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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: MCSA/MCSE: Windows Server 2003 Environment Management and Maintenance Study Guide (70-290)
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Lisa Donald, Suzan Sage London, James Chellis
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Somewhat disappointed...

I agree with one of the earlier reviewers headlines, that was something like "just ok, not great." I've been working w/ Server 2003 for a while now, and from my work experience, I knew certain things in the book were kind of being glossed over that really needed more coverage. I would read each chapter, read the summaries, take all the practice questions, and be left with this nagging feeling that the book was not really preparing me completely for what I'd face on the exam. Unfortunately, I was right, and I just missed passing the exam. This book isn't terrible, but just be sure you use some additional resources and that you have some good work experience also.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: CMP Books
Authors: Trish Meyer, Chris Meyer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

This is probably the most amazingly useful computer books I have ever read. I already had the smallest amount of experience (I.E. I knew how to do basic editing [keyframing, applying effects, messing with parameters]) but there is SO much more to After Effects. This book, written by two beta testers who have been with After Effects since the very beggining (this fact is pounded into you as you read the book), presents perfect structure teaching you in perfect sequence with each chapter being cumulative, but not so much so that you cannot skip around.
I am personally amazed at what this book taught me. I would say that it can, if the reader is dedicated enough, bring an absolute beginner (assuming you understand extremely basic computer concepts such as what RAM/Memory is...etc) to a firly advanced level. Also including an index, this book is good to keep around for reference. Pretty much anything you need to lookup at a later time can be done so with such ease.
Yes, although this book is written based on versino 4.1 of After Effects, and it is taught with the Mac interface :| I learned with After Effects 5.0/5.5 (switched in the middle of the book, not that much of a difference) on Windows.
If you are a beginner that has never even looked at the AE face, this book will not only get you started, but also give you a huge push.
If you are an experienced/intermediate AE user, i would still suggest this book because it presents interesting ideas, concepts, and is good reference material.
My recommendation is 5/5......I would recommend buying this book regardless of experience...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
THE beginning Perl book

This book is the best book for the complete Perl beginner. If you know nothing about Perl, or even nothing about programming, this book will get you into the basics of Perl in no time. The writing style is alright, it keeps you interested in the book, and the topic. There are practice problems to do at the end of the chapters, to give you some practice with the language and the way Perl works. I recommend for any beginner in Perl, or beginner in programming. If you have a decent understanding of the Perl basics, you'll want Programming Perl instead.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Database Systems: Design, Implementation and Management, Sixth Edition
Publisher: Course Technology
Authors: Peter Rob, Carlos M. Coronel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Absolutely good for beginner!

You will never find a basic DBMS book that is more understandable than this one, I bet. Though it was designed for the Management of Information System course not for a Computer Science course (not in-depth details in algorithm) , I find the explanation about E-R Diagram is very excellent (much better than a computer science book recommended by my Prof). Examples of SQL coding is very clear as well.