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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Linux+ Study Guide, 3rd Edition (XKO-002)
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Roderick W. Smith
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

Sybex recently released a revised edition of the Linux+ Study Guide, with added coverage of exam objectives related to hardware issues, and updated test engine on the CD with updated review questions. The ISBN is 0782143121. Enter that number in the search field to go to the correct page.--Neil Edde, Associate Publisher, Sybex, Inc.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Robot Building for Beginners
Publisher: Apress
Authors: David Cook
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Awesome book for begining "robotists"

I would give Mr. Cook's book 6 stars if I could. It blew me away. It provides excellent diagrams, pictures, and ideas, as well as manufacturers and part numbers for all of the neccessary components. It assumes no background whatsoever in electronics or robotics.
Electronics have always piqued my interest, though I have never really been able to get into them. Some of the books I have bought previously have been absurdly complicated, requiring backgrounds in fields such as linear calculus. I have a head for numbers, but being only a high school freshmen taking Geometry can be limiting.
Robot Building for Beginners really brings the art of constructing autonomous creations down to the basic, hands on level. It starts with the basics, down to what one's workspace should include, etc. You won't find any cryptic series of equations, graphs, or complex diagrams in this book. All of the electrical components are explained on a "what-they-do and how-to-use-them" basis.
For instance, I picked up another book, Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics, and attempted to teach myself about simple things like how a circuit works, and what resistors do. The book immediatly overwhelmed me with so-and-so's laws, this rule of physics, this logarithmic equation, etc.
Mr. Cook's book , on the other hand, explained resistors simply, essentially saying that they were devices to limit the amount of current to a place in the circuit, because too much current simply fries your components. No fancy equations, no graphs, just simple - like it is.
It is for all of the above reasons that I highly recomend this book to anyone who's ever considered dabbeling in electronics (for robots or not).

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Barry Boehm, Richard Turner
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

Agility and discipline are not absolutes, but should be dosed out appropriately based on your project. The risk-management approach explained in this book is familiar to most business management folks, and provides a framework for making the right decision. This is a great way to cater a methodology to your project.
There were some "day in the life of" sections in this book that felt like fake stories -- it was almost like reading a DeMarco novel. Entertaining, but not entirely convincing. Also, contrary to Lean approaches, this risk management framework doesn't seem to lend itself to self-tuning as the project moves along (unless I missed something). There's a lot to be said for measuring how effective you're being and reacting to changes in your environment and product. The idea of doing all of your risk assessment up-front and choosing your methodology for the life of the project sounds exactly like the kind of thing that any "Agilist" would claim is not going to work!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Foundations of Service Level Management
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Rick Sturm, Wayne Morris
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
you've read the book, now visit www.nextslm.org-

The recent book on "Service Level Management " by Rick Sturm et al, is an important addition to the very limited number of books available in this subject area.
The state of the art in Service Level Management has been clearly brought out in the book. It offers sound and practical advice on building service level management discipline within organizations.
The topics in the book have been logically arranged, very lucidly presented and are highly readable. The "Tips, Caution and Notes" interspersed with the text serve to highlight important aspects of discussion, which really bring out the mature experience of the authors in this area in a concise form.
Part IV dealing with the currently available products and vendors for SLM products will be very useful for corporations looking to acquire SLM products .
A review of the current opinion of the research groups like META Group, Forrester Research etc. provides interesting points of view.
The topic on standardization efforts currently being undertaken by DMTF and IETF serves to show where further research in this area is headed towards.
On the whole a very useful, timely and sound book on Service Level Management