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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Photoshop and Painter Artist Tablet Book: Creative Techniques in Digital Painting
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Cher Threinen-Pendarvis
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent for both the advanced and beginning user!

I gave a passing thought that this book might not have much to offer me as I've been using Photoshop, Painter and a graphics tablet for a number of years. I was glad I ignored that passing thought as the book offers a wealth of information and examples for both the knowledgeable user and for those with minimal experience in Photoshop, Painter and graphic tablet use.

The author's writing style is informative, open and relaxed making for an inviting read.

There are numerous interesting and well thought out examples throughout the book along with excellent quick tips.

The author has taken the time to compare and contrast not only brushes available *within* Photoshop and Painter but also *between* Photoshop and Painter. Each sample image is created in both programs showing the individual brushes used which allows users to not only see what can be accomplished in each program but also showing those users who own only one of these programs what they can create within the program they use.

This book is an excellent addition to the library of both experienced and entry-level users.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Overrated, difficult to follow, lack of examples

Books on computer programming live or die on the quality of their examples. As every programmer knows, a good example is worth a thousand words. Sadly "Design Patterns" fails miserably in this regard. It suffers from a descriptive overkill that smothers the inherent simplicity of the subject the authors purport to explain. For example, a simple pattern such as "Strategy" is described is such unnecessay detail, that I began to doubt I ever understood it in the first place! For design patterns I was not already familair with, I could not follow them at all. Part of problem is the high-toned, quasi academic style the authors use, with endless citations and qualifications that do anything but explain(Grady Booch is guilty of this too). If you are having trouble with this stuff (and lets face it if Design Patterns is your text book you probably are!), then I can recommend the chapter on OOP in Bruce Eckels book "Thinking in Java" - it helped me make the conceptual leap into OOP. ...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Software Project Survival Guide
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve C McConnell
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good to get you going

This book was a joy to read and it provided very good examples and reasoning for doing certain tasks and tracking certain events. During the time my company was going through some reatructuring I deciced to use this book as a guide and see how things go. It went well. Many of the planning and tracking tips were very useful. The title suites it. It's a manual for survival. Not the definative book to get you through your PMP exam, but it will make things more organized for your day to day activities.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets & Solutions, Fourth Edition (Hacking Exposed)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray, George Kurtz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A *MUST-HAVE* for all Network/System Administrator

This is THE book to have about security... The authors tell it as it is, no B.S. You have access to the tools real hackers use and to the knowledge they all share... This is probably the best computer book I've ever bought... It explains in details how to footprint, scan, use backdoors, social engineering...
In one word: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!