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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker, Second Edition
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: William R. Cheswick, Steven M. Bellovin, Aviel D. Rubin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent update to a classic work

(I reviewed the manuscript before publication for the publisher, buthere I'm speaking for myself.)
The first edition of this book became known as the must-have boookabout firewalls, and rightly so. It defined how to build a firewallfor a couple of generations of Internet security managers. Since thattime, firewalls have become ubiquitous for corporate networks, andthey're even common in some form for many home networks.
In a world where firewalls are conveniently built into networkappliances, do we need a book about how to build them? In this case,the answer is clearly "yes," but perhaps not for the obvious reasons.What Cheswick, Bellovin, and Rubin have done is given us a guide tothinking about securing networks, not just building firewalls. In asense, the importance of the second edition of "Firewalls and InternetSecurity" has shifted to "Internet Security". The authors provide away of thinking about the problems of Internet security, not a basicguide to operating firewall products on the market today.
It is this way of thinking about Internet security that provideslasting value for the reader as well. The book explains criticalfeatures (and problems) of the Internet architecture and its protocols,giving the reader the context to understand how various attacks workand how they can be prevented. By emphasizing fundamentals, theauthors provide valuable insight for the future as well as for today.Yet the book is relentlessly pragmatic--it is focused on securing realsystems on real networks.
It's also fun to read. The writing is both witty and wise, and itdoesn't take an expert to understand it. However, the experiencedreader will still find much insight and will undoubtedly learn a fewthings along the way.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5

I think this guide is very good and will help you on those hard to get items. It is also good for finding out the best strategy for all those enemies

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Rod Johnson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I agree with all the other 5-star reviews

This is one of the best technical books I've ever read, regardless of topic. Johnson has an amazing technical mind and is a great writer, to boot. It has achieved the nickname "the red book" (as in "go see what the red book says") on my team, because that's where I send people for ideas and examples.
On the strength of this book, I selected the Spring Framework (an open source project based almost in whole on the concepts and code from this book) for my current team's project, and I have not one qualm about the decision. The team really loves Spring as well, and have become better programmers by having seen it in action.
A couple of weeks ago I preordered "Expert One-on-One J2EE Development without EJB", which should prove to have more up-to-date coverage on Spring and more great ideas from Johnson and Hoeller. I'm very much looking forward to it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Preparation needed for the book

A simultaneous reading of articles written by Stroustrup can be very helpful in understanding the book. Consider for instance the article, "What is object oriented programming," published in IEEE Spectrum, 1986. In this article, Stroustrup first lays out different paradigms used by various programming languages, and then moves on to elaborate those which are essential for a language to be labeled object-oriented.
To my mind, the book is essentially an expansion of the articles. In some respects I have found the articles to be more enlightening because there you see Stroustrup on front lines pounding hard on competitors. It's easy to get lost in the book but the articles are focused.
Undeniably, a preparation is needed for the book. There are many books ...