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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essentials of Intellectual Property (Essentials Series)
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Alexander I. Poltorak, Paul J. Lerner
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Clear and enjoyable reading!


As a quick primer, I found this book to be terrific. And the dry humour was appreciated as well. Never thought I'd make it through so quickly, and yet come away with such a good appreciation of the subject matter.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Critical Testing Processes: Plan, Prepare, Perform, Perfect
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Rex Black
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Practical and powerful


Critical Testing Processes is excellent. As usual, Rex Black offers testing information based on methods he's found to be successful, so you know you aren't just reading about abstract theories. This book is full of practical and usable solutions to common problems. Whether you've been in testing for a long time, are just starting out, or are curious about what it is those testing people do, this book delivers. The story of a testing team, woven throughout the book, helps to provide an understanding of how the methods discussed in the book can apply to real-life scenarios. The issues and problems faced by the team in the story are those we commonly face in the industry, and the solutions they use provide workable models for the same issues I face in my work.
My first read through was cover-to-cover, which I recommend because you get the full spectrum of the testing story, from start to finish. However, I now pick up the book and dig into any relevant chapter, as a reference when I'm trying to solve a specific problem. That is the real power of this book...it isn't a one-time read, it's an ongoing guide, useful project after project.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Step-By- Step.
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Michael Halvorson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
This is the book for beginers in VB 6.0.


Excellent book, no doubt about it. The book starts from a very ground level and builds thereupon. Definitely a very good book to start with. But you will need something else for the advance level.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming & Customizing PICmicro Microcontrollers
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics
Authors: Myke Predko
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A real learning guide for Picmicro MCU


Just as bad as his 8051 book in the quality of the English. He probably knows how to program the PIC MCUs, but I couldn't stick around long enough to find out. The book desperately needs an editor, and the publisher should be ashamed of letting a semi-literate author get away with this. It reflects on them as much as on him. The bad grammar and spelling can distract one from the technical errors. And there are plenty of those, partly oversight and partly the author's own shallow understanding.
Just opening at random to pp. 178-179, on clock oscillators I learn that "applications that require extreme accuracy allow the use of cheaper clock designs." How about "do not require"? Then I learn that "an error of 30% to the target speed are not unheard of." Sure, that's just English, but gee whiz, it's that way through the book. Then I learn that the circuit uses a "Schmidt trigger," presumably the German version of the well-known Schmitt trigger. Lower on the page I find "Crystals and ceramic resonators delay the propagation of a signal a set amount of time. This set amount is dependent on how the crystal is cut." If ever an author were asked to demonstrate that he hasn't a clue about how a crystal works, he couldn't find a better way. And so forth. It's that way on every page.
He probably knows the PIC processors pretty well, and I won't take that away from him. One pass through the book by a competent copy editor, and another by a real electronic expert could easily turn this into a much shorter, coherent, accurate, and useful book, but neither of those has happened.
All his books seem to have a strange combination of rave reviews and pans, with very little in between. That's unnatural, and the explanation that jumps to mind is bothersome.