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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Hugh E. Williams
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good Introduction -- not obvious from the title

I recently began a web database project and had to self-teach myself PHP and MySQL, therefore I bought several books from Amazon looking to cover the bases. I disagree with some other reviews posted here, the text IS AN INTRODUCTION but this is not obvious from the title or the editorial reviews on Amazon. The review referring to editing errors I COULD NOT AGREE WITH, I did not find "errors" or typos, maybe I'm not very observant or don't know the subject well enough yet.
Anyway ... the text does a good job at presenting the PHP language and how to operate on MySQL database back-ends, that is the purpose of the book. The sections on PHP are introductory, but well done. Comprehensive descriptions of string and reg-exp functions are provided. A good section for beginners is titled "Common Mistakes" that describe why you get a blank browser screen or what those darned header messages are about. The MySQL section is well done, providing ample samples of the different query types and advanced joins and keys. I also liked the portion that describes using PHP with other RDMS systems via ODBC and to Oracle. Linking PHP and MySQL is well handled and sections on authentication and session management are practical and real-world. The text ONLY includes one overall application system, a psuedo online winestore that includes a shopping cart and purchasing concept. The appendix include a really good treatise on HTTP and describing how Requests and Responses are handled and the status codes.
I had great expectations for this O'Reilly text as many of their critter-adorned texts are in my library. I expected the text to be more advanced than it is. The lack of other sample applications is a weakness, for the price you can get other texts with more comprehensive samples. Afterall, many of us buy these books to try and help us quickly solve "Our Immediate Problem", more samples would have helped this effort better.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java(tm)2: A Beginner's Guide
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Herbert Schildt, Herbert Schildt
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I Get this har Java Thang! :)

The only limitation about this book is that I wish it had more test programming questions. To that end, I have been using a book called "Thinking in Java" by Bruce Eckle which I downloaded for free from the net. It has a lot of good programming questions at the end of each chapter which I have been working through. The book is geared more for experienced C/C++ programmers, but with a little effort, a beginner should be able to get through most of the problems. In deference to the Schildt book, when I don't understand something, I often find myself going back to his book, finding the needed topic, and - boom - there is the explanation, clear and to the point.
Good luck!

Product: Book - CD-ROM
Title: CCNA Virtual Lab, Gold Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Todd Lammle, William Tedder, Bill Tedder
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Lab

The best lab I found, there is no substitue.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Linux Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Richard Stones, Neil Matthew, Alan Cox
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

This book is excellent for those who have a basic understanding on ANSI C, as well as the Unix/Linux operating system, and wish to begin programming for the platform. It is well written and touches on a wide variety of subjects such as sockets, X programming, CGI, shell scripting, etc. An excellent investment!