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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Nessus Network Auditing (Jay Beale's Open Source Security)
Publisher: Syngress
Authors: Renaud Deraison, Noam Rathaus, HD Moore, Raven Alder, George Theall, Andy Johnston, Jimmy Alderson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Invaluable content best suited for infrastructure use

If you are, or are considering, using Nessus in a wide-scale/enterprise scanning infrastructure you will likely find everything you need to know in this book. If you are, or are considering, using Nessus for ad-hoc assessments (or penetration tests), this book will indeed provide a lot of valuable information but at a price: you'll have to read the whole thing to glean all the useful tips and you'll end up spending a lot of time getting intimately familiar with what's probably going to be just one of very many tools in your toolbox, getting only a fraction of your attention in each assessment. If you're new to vulnerability assessment or penetration testing (not just to Nessus) you should really read a few other books first, even though this one does contain some useful info on testing in general, for example, how to identify false positives and negatives.

There's a lot of good content but it tends to be all over the place--numerous sidebars and tables throughout are usually in context but could also have been placed elsewhere. The style, however, seems fairly consistent considering the book had 10 contributing authors and three editors, one of which is the creator of the subject of the book. Unfortunately Jay Beale, whose name appears prominantly on the cover, is merely an editor--a shame since I typically find his articles in Information Security magazine well-written and informative.

There are a just a couple downsides to this book. Like several other current Syngress titles it suffers from poor quality printing and paper with some very tiny and/or fuzzy screen shots, large print, and lack of whitespace--making it a little hard on the eyes. It also really would have been nice if it had included a CD with the current version of Nessus on it, since that's what the book's about after all.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Andre Lamothe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
well done!

a great book for the right person. if your a game programmer already then there maybe not that much for you in here, but if your reasonable at 'c' and new to games, you can't go wrong! one thing though make sure you know your compiler if you don't, then don't expect much help from andre' or the book!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Java, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Horrible Book

I guess if you've never touched a computer before or ever written any code you might enjoy this book. Honestly, I haven't read the whole thing - I couldn't finish it.
If you are looking for a book to transition from one language to another this certainly is not it. It even says that in the introduction to the book. I bought this book to learn some java, although I was already very familiar with C and C++, and was disappointed in what I received.
My advice - if you are familiar with either OO or procedural programming, don't buy this book!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: sed & awk (2nd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Dale Dougherty, Arnold Robbins
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great introduction, mediocre reference

I was very interested in learning sed and awk, and so picked up this book. Like most O'Reilly titles, it is an excellent piece of work. I learned a great deal and was able to get started and pump out some useful code after spending some time with this book. However, I soon found that when it came to tackling some very difficult tasks with sed and awk, this book didn't seem to serve me very well as a reference. I have a feeling that sed and awk are not the sort of thing that one could learn with just one book; there are so many applications for these tools that one must choose what one wishes to do, and find the right books to supplement this excellent text.