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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Code Complete
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve McConnell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Outstanding. Thorough. Well written. Thee programmers bible.


Buy this book only if you are SERIOUS about programming. Because if you're not, you'll never get through it.
McConnell's book is an exhaustive guide to the nitty-gritty details of programming. There are entire CHAPTERS devoted to choosing names for variables, and dozens of pages covering every style of indenting since 1950. I am devouring programming books for my future career, and I am glad that I got this book. It covers all aspects of the design and coding process, with a heavy emphasis on readability and maintainability. It helped me to correct some bad coding practices that I developed.
I was most impressed by the references. McConnell has drawn together hundreds of papers, articles, and books written since the 60s and digested them all for you in this compact volume. He frequently quotes statistics and studies to support his claims. (Indenting lines 3-5 spaces boosts comprehension by 68%, but indenting by 6 or more spaces decreases it by 32%)
I got a real chuckle on his advice about how to deal with bosses who want to see code during the planning stages -- get printouts from previous projects and leave them around your desk, then lie!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How to Do Everything with Adobe® Acrobat® 6.0 (Windows)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Doug Sahlin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very Very helpful in my job.


I installed Acrobat 6 and began working on a project. I thought it would be like working with a typical word processor, how wrong I was. I am glad I was able to use this book to point out how there is so much more Acrobat does.

I found out how to integrate Acrobat with Office, how I can create PDFs in Acrobat and how Acrobat works in creation of web pages and websites.

The book has a wealth of information on conversion from one format to another, multimedia, printing and something I never knew you could do create search queries.

The book has taught me several things in a short time frame and overall I found this book very useful.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Crystal Reports Professional Results
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: George Peck
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Only half a book


I already have George's CR 8.5 book and I think its great. When I saw the description for this book I was very interested in reading it. Unfortunately, once I got the book in my hands I was let down.
As I went through the chapters I saw that it was really a "Tips and Tricks" book. This is mostly stuff that I already read in his 8.5 book. So I didn't see much new information. But the really bad part was when I got to page 200. The book was over! Yes, this "400" page book is only 200 pages.
The last 200 pages are a printout of the Crystal help file. I've read books that have what I consider too many tables copied out of a help file. But this book goes over the top by having a full 50% of its content being a copy of the help file. What was George and his publisher thinking? It reminds me of the Tom Petty song The Last DJ, "The guys at the top want to see how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free."
In summary, the first half of the book is a lot of repeated tips from his 8.5 book. The second half of the book is worthless. If you want a good CR book, get George's 8.5 or 9.0 book and pass this one by. I'm shocked to see that a great CR author such as George put with his name on the cover.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-290): Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Dan Holme, Orin Thomas
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Look elsewhere


Poorly written and way out of context. My advice to anyone wishing to learn the real ins and outs of 2003 server would be to buy Mark Minasi's book - he offers much better advice geared towards the real world and his chapter on DNS is far superior to the drivel written in this publication.I particuarly dislike the monotonous tone that so often is the down fall of Microsoft publications. On the upside - this book is given it's blessing by *Microsoft* - so it must have something going for it. The section on Group Policy is not bad.However - just go to Borders and compare the difference - Minasi's book on 2003 server is *the* bible to have with regards to decent technical writing and explanantions of real world situatios with regards to 2003 server.