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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe Photoshop CS Classroom in a Book (Classroom in a Book)
Publisher: Adobe Press
Authors: Adobe Creative Team
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very helpful.

Like many people out there, I've been using computers for decades, and while I've dabbled with Photoshop over the years to do layer-based image touch-ups, enhancements, resizes, and related simplistic tasks (making tape/CD covers, greeting cards, etc.), I've never taken the time to work through a book to learn the other features of the program.
Adobe Photoshop CS Classroom in a Book (CIAB) is a worthwhile starting point for users who know how to use their computers, but might only know how to use some of the functions of Photoshop. This book spends most of its time on layers, masks, pen tools, and webpage basics (slices, animation, and image maps).
I found the pen tool chapter to be the most useful, since I had never really understood how vector-based drawing worked, and I am now eager to learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator CS as well.
The webpage chapters are also good for those who have lots of ideas in their mind about how their webpage should look, but don't have intuitive tools to do it. ImageReady CS (included with Photoshop CS or Adobe Creative Suite) makes creating precise web graphics, image maps, etc. almost too easy.
I found several errors in the book that occur in later chapters, but none of them prevented me from completing the lessons. There are some spelling, grammatical, and formatting errors throughout the text. However, these will not prevent the average user from running into roadblocks. The biggest error occurs in Lesson 15, where the image references in the sample HTML file do not correspond with the actual image filenames. Basic HTML/text editing can fix this, but as an official Adobe product, this should have been found before duplicating the CD-ROM which accompanies this book.
Otherwise, the lessons are presented well and are very easy to follow. The text is clear and easy on the eyes. I was able to complete all 20 lessons in about 4 days. To get the most out of this book, it would be wise to complete a lesson, and then apply what you learned to your own project to help with retention of the material.
Overall, a good first step to other more in-depth texts. I'd like to see full-color in future installments, as well as more detailed descriptions on why certain selections and options are chosen. Also, I think the monitor and color calibration chapters should be moved to an earlier part of the book. It's odd that these are the last topics covered, especially since topics like levels and color correction precede it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Object-Oriented Software Construction (Book/CD-ROM) (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bertrand Meyer
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Object Oriented Software Construction

I wanted a general text which analyzed the use of Object Oriented Programming, discussing good and bad approaches etc. and a title like "Object-Oriented software Construction" seemed very promising. However I am disappointed. This book is not it.
Mr Meyer certainly knows a lot about object oriented programming and the book certainly covers a lot of ground with respect to object oriented programming. However one soon gets the feeling that something is not quite right; that the book is not really a general text on OOP. Mr Meyer clearly has strong biases with regard to the many choices involved in Object Oriented language implementation. There seems to be a clear path emerging and that Mr Meyer is going to shepherd you down his chosen path come what may. I eventually concluded that the book describes his journey through the maze of object oriented programming to justify his development of the Eiffel programming language.
What made me come to that conclusion? For a start, the almost constant denigration of all things that he doesn't agree with. I doubt that there will ever be a `perfect' computer programming language; one which does everything better than any other language. All languages are compromises to some extent in some areas. These compromises mean that all languages have good and bad points, and in an excellent object oriented programming book I would expect discussion to reflect this. However in this book, Mr Meyer is quite dogmatic about most such compromises and these are presented as the only possible `reasonable' choice. He then dismisses the alternative as being less than perfect, and makes light of the difficulties with his own choice.
The book is riddled with these dogmatic assertions. While the author could have written a major general text he chose not to. And that is the major problem because after a while one starts wandering whether what is written is actually a good description of OOP in general or just another biased justification. It is difficult to tell and the author certainly doesn't give any help. One needs to be a really proficient OOP programmer who knows a variety of languages to differentiate. So much so that if you could tell, you wouldn't have much use for the book in the first place.
The (English) language and style the author uses clearly indicates that he has an axe to grind and of course the message comes in the last chapter. It is to `sell' his programming language `Eiffel'. In the end I realized that the book is really one big advertisement/justification. It reminds me of one of those advertisements for Coke. You think the film has started with all this glitzy action sequences until right at the end the character takes a long swig and you realize that he is holding that recognizable bottle and that you are still in the ads. At least in most ads a company generally makes it clear that it is trying to sell something.
In summary I think that the title "Object Oriented Language Construction: The road to Eiffel" would be much more accurate. I certainly do not think the book is a good general reference for object oriented programming. Perhaps useful as one of a dozen which could put some balance back into the discussion.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Ace the IT Job Interview!
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Paula Moreira
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book is a gold mine! Helped me land a great PM job.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a job in IT. After unsuccessfully interviewing for a few positions, my friend told me about this book. It was like finding an answer key for a test! I read the chapters relevant to my situation and prepared a cheat sheet. I went in to my next interview brimming with confidence because I felt prepared for any question they could ask me. I am convinced it made the difference.
The most valuable part of the book for me was the sample questions and answers for specific job titles. During my interview the hiring manager asked three key questions that were straight out of the the Project Manager section of this book. I nailed the questions and got the job. If you are serious about finding a new job, this book is definitely worth your money and time, even if you only read one chapter.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: DNS and BIND, Fourth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Paul Albitz, Cricket Liu
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Top Ten book

Everyone who runs a linux box needs to buy this book! Just seeing examples, and putting in what you think isn't enough. After buying this book I was able to repair many problems, and fine tune my DNS files. It all becomes so much clearer after reading this book. An ABSOLUTE MUST-HAVE! Go Buy it Today!