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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Exploring 3D Modeling with Maya 6
Publisher: Thomson Delmar Learning
Authors: Patricia Beckmann, Scott Wells
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book

I have never written a review - but I had to when I read the one preceeding this. I am a student at SCAD, and we gave input on this book (being students, I think that was smart). We wanted the 'don't go theres', because books often don't tell you common mistakes that happen when you try a new procedure. The don't go theres in this book help you through the common mistakes and how to get out of them, something other books don't do. I like it, and it really helped when I went through the exercises.

This book is also great in that it covers new territory. Some teachers just recycle the Maya tutorials on the Alias website. This book covers some great shortcuts.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming PHP
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Rasmus Lerdorf, Kevin Tatroe
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
a learning book, but not a useful one

Let me start by saying in general O'Reilly books have been the best books I've picked up to learn from. The usually cover the basics in depth and then provide excellent examples and more advanced topics to ponder. This book covers the basics, mostly, and then procedes to fail to provide good examples, and really doesn't enter into the depths of PHP. Other more knowledgable people have said this already, I'm just helping drag the rating down to where it deserves to be, which is not more than 2 stars.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Teach this in the colleges

This book is the definitive guide to object-oriented development.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Google Hacking for Penetration Testers
Publisher: Syngress
Authors: Johnny Long, Alrik van Eijkelenborg
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Tutorial!

Rather than reiterate what other reviewers have said, I'll focus on a few other things worth a mention.

The first two chapters provide a solid foundation for Google use. They can be read and understood by anyone. The knowledge presented in these two chapters alone can make your queries much more efficient. Usage for each operator and searching technique is explained in detail, so that the fundamentals can be applied to any search. These two chapters comprise the best Google tutorial available anywhere!

The rest of the book focuses on techniques relevant to security testing. There so many ways to use Google to enumerate information. The author walks your through each of the techniques and the principles behind them. The examples expand upon and reinforce the techniques discussed in the first two chapters.

I also own the O'Reilly "Google Hacks" book. It's a good book mostly consisting of tips geared towards coders looking harness Google's power for miscellaneous purposes. Although Johnny Long's book does present plenty of code and techniques for automation, its primary focus is using Google's relevance to security testing. Defensive techniques (how to limit what googlebot crawls) are also discussed. "Google Hacking" makes a better starting point for those interested in security testing.