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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Francesco Balena
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
good but not 5 stars

I just started reading this book and am on page 120. For anybody that has VB experience, this book is a treasure. I've already come across at least 10 things that will save me time in my programming. I plan to read this book from cover to cover (which I don't normally do with programming books). It is clearly written and gives reasons for doing things one way as opposed to another. For example:
"Using a controlling variable of a specific object type usually offers better performance than a generic Variant or Object variable. Iterating on the elements of a collection using a For Each...Next loop is generally faster than a regular For...Next loop because the latter forces you to refer to individual elements using their numeric incdices, which is a relatively slow operation."
Personally, I love this kind of information. However, in my brief examinations, the book has already shown two shortcomings: its index and its code.
I've found the index to be a little skimpy at times. I've already found on a couple of occassions that it took a while to find the simple answer that I was looking for. I suppose that this is because the book was written to be more readable than as a reference book.
I've also found a few things in the code that don't make sense. For example, in the function GetFiles (p.239) the variable path2 is defined (dimmed) as a string. However, this variable is never used in the function. Because this is the first snippet of code that I've examined with any detail, it kind of raises my eyebrows. I wonder what else I'm going to come across in the code.
Overall, the book is very readable. I would reccommend it at an Intermediate level. The book would be perfect for anyone who has programmed some VB and is starting to get a little deeper. It would also be perfect for someone with a large amount of programming experience, but with little VB experience.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Kevin D. Mitnick, William L. Simon, Steve Wozniak
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A good eye-opener for business people

I'm a business person turned technical and have mixed opinions about this book. I would recommend it to people who have no awareness of how social engineering can compromise computer security above any physical security countermeasures.
It is repetitive in its warnings and examples, but one's reaction to that repetitiveness (boredom, apathy) only serves to illustrate how one can easily become a target of deception. One must analyze all social interactions within any high-security context to decrease security risk. This book emphasizes that a situation can actually be high-security without the average business person knowing it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle PL/SQL 101
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Christopher Allen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great introduction to SQL and PL/SQL

Wow, this book is so easy. I didn't know I could learn SQL and PL/SQL so fast.
If you are already an experienced developer in PL/SQL, get another book - this says "101" right in the title! It's for people just learning SQL and PL/SQL! And it's a perfect choice for doing that.
A great purchase and a bargain too.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Object-Oriented Software Construction (Book/CD-ROM) (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bertrand Meyer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Software Construction Reference

If one were to read only one book on software construction, this would have to be it. It covers all the essential areas with a logic that is difficult to refute and a clarity and style which make it a pleasure to read. If you have read the previous edition buy this one. The first edition was excellent, but this one is much better written and covers an amazing amount of new material. Every software practioner, regardless of their experience and expertise, should read it.