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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning ASP.NET Databases Using VB.NET
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: John Kauffman, Fabio Claudio Ferracchiati, Brian Matsik, Eric N. Mintz, Jan D. Narkiewicz, Kent Tegels, Donald Xie, John West, Jesudas Chinnathampi, James Greenwood
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great introduction to a powerful topic

Many of us trying to get our hands around the new .net platform are hoping to use it for data work. Usually this is a part of an ASP.NET book, but is only one of the many topics covered. This book fills the need for looking directly at database work. The book lays layer upon layer building the code into more complete and complex applications. You get practical examples to show the different data functions, and the authors take the time to explore the different ways to approach tasks, depending on the type of database back end you are working with. Straightforward lessons in the no nonsense approach of WROX book help get you up to speed. And it's a great book to grab when you want to find an example of something you are trying. This book brings you up to speed faster than most ASP.Net books, at least as far as taking advantage of the data connections of an ASP page.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Complete Wireless Design
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
Authors: Cotter W. Sayre
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent book on Wireless Design

Circuits and Wireless Communication designers and Enthusiasts....ENJOY!
A true one-of-a-kind guide to wireless "design". It guides you through the design process step-by-step. The author presents design procedure for every circuit that make up a complete wireless system. He also provides design hints, tips and tricks. Primarily for Electrical Engineers and circuit and electronics enthusiasts, this book is a must for its primary audience. There's so much valuable information and experience in this book you won't find anywhere else.
The book is not intended for people with no electronics or circuit design background. People without such background will find the book difficult to follow and comprehend. Communication designers and engineers, however, will be extremely delighted with this book.I'm greatly thankful for the author for his excellent book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Maximizing ASP.NET : Real World, Object-Oriented Development
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Jeffrey Putz
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Skip it, there is nothing "Real World" about this book.

Recommendation: Skip it, there is nothing "Real World" about this book. It loses focus and seems to be assembled from notes by the author. It definitely will not help you create real world applications. There are passing notes about ASP.NET 2.0 in this book, and since there are not many .NET 2.0 books available yet, this may be the only reason it got published. This book will bore advanced programmers, and steer beginners down the wrong path.

The Good:

One part of the book does stand out: "Example: Protecting Your Images from Bandwidth Leeching". This section provides two useful utilities. One for protecting against people embedding images from your site on theirs. Two, implementing image based security to keep out automated sign ups. Consider downloading Chapter 8: HttpHandlers and HttpModules from Safari Bookshelf, but this chapter does not make the book worth purchasing.

The Bad:

The book starts with a light introduction to object-oriented development, maybe too light. "Assessing Your Needs and Requirements" mentions the need and spends no time on it. Agile programming is mentioned, but there is no mention of user stories. Completely leaves the reader to seek out other sources.

The author mentions ObjectSpaces which may never ship, but does not mention options currently available such as NHibernate. This is probably because the author's data access methodology does not intend to utilize O/R mapping. If you are going to bring it up, do a better treatment of it than a passing mention to ObjectSpaces.

The authors justification of layers is based on old school thought. Not that layering is wrong, but it should not be based on breaking your company into separate user interface, business and database teams. Organizations employing this method tend to move slowly. Later, the author presents a more reasonable assumption by sharing data and processes between project groups. Should have spent more time on Service Oriented Architecture and dropped the earlier division of labor speech.

The topic on "The POP Forums Architecture" seems mostly dedicated to pushing and bragging about the authors software, POP Forums. Examples are given how POP Forums does things, but then the author says, "don't worry, you don't need to understand". He also mentions showing how to build a less adequate, but simpler, data access layer later in the book.

A data caching technique is given that is rendered useless by .NET 2.0. The author comes back several chapters later to inform you of this and then briefly presents Microsoft's updated replacement strategy.

The data access method presented is too simplistic. The data access code is integrated with the business logic in the same class. This should at least be broken out into a separate persistence class. Getting multiple records also will not scale when child relationships are introduced into the model. The author should have introduced O/R mappers or explained his methods used in POP Forums. There also is no validation of the objects before storage into the database. Very poor.

The first three chapters in "The ASP.NET Architecture" section do a good job describing ASP.NET's architecture and how things work, even if only at a high level. Server Controls is a little light, but should provide enough information to get started. Web Services as Objects is misleading, this is only a high level overview of web services with the statement, "don't treat web services as object remoting." After this the section falls apart, the last three chapters are too high level to be useful. The reader will need to seek out more information.

The book is dedicated to ASP.NET but there is no mention of NUnitASP in the testing chapter, only NUnit.

Maybe by section three I am just getting bored with this book. But this entire section is too high level to be useful. I think the author was trying to meet a page minimum.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Practical Neural Network Recipes in C++
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: Masters
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Don't buy this book.

Very nice job.
The only negative criticisms I have deal with the computer code:
1) The appendix does not do a good job of describing how to run the code. The various input parameters are described, but that's about it. Not even a short description on how to compile the code.
2) The author claims the C++ code is ANSI standard. This is not true. The code as distributed requires the "conio" library, which is not an ANSI standard! However, for others who come across this, simply comment out all references to "kbhit()", "getch()", and create an empty file "conio.h" and you should be in business.