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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Donald E. Knuth
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Knuth Is Stuck In The 60s

Yes, it is risky to review an author such as Knuth. But, certain things must be said and it seems like I may be the only one to say them. First, Knuth's books, including this new addition are invaluable resources of wisdom. Their depth and tenacity are rarely found elsewhere in our industry. That being said, I believe Knuth has really missed a big mark in this new addition. My chief complaint of all of Knuth's "Art of" series is his incessant use of "MIX". MIX is Knuth's homebrew assembly language he uses to analyse the computer algorithms he describes. When Knuth first wrote the "Art of" series, assembly language was thankfully dying. 20 years later, no one but Knuth would even consider writing a book filled with such gibberish. There is no possible way at the end of the 1990s that this nonsense can be justified. Knuth has really missed the mark by insisting on having MIX in his books. What about C or C++, Pascal, BASIC, or even his own high-level psuedo-language? Here's the "God" of computer programming pushing this wretched gobbledygook on us. I can only attribute his horrid fascination with MIX to one of three things: Laziness (he doesn't want to rewrite his analysis - if this is true, then the new additions might need to be re-titled "The Art of Milking a Good Thing"), pride (he just can't give up his assembly language bastard-child he created), or ignorance. Either way, none of these are good justifications for why us plain mortals have to wade through this mine field of MIXed manure. Get with it Don! Come down to our level, be a little bit humble and gives a decent high-level language analysis of your favorite algorithms. MIX - R.I.P.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Search Engine Optimization for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Peter Kent
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Holy Grail of Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization can be a pretty overwhelming subject. Based on the fees that SEO companies charge, I assumed that SEO was right up there with rocket science. However, I would compare reading Peter Kent's book to pulling away the curtain and seeing a little old man acting as the great and powerful Oz. Peter Kent does an excellent job brushing aside all of the complex notions of SEO and revealing the rather simplistic, yet precise, concepts behind each of the techniques. This book will explain SEO, tell you exactly which techniques to implement, and guide you safely through all of the SEO landmines.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Flash MX 2004 ActionScript Bible
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Robert Reinhardt, Joey Lott, Robert Reinhardt, Joey Lott
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An exceptionally comprehensive volume

It's not for beginners ? ok, it's not.

It's mainly for intermediate readers and it goes reasonably deep and covers an impressive wide range of topics.

It's not an reference guide, if you need one, get the ActionScript reference guide from Macromedia.

If you want to learn Object-Oriented Development with ActionScript 2.0 the Moock's book is the best choice. For me, the ActionScript Bible and the Moock's book are special volumes.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company
Publisher: No Starch Press
Authors: Owen Linzmayer, Owen W. Linzmayer
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
nice attention to details

[A review of the 2nd EDITION.]

Apple has always garnered curiosity, as one of the most creative high tech companies in the world. This book tries to assuage that interest, updated to 2004. It covers in detail many aspects of the company's tumultuous history.

Some tidbits are mentioned that other books on Apple often omit. Like how along with Jobs and Wozniak, there was another co-founder, Wayne. But he sold his interest for around $2k, before Apple went public. Linzmayer estimates that had Wayne held his stock, it would have been worth $500 million in 2000. Ah, the what-ifs. He says that Wayne seemed genuinely unmiffed by this. But the reader must surely wonder otherwise. Like the story of the fifth Beatle. The divergent fates of Wayne, Jobs and Wozniak might be seen as a parable of Silicon Valley.

The book describes events up to 2003-2004. Just in time to include a discussion of the smash hit that is the iPod, and of ancillary packages like iTunes. While perhaps these are too recent to be easily evaluated, Linzmayer doesn't shirk from offering a timely analysis.