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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Introducing Microsoft .Net, Third Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: David S. Platt
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent introduction to .NET!

Read the title. Introducing Microsoft.NET. This is exactly what the book sets out to do, and that is exactly what the author does. The author takes this huge and often misrepresented framework and shows the reader whether developer or manager, admin or advanced user how this paradigm shift at Microsoft is extremely important to them.
What is not in the title, and what makes so many give this book poor reviews, are the words "Developing", "Programming", or "Architecting". Other book are left to handle the specifics of these tasks. This book is about understanding the Why of .NET, and not its How.
And regarding its price. I do not value a tech book by how many pages its author spewed out, but by how well it meets its objectives, how applicable it is to my career, and how well the author conveys his message. This book is well worth the price, and if you don't earn the cover price back many times over, you must have changed to a non-IT career.
This book is a must read for anyone who can't figure out what .NET is, or who thinks they understand it from the hype. The book is objective and concise, and while there are many stories of yore, they are necessary to understand .NET's place in correcting the flaws of past programming environments, and therefore its role in the future of computing.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: How to Solve It: Modern Heuristics
Publisher: Springer
Authors: Zbigniew Michalewicz, David B. Fogel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Zen and the art of problem solving.

Don't think that this book is just another version of numerical recipes or "how to" for optimization methods. For me it is about something absolutely different. About breaking old, bad habits in problem solving and looking for the simplest and the most elegant solutions for the given problem. Sometimes it will be something complicated, like competitive neural network, but sometimes the solution will be just: "let's assume that there's no river" (see page 185 of this book). Don't put artificial intelligence where just the common sense will be absolutely enough. I remember some of the problems presented there from my high school years. I had more problems with solving them today than it was many years ago. It looks that we are loosing somewhere, in the process of education, the possibility to simplify problems and rather try to solve them by "brute force". This book may give you this fresh look again (I hope).

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Practical Unix & Internet Security, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Simson Garfinkel, Gene Spafford, Alan Schwartz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

If UNIX security is part of your world and you only have the budget for one book, this is the one to buy! It is GREAT and a must have.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual
Publisher: Pogue Press
Authors: David McFarland
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Finally a book to fill in the gaps and a great one at that!

One thing I have learned over the passed 15 years is that very few software packages ever come with user guides that are useful. Working with any application is always a challenge and the right help makes everything goes so much easier. The "Missing Manuals" series has provided some of the best reference manuals out there today and this book is another example of the quality work released by O'Reilly press.
The author has proven to be very knowledgeable in the DreamWeaver application arena. I found the book to be easy to read and follow along with and the material fills in the gaps left out by the user manual. The instruction is written to all levels making sure that everyone can use this book and the figures included give a visual learning environment. Now in the updates if color was included this would enhance the learning process.
There are a number of step-by-step instructions to follow along with, giving you the opportunity to practice what you read. I think that a there could be more exercises included in the next edition, but what you have is certainly enough to get by.
There seems to be coverage of all aspects of DreamWeaver MX 2004 in this book, from the web page to the web site and everything in between. I was able to find answers to several questions I had with the software and I know of several people who have benefited from the book already.
Overall this is one great book and for those who need to use the software or those who want to get better you should be reading this.