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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PDF Hacks
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Sid Steward
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I could have used this book on several occassions

With PDF files everywhere from web sites to help files, sooner or later you will run into a situation where you need to do something to a PDF file. For me the first time I realized I needed to do something I could not was when I needed to take one and convert it to a Word format so I could quickly outline the high points to study for a certification exam. After several hours I finally got it into a text file thanks to a web site that did the conversion. But even then I lost the tables, illustrations, etc. How to do that is one of the hacks included in this book. I wish it were printed a few years ago because it would have made my life easier.

After testing that hack I browsed through the book and kept finding myself asking "You can do that with a PDF file?" There are a lot of good tips in this book from making Acrobat startup faster, to converting PDF files, to automatic timed scrolling for easy reading, to creating a PDF using Word, WordPerfect, OpenOffice, Perl, HTML, PHP, and Java. With page after page of coding, this is a tremendously useful book for anyone who wants to create or edit PDF files or change the way Acrobat works with files. PDF Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools is very highly recommended and will be put on my shelf reserved for books I want to be able to access quickly.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

At first I thought this book would be inspiring and informative. Although some of the statistical data was useful, overall I found this book to be stifling. As a student of web design, I found it bothersome how the authors stamped out every notion of creativity. They insult the intelligence of present-day internet users and suggest an almost "template" approach to web design. As they deconstructed sites, I found their suggestions to be petty and/or picky. For example, they suggest that every page should place the logo in the upperleft corner. Or, they would criticize wording for being "overly cutesy" or "too clever."Although I think it is important for webpages to have worthy content and logical navigation, the authors of this book regard visual appeal as something frivilous. I would challenge that the viewing public do in fact have a large visual vocabulary and are capable of consuming and understanding different visual forms. We see this in the areas of advertising and industrial design, with the success of fresh, unpredictable campaigns and product lines.I think this book provides some limited insight, but after the first 40 or so pages, the stringent guidlines become overbearing.Curiously, I wonder how Nielsen's site, useit.com, would survive a deconstruction? The site is jam-packed with words, and the space is too unified without any visual elements to break it up. I didn't have the patience to scan through it at all.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Kevin D. Mitnick, William L. Simon, Steve Wozniak
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A good eye-opener for business people

I'm a business person turned technical and have mixed opinions about this book. I would recommend it to people who have no awareness of how social engineering can compromise computer security above any physical security countermeasures.
It is repetitive in its warnings and examples, but one's reaction to that repetitiveness (boredom, apathy) only serves to illustrate how one can easily become a target of deception. One must analyze all social interactions within any high-security context to decrease security risk. This book emphasizes that a situation can actually be high-security without the average business person knowing it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide, Deluxe Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Todd Lammle
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great book!

if you are learning CCNA by yourself and have a ciscopress book, but just understand half of the stuff, this book clear any doubt about the subject, its written in natural language, easier to understand than any other book of networking.