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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets & Solutions, Fourth Edition (Hacking Exposed)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, George Kurtz
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5

I had so much fun hacking my own servers, and exploiting all the lesser known security flaws. I highly recommend this book even for the experienced administrator.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization
Publisher: Pearson Education
Authors: Andrew B. King
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fantastic and very useful. I actually read the whole thing!

Although we all know it is important to have fast loading pages few Web developers have a real idea about how users really respond and how long they will wait. Andy King has obviously gone to great trouble to empirically determine what people will put up with and does a great job of explaining how and why to speed thigns up. Some of his ideas are very simple to use and extremely effective. I don't consider myself to be a hard-core techie (just a suit who wished he were) and I found the book to be a good read. His tips on using gzip are the best. It really works and is easy to do and understand.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop Restoration & Retouching, Second Edition
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Katrin Eismann, Doug Nelson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

This book is remarkable both for its scope and for the depth of knowledge, natural teaching ability, and trustworthiness of its author. The book starts with both general and specific corrections to tone, exposure, and color, and goes on through restoring faded and damaged photos, adding and removing elements, and all the way to professional portrait retouching including glamour and fashion retouching.
Katrin presents an inherently fascinating subject in clearly written and illustrated step-by-step explanations. She details her own work and the carefully chosen work of others with tremendous respect for differences in approach, while ensuring that every method she presents is of the highest caliber.
Her respect for the retouchers whose work she features extends also to the subjects of the photos. Her straightforward and thoughtful appraisal of what it is we are about when we restore or retouch photos is unmatched by anything I've seen in other books. Philosophically as well as technically, readers are in good hands with Katrin.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: JavaScript: A Beginner's Guide, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: John Pollock
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great way to learn JavaScript

I have really enjoyed the "Beginner Guide" series that McGraw-Hill has recently begun producing. They serve as a great introduction to various topics, and their newest JavaScript book is no exception. If I were to learn JavaScript all over again, this is the book I would want to have helping me along the way.
This book starts out at the very beginning-it assumes you don't know anything about JavaScript, variables, or functions and goes through what each of those are. After a good introduction into basic programming via JavaScript, there is a thorough discussion on each of the arithmetic and comparison operators in JavaScript. The rest of the book gets into the nitty-gritty of writing web pages with JavaScript by going over conditional statements, event handlers, and the DOM.
Through this discussion, you learn how to use JavaScript with HTML forms, frames, arrays, how to handle various types of data (e.g. string vs. date time), and even learn how to use JavaScript for image rollovers-the most basic of DHTML. Really this book covers the basics. If you go through this book and really understand it, you'll understand the critical skills you'll need to effectively use JavaScript. I would highly recommend this book to someone who doesn't know anything about JavaScript and needs a place to begin.