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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual C# .NET Step by Step--Version 2003
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jon Jagger, John Sharp
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Definitely Not For Beginners

It has been a number of years since I touched a programming language, and none of my experience was in Object Oriented stuff. This book has been patently unhelpful. I'm not sure who the audience is - It does not provide much in the way of explanation as to how the architecture works - it just lays it out. It is near useless for a beginner. On the other hand, an experienced programmer is likely to get bored with the "Open this code and change this line" approach. Too bad. This could have been a good book. Unfortunately, I don't know if there are any good alternatives if C# is your first language.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself ASP.NET in 21 Days (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Chris Payne
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great Book.

As I perused through a few books on the subject of ASP, I decided to buy this one. This book has turned out to be the greatest help, and I believe that programmers of all skill levels will benefit from the information and examples contained within. Great job.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Data Model Resource Book, Vol. 1: A Library of Universal Data Models for All Enterprises
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Len Silverston, Len Silverston
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
What a time saver and valuable resource!

My copy of both volume 1 and volume 2 have been referenced so many times that they are tattered and worn, but such a valuable resource on all my projects. Whenever I contemplate a design, I first look at this book and, more often than not, I get ideas and best practices on ways to model the construct. I have successfully re-used designs from both volume 1 and 2 and have applied models from both of these books towards the modeling of many industries including distribution, manufacturing, telecommunications, health care, financial services and professional services.
I have found that the models provided are very relevant, re-usable, and of very high quality. They also provide all the details necessary to create physical database designs. They include entities, keys (primary and foreign), relationships (named), attributes, and the appendices include a complete listing and cross referencing of the entities and attributes, which entities are used in which diagrams (in volume 2), and domains that specify the data type and suggested lengths for each attribute. The book provides clear explanations as to why the models are modeled a certain way as well as includes data examples showing the specific instances of data that could be stored in these models.
The data models offered are at what I would consider a mid level of abstraction. Therefore, they offer a good level of flexibility without being overly abstract. The author will use very useful abstractions such as a "party", "product", "agreement" and "work effort" (with many specific subtypes of these entities as they apply to the various industries) but he does not go overboard by including overly generic concepts like "item" "activity", or "thing" entities. What I really like is that the author will often show multiple ways of modeling the same construct and show the pros and cons of the different ways to model a construct. Sometimes specific data modeling constructs are shown and sometimes more abstract entity models are shown.
Both the volume 1 common models and volume 2 industry models have not only saved me time by being able to re-use the constructs, but they have offered some perspectives that did not occur to me and have literally been a life saver to me on many a project. I could not ask for a better reference on data modeling templates and re-usable data modeling examples!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Joy of Digital Photography (A Lark Photography Book)
Publisher: A Lark Photography Book
Authors: Jeff Wignall
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Beautiful Book!

I bought this book as a gift for someone but after perusing through I decided to keep it for myself! Some of the pictures are really stunning! It is actually fun to read-not a stodgy old how-to manual. The book is very inspiring, it makes one believe that you too could take pictures like the ones in this book, with a bit of practice. Now I just need to buy a digital camera and another copy of the book for my brother!