CIB) for Adobe Acrobat. Other than covering the new features, the format remains the same as CIB for Acrobat 6. This is a good thing as the new version carries the same clear concise instructions as its predecessor. One major improvement is one book now covers both Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Professional. In the book, features that are specific to the Professional version are set in an italicized type face and are preceded by the Acrobat logo.

If you are a beginner to Acrobat document preparation, the lessons will guide you through the basics and take you through the more advanced features. While there is not substitute for experience, a first time user of Acrobat should have no trouble completing the lessons and applying the knowledge to their own projects.

Experienced Acrobat users may wish to use this book as a reference and to quickly get up to speed with the new features. Depending on your level of experience, you may wish to bypass the first three chapters. Even so, I suggest spending some time reading about the Organizer, a new feature that functions like a Bookmarks applet. While not a major breakthrough, it is useful.

The chapter dealing with forms creation using LiveCycle Designer is invaluable. While this is not a tutorial on successful layout, it does provide a very in depth look at the mechanics behind the creation of a form that may be filled out and printed. Features such as text fill in boxes, radio buttons and check boxes are presented along with tips on how to use them effectively. If you are not used to using Acrobat as a creative tool, this section may be an eye opener.

There are also excellent sections on designing pages that make the best use of the medium and how to improve accessibility of your electronic documents. Again, while these are not definitive, the guidelines will point the way to using the features of the program to make the best use of medium in getting your message to as many people as possible. The other chapters are all equally well written and provide good groundwork for such areas as pre-press and electronic publishing.

So far, I've found the Classroom in a Book series to be excellent values. This latest edition is no exception. Whether you are a seasoned veteran looking for a desktop reference or a neophyte just getting started in electronic publication, you will find something here for you.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How Computers Work, Seventh Edition
Publisher: Que
Authors: Ron White, Timothy Edward Downs
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
I hope the editor went unpaid.

An interesting and informative if not substantive book. This isn't a complaint, I knew this when I bought it. What I did not know is that it would be so rife with errors. I am on page 52 of the book and have found no less than 5 of them, mostly grammatical.
Publishing companies: please, please hire competent editors who have some background in the English language and are also somewhat familiar with the material that is being edited.
Here's a real gem, pretty much indicative of the quality of information that is sometimes passed off in the text: "Microsoft, (upon creating windows), could guarantee that billions of dollars of software and business data already created under DOS wouldn't still be usable."
Think you were looking for "would" there, chief.
So what parts of this book do I trust as fact and not a typo?

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Routing TCP/IP, Volume II (CCIE Professional Development)
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Jeff Doyle, Jennifer DeHaven Carroll
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A 'must-have' book for the networkers

Just had a brief read thru. It covers extensively on EGP & BGP. Excellent coverage on IPv6 & multicast, which can't be found elsewhere. Good book for CCIE candidates! By having the Vol I & II books, you can cover almost all in TCP/IP routing.