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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Threads, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Scott Oaks, Henry Wong
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not for a threads newcomer

I have both Doug Lea's "Concurrent Programming in Java" and Oaks and Wong's "Java Threads". Doug Lea's book is by far the most comprehensive. The book focuses strongly on applied uses of locking mechanisms and covers a great deal of the theoretical basis of monitor-based locking schemes. The book is not easy reading though -- it is extremely dense. It has applicability outside of the Java programming environment and I recommend it to you if you are interested in the theoretical side of concurrent programming. Oaks and Wong's book is far less academic. It is an extremely easy read. Notwithstanding the fact that it is 250 pages, it can easily be read (and understood) in an afternoon. Their approach is much more practical and focuses on Java's support for concurrent programming. If you need to dive into multi-thread programming in Java then I heartily recommend this book to you as it will get you started quicker than Doug Lea's book. If your interest is in concurrent programming in general or if you are using a different language, then Doug Lea's is probably the more suitable.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Fundamentals of Database Systems, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Ramez Elmasri, Shamkant B. Navathe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Theory is the best practice

There is no such thing as "purely practical" in IT. This book lays foundations, in the good academic tradition, but is also practical, in the sense that gives design advice based on fundamental concepts. I have used this book as the basis for a "Database Systems" module which I taught a few years ago and I found it better for teaching than Date's books. The chapters are better organised. In my opinion, the blend of theory, examples and exercises is perfect. Very good book for undergraduate and graduate students who want to learn about database systems. May not be the best for some professionals with enough experience, but some chapters (e.g. on Extended Entity-Relationship models) are excellent for people at all levels.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Not a bad little strategy guide

I bought this strategy guide when I had about 60 hours put into the game so it wasn't a whole lot of help. It is very valuable when it comes to finding a certain materia, or locating a limit break for a certain character. It also helps with the safe combination in the old mansion, and if I would've got it sooner I would have been able to save the big blue materia from the rocket. As far as tips, like where to go if you want to build up materia it doesn't tell you jack squat. In summary, if you don't feel like printing out a novel on-line, buy the guide, if I had the choice to buy it again or not I would have, only I would of done it sooner.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCA Citrix MetaFrame XP for Windows Administrator Study Guide (Exam 70-220)
Publisher: Osborne/McGraw-Hill
Authors: Inc. Syngress Media, Melissa Craft
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Book Has Value

I'm not entirely certain why people are giving this book 1 star reviews- it's *not* a 5 star book, but in my opinion, it's *not* a 1 star book. I think the books tracks fairly well to the exam (I just sat the XP exam), and if you know the book really well, it *will* help you as you take the test. Believe me, you also have to have hands on with Citrix XP in order to pass.