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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Murach's OS/390 and z/OS JCL
Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates
Authors: Raul Menendez, Doug Lowe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
More than JCL -- a handy reference book, too

I was delighted to find a replacement for the dog-eared JCL manual on my bookshelf - and this one is much better than my old copy.
I started off looking up some random JCL parameters to see how easy it was to find things quickly (the most important thing in a reference book) and ended up reading the whole book from beginning to end when I realized just how many useful little things I had missed learning since I first started using JCL fifteen years ago.
According to the authors, "OS/390 and z/OS JCL" is intended for both mainframe trainees and experienced programmers. That must be why everything is clearly explained, rather than just giving the syntax and leaving it at that. In addition to the chapters on JCL, there are sections on ISPF, SMS, VSAM, IDCAMS, IBM utilities (IEBCOPY etc.), SORT, REXX and UNIX system services.
In other words, this is a very handy general purpose mainframe reference book, that will earn its place on my bookshelf.

Product: Book - Textbook Binding
Title: Design of the UNIX Operating System (Prentice Hall Software Series)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Maurice J. Bach
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
call it a must-read for kernel beginners

This dated book doesn't cover everything about the Unix kernel but that's ok, whatever topics it does cover, it covers them lucidly. A very fine read.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Unleashed (2nd Edition) (Unleashed)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Rand Morimoto, Kenton Gardinier, Michael Noel, Omar Droubi
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Full of Valuable Information

I usually do not buy the large books because the authors frequently just fill the chapters with random information to make the book fat (do you guys get paid by the pound?). However I read the preview chapter here on amazon and found the sample to have great information and the reviews have been very favorable, so I took a chance and bought the book.
I went right to chpt 22 on maintenance practices and found some very practical tips on managing and maintaining dns, dhcp, and wins. The best practice recommendations on daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly maintenance were extremely helpful!
The other chapter I went to was chpt 29 on group policy management. The person who wrote the chapter obviously has worked in a large networking environment where system management is a chore. The tips and notes in that chapter were very insightful!
I'm glad to have found a big book that actually has valuable information from the start to the end of each chapter! Nicely done!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: VBA Developer's Handbook, 2nd Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Ken Getz, Mike Gilbert
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
VB versus VBA

The book is definitely a treasure and will set on my desk a long time; ready for referal. But it is more of a VB book than anything else. Chapters five through seven were especially helpfull in dealing with classes and error handling. I will say again the book is worth having, but perhaps it's title is a bit misleading.