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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner (Absolute Beginner)
Publisher: Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade
Authors: Michael Dawson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Wow! What a refreshing approach to python!

Michael dawson happens to get it. Not only the language he writes of, but the language he uses to educate. I am new to Python and this book really helped open the doors for me. Because of this book, Python is not a huge scary beast... it's a friendly and helpful pet! Thanks for such a great read!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Step-by-Step Approach to Using the SAS System for Univariate and Multivariate Statistics
Publisher: Books by Users Press
Authors: Larry Hatcher, Edward J. Stepanski
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
One of my favorite statistical reference books

You do not need to be a social scientist nor use SAS to find this book helpful. I am not a social scientist, and often use other statistical software. Still, I use this guide more than any of my other statistical textbooks and reference books. The authors do an excellent job of explaining how to perform and interpret a variety of statistical tests. For SAS users, there are many example programs and instructions on how to write and interpret these. If you regularly use statistics in your schooling or career, this book is a must have!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java (tm) Certification
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Clear and exhaustive treatment of language fundamentals

I've been working with Java for about 4 years now. Not daily and since college I haven't done anything major with it; but through regular, casual use I thought I had a good handle on it. So when someone at work brought up the certification test, I thought it'd be a piece of cake. I went to a few java certification web-sites(mostly to find out how to sign up) and started into a few mock exams. hehe, sound familiar? I was lucky if I got 50% of the answers correct on the few I actually managed to finish.
The reason was the details! Like many java programmers, I knew java well enough to get sufficient funtionality out of it to get by. But whether or not, for example, ArithmeticException is a checked exception would be something I'd never worry about unless the compiler complained. This book has been perfect for the kind of studying which I needed. By chapter 2 I was already learning things I had never bothered learning. (but which are tested for)
One final word for any considering this book. You will get 100% more out of it by working out (at least be sure you thoroughly understand) all examples and exercises. I skipped a few of them the first time through and have ended up having to re-read those chapters because those bothersome details just won't stick any other way. Work through each chapter as if though it's a short assignment and you're well on your way to becoming a Sun Certified Java Programmer.... :-)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Robert Vieira
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

This is perhaps the best technical book ever written. Using this manual I was able to solve problems in SQL 2000 that had eluded me for years in Access, as well as solve some tricky issues in having my code talk to the SQL database. The couple of pages on correlated subqueries alone are worth the price of the book (particularly the bold hint about aliasing), and the excellent section on stored procedures is absolutely essential for the developer trying to make their program talk to the database. Being able to use stored procedures effectively has drastically increased the response time of my ASP and Java web sites, as well as simplified maintenance.
My only issue is that I wish there was a dedicted section with regard to commenting and variable/table naming conventions. As a neophyte developer trying to make business and entertainment apps this would be help.
If you want practical SQL in an easy to read and understand format, this is the book for you. I can't recommend it highly enough.