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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming the Microsoft Windows Driver Model, Second Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Walter Oney
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
A Painful Lesson Learned

I got to this description of the first edition from a book list and ordered it. I read the book description and the reviews, but missed the one line recommendation from someone to get the second edition. So, I'm writing this as a review in the hopes that it will be more obvious so others won't waste money like I just did. Do a fresh book search on the title and buy the most recent edition.
The 1 star reflects that this is an old edition. I'm sure the book itself is fine.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Perl Cookbook, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Tom Christiansen, Nathan Torkington
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
what a great reference

i keep this book close to my keyboard. i'm still learning perl, and everytime i've hit something that i don't know how to do yet i've found an answer in here. the table of contents is really detailed, so you can just find the area you're looking for, skim down, find the exact problem, and flip to the page. you'll have your answer in seconds. pair this with programming perl (which i still use mostly for the great listing of all the built in functions).

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Essential C++
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book to learn C++ right

Several years ago, I worked my way through one of those 1000-pg tomes that claim to teach C++. This is after learning Fortrann77 once upon a time. I came out of that knowing a lot of syntax, but not being able to use it well. Fast forward 4 years, and a few programming languages in between, and Essential C++ is comparatively enlightening. Not only do I review the syntax, I come out of it understanding why certain features are good andhow to use them. I can quibble about some things. (the chapter on generic programming comes fairly early, and going through it made me think of "deep magic") but Essential C++ is for people who want to learn, not just syntax, but how to use C++.

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
nice try

For authors with the skill to note every flaw in a website, they certainly didn't put this book through any rigorous review process. The idea is good and the treament is nice, but the books biggest problem is that it isn't subdivided into problem areas. It's just 50 web pages with the problems of each cited in it's own list. Why 50? Seems arbitrary. (because 20 wouldn't make a whole book?) This book is just begging for more structure.

Want to know the most drastic problem on each page?
Want to know where the concept went wrong?
Want to know what has the potential to do the most damage or give the most frustration?
You're on your own, because whether a button is off by a pixel or the whole idea is bad, the items are just run together in long unprioritized lists. Beyond that... If a site has (say...) 24 problems, 12 of the items will be trite and nit-picky things you'd fix without even wasting your clients time. Got time to read through over 1000 call-outs to find the 50 pivotal problems? Set aside a lot of time to weed through the dross.

Smells like padding.