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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Developing Windows-Based Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic.NET and Microsoft Visual C#.NET, Second Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation, Matthew A. Stoecker
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Inadequate prep guide for 70-316.

This text is PITIFUL.
In preparation for the 70-316 exam, I covered the entire text - did all of the labs, spent time reviewing. I know the textbook material solidly.
This weekend, I started using the sample exam questions that came with the Microsoft MCSD kit (and the Transcender pack.) To my shock, I'm consistently scoring 60%.
The problem is that SO much material on the exams is not covered in the textbook. Just from memory, here are some of the questions I've encountered that AREN'T in the textbook:
* Panel controls* ToolBar controls* XML validation* XML elements and nodes* COM+ components* Authenticode signatures* RegAsm and RegSvr32* Packaging issues, like .MSI vs. .CAB, and merge modules
I'm just getting HAMMERED by questions that aren't discussed in the textbook. These topics don't even appear in the index! How can the electronic review questions BUNDLED WITH THE TEXTBOOK test on material that's not in the text?
So now I've spent a month prepping, and I'm *still* not ready for the exam. I've spent $650 on review materials, and now I need to buy another textbook. This is awful and horribly frustrating.
- David Stein

Product: Book - CD-ROM
Title: Oracle Forms Developer: The Complete Training Course
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Benjamin Rosenzweig, Baman Motivala, Ben Rosenzweig
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

I have read several books on Oracle Forms development and this is by far the clearest and easiest to learn from. Oracle Forms is not the best environment to develop in, but this course and the included workbook take you through step by step and provide feedback in the form of detailed answeres. Further, the problems in this book and solutions actually WORK unlike other books on the subject. It is well worth the... Thank you for this setup, it has cleared up a lot of questions and provided the steps needed for developing working forms!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside SolidWorks
Publisher: OnWord Press (Acquired Titles)
Authors: David Murray
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good for learning, not so good to look up

If you have to start with SolidWorks, this book is for you. It begins at the basics and moves up to quite advanced topics. This book is made for learning, and you better not leave out any topics, since some of the interesting features of SolidWorks are mixed into chapters where you won't expect them.
Just start at the first page, and even if it sometimes seems like deja vu (especially if you've made the mistake of reading the SolidWorks online documentation first), continue to read (which is not to hard, since well written). Some of the nuggets are quite hidden, and you have to dig for them and better remember them, since it is not too easy to find them again within the 784 pages.
I like this book, the information is detailed, so are the examples, and both is enriched with lots of useful pictures. I would give it 5 stars if the index would be better (a hint index would be a fine extra).
Besides, the expected Companion CD did not come with the book ...

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
Get this book even if you are a Java Architect

As far as I am aware this is the only book available on the application of design patterns specifically for Object design and is useful for Java architects as well as for its intended audience, C++ programmers. If you are having difficulty with this book then getting yourself a copy of Christoper Alexander's "A Pattern Language" is a good place to start looking at the concept of patterns and their application to Architectural models in the physical world. While many software designers and webdevelopers rave about "A Pattern Language" the worlds first book on Design "Permaculture a Designers manual" by Bill Mollison is even more universal in scope than "A Pattern Language". This is due to the fact that "Permaculture a Designers Manual" draws its design methods directly from observation of how natural systems work and from that, building integrated systems based on the concepts of Physics, Ecology, Hydrology etctera. The concept of Permaculture is the inspiration behind the concept of the worlds most innovative science thinktank "The Santa Fe institute", permaculture as a concept predates the "The Santa Fe institute" concept by over a decade. The chapters in "Permaculture a Designers manual" that cover, "concepts and themes of design", "methods of design" and a "pattern understanding" are worth their weight in gold. One design principle that stands out is the concept of one principle in particular which states that each single element of a design must perform at least two, but preferably more functions. Such designs based on this principle alone can give your object, site or application an extremely huge bang for you buck. If you are a designer and you wish to learn the "triggers" that facilitate good design then there are three books that you must have, "Design Patterns", "A Pattern Language" and "Permaculture a Designers Manual". Whether you are new to design or a professional in this field get these three books, read, "Permaculture a Designers Manual" first to get an overview of how to design models that are universal (ie; adaptable from one discipline to another, for example the principle of edge effects in ecology, used to build objects that foster community growth in a specific Online portal). read "A Pattern Language" second to get an overview of the psychological principles behind Architecture that makes sense to the user and enables them instead of disempowering them (For example the navigational structure for finding the subjects of this book gives an example on how to build a navigation structure for websites or software that makes it easy for the user to navigate to the exact subject that the user wants in just one click) After you have read these two books then read "Design Patterns" to find out how to design objects well and use it also as inspiration for designing Java Architecture. Read these books in the following order and you will have what many programmers beleive is the best selfpaced tutorial on design that you could possibly get. Unfortunatly at present there is no course that has these three all time design classics as the basis of its curriculum, only those who are aware of what the best designers use as their reference material, buy these books, as a result many lecturers are doing thier students a huge disservice. Newsflash; "Permaculture, a designers manual" is no longer for sale on Yahoo as of September of 2001, this book can only be obtained over the web through its publishers "Tagari.com.au".