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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside Com (Microsoft Programming Series)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Dale Rogerson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Really a useful book

Inside COM is one of the best books on programming I have ever read. Even for those people who will not use COM in the near future it is still a good book. The important thing is you know what a software will look like in the future. I recommend this book to everyone.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCIE Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: A. Anthony Bruno, Anthony Bruno
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A TON of errors

Great Cisco! What in God's name were you guys drinking when editing this book? I'm on pg. 100 and I've counted at least 5 errors so far. And judging from the content I'm reading, it really doesn't seem like CCIE information but more like CCNP. Maybe they want to raise the failure-rate for the CCIE written exam by publishing this book....who knows. IMHO, this book should have been twice as thick for the amount of information required for the CCIE test.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Data and Computer Communications, Seventh Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: William Stallings
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An encyclopedia of Datacom information

For the stated audience -- academics and self-study professionals -- it is hard to envision a better single volume study of datacom principles. Divided into five primary parts (overview, data communications, WANs, LANs, and Networking Protocols), it can provide excellent first course source material to provide a general overview of datacom principles and techniques.
Note that, with as much information as being presented, the book is much more useful as a course text for study than for casual reading. However, it covers sufficient areas to be useful as a reference for the data & computer communications professional. Additional information is maintained by the author on his web site which provides more up-to-date information than can ever be maintained in a printed volume.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential System Administration, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Æleen Frisch
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Essential is the word

If you are performing any level of system administration on any varient of Unix then this is a great book to have on your desk. It covers just about all aspects of system administration necessary for small to medium systems and networks.
Each topic is dealt with first by an approachable description of what is going on, a discussion of the differences between different systems and some examples of commands or configuration files together with a discussion of what each example is doing and how it does it. It really is an easy way to work out what you need to do on your own system.
The structure works equally well as an aide memoir or as a tutorial to a new topic and this is backed up by an effective index which seems to guide me to the right part of the book much more reliably than is the case in many computing texts.
Although the book, even in its second edition, is now several years old, it is still relevant. The basics if the task do not change and, even if the task in hand has changed a little, reading and understanding the section in the book will leave you well placed to sort out minor variations which is not something that you would get from just plugging away at the man pages.
The main thing that is missing as a result of this is coverage of completely new material, don't expect to find anything about IPv6 or running a webserver for example. That is not such a big problem though as if you are dealing with these issues, you will almost certainly need books on those subjects as well as a general admin book.
For me, it is simple, this is a book that lives on my desk and not on my bookshelf. It helps me out with my mixed network of Linux, Solaris, SunOS and FreeBSD.