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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: OCA/OCP: Introduction to Oracle9i SQL Study Guide
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Chip Dawes, Biju Thomas
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good Book but has some small problems

I just pass the exam 5 minutes ago, and I an so supprised I got 93.3% (4 wrongs). I bought two books for this exam(an oracle press one). But focused on this book. I think the question on the test is a little more difficult than practice test. Anyway, this book help me a lot. It is a good reference during the test. Only one question on the test is not covered in this book (about iSQL).

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Building Portals With the Java Portlet API (Expert's Voice)
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Jeff Linwood, David Minter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Building Portals with the Java Portlet API

This book provides an introductory level overview of the entire Portlet development process from tools installation to deployment. Some topics, like RSS, are given short shrift, but overall the topic coverage is consistent. The text is well written and easy to read, graphics and illustrations are used sparingly and to great effect.

Enough time is spent on the introduction, basic concepts and the life cycle of a portlet to create a firm basis of understanding to layer the technical concepts on. That is what you want from a book like this and it delivers. This book is definitely worth a look for anyone looking to build portlets on the Java Portlet API.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop 7 Killer Tips
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great Photoshop Tips

PHOTOSHOP 7Killer TipsAUTHOR: Scott Kelby and Felix NelsonPUBLISHER: New RidersREVIEWED BY: Barbara Rhoades
BOOK REVIEW: Photoshop 7, Killer Tips is a wonderful book chock full of quick tips on using Photoshop. Each is given half of one page so the information is in concise form. You won't have to read a chapter to find out how to do the tip. Also, each tip contains at least one graphic to visually explain what is going on.
The down side of this book is the way the Chapters are named and the tips indexed. If you are looking for a specific topic, you better know how the authors think because the Chapters have such names as Greased Lightnin' and Fast & Furious. While these names are cute, they do nothing to help a reader locate what they need.
Also the names of each tip in the Chapters are not listed in alphabetical order. For example, the first tip in Chapter 5, Fast & Furious is Zoom Out for Sharper Web Images and the second to last is Exercising Your Influence on GIFs. Neither Zoom or Exercising tells you what the tip is about; you have to read the whole name. So even if they were in alphabetical order, it wouldn't help.
The bottom line: Get the book if you want to do some reading to locate your needs. It has all kinds of wonderful tips; it is just not labeled well.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Worth reading, but rehashes many conservative views

Designing Web Usability is a worthwhile read, but dwells on many conservative views (minimize graphics, use blue-red link color scheme, etc). Nielson doesn't acknowledge that sometimes it is better to design a wonderful site for 90% of your customers than to dull it down severely for the sake of the other web-handicapped 10%. While we may need to design for palm pilot viewing in the future, it's hardly a pressing concern right now.
That said, go ahead and read it for hundreds of great usability tips (e.g. adding link titles, always using trailing slashes in HREFs, how table attributes are displayed differently in 5 browsers, etc.). Just don't take it as design gospel. It's good to know when you're making a design/usability trade-off, but sometimes the sacrifice is well worth the cost.