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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Introduction to Algorithms, Second Edition
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

I gave the title Introduction? to this review as a question because this book is not for a novice which is what I am. I gave it five stars because I'm assuming that it is a good book worth the money one spends on it. This review is basically for beginners with only a high school education. I'm going to give an excert from the preface of the book so beginners will know what I'm talking about because the reviews given are are a little miss leading. From the book:
"Each chapter presents an algorithm, design technique, an application area, or a realted topic. Algorithms are described in English and in a pseudocode designed to be readable by anyone who has done a little progamming"
"The text is intended primarily for use in undergraduate or graduate courses in algorithms or data structures. Because it discusses engineering issues in algorithm design, as well as mathematical aspects, it is equally will suited for self-study by technical professionals."
If I would have known this I wouldn't have bought the book because I have a long way to go before I get as advanced as the content of this book. I plan on keeping this book because I am really interested in this subject, but I have a lot to learn before I get there. Advanced users have a good laugh on me and novice users take caution in the wind.

Product: Book - Audio CD
Title: MP3 Audio Bible by Max McLean
Publisher: Fellowship for the Performing Arts
Authors: Max McLean
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Pretty good but some negatives.

I enjoy listening to this Bible on my ipod and use it quite a lot. As another reviewer noted, you have to change the names to get the chapters listed correctly and in order, which was a lot of work. I HAVE found some mistakes in the reading, (Ex: Isaiah 2:4 repeated phrase) which of course is never good for a Bible, but am so familiar with the Bible that I do recognize them when they pop up. One of the most annoying things though is how Mr. Lucado does not use commonly accepted pronunciations for Bible names. Also sometime he puts the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAble, if you get what I mean. I would suggest that the companies who want to put out a Bible of this sort find someone to read it that not only has a nice voice, like Mr. Lucado, but also is familiar enough with the content that he can read it correctly. At times the meaning is skewed because of the way it is read. So, there are some things I would like to see improved in future versions, but having said this, I'm very thankful for this early version that I can take everywhere with me easily on my mp3 player.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: XML Step by Step, Second Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Michael J. Young
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I wouldnt kick it out of bed for eating crackers

I bought this book just cause I wanted to know what XML was all about. I had been avoiding the step by step books from microsoft because since VB 6 step by step many moons ago...everyother one I had read was confusing and lacking. XML Step by Step however is very well laid out and has renewed my confidence in the series. He does jump around a little more than Id like him too and as pointed out by a previous reviewer...He does have too many flow stopping notes added in. Still, I am learning from the book at an acceptable pace and thats a successful publication so far as I am concerened. I also noted someone else saying the book was boring. XML is boring...I dont think its fair to shoot the messenger. Foundations are important, this book offers just that. An interesting bonus to this book is that it manages to incorperate an excellent CSS section that is better than most of the books ive read that are dedicated to CSS alone. For that I offer an extra credit star. Mad props to Mr. Young.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: On Intelligence
Publisher: Times Books
Authors: Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Not what I expected

This book is well worth the read. You'll find it engaging and the pages should turn quickly. Chapters 1 thru 5 are very easy to understand and during this part of the book you will think the book is all about brains and what constitutes intelligence. Then there is chapter six. Chapter 6 is highly technical even for me (I consider myself a fairly smart and technical kind of guy) and I will admit that I skipped it about ten pages in. Then, in chapter 7, you will discover that this book is pretty much concerns everything... every subjective quality of existence that makes being human what it is to you and I is described. I will venture to say that I found chapter seven enlightening. I'm not a scientist; I picked this book up because I'm of the smartypants type that reads such books for the mere pleasure of it. I think that everyone could learn something very profound from this book, even (and especially) the non-technical. Now, you have to read the preceding chapters to enjoy chapter 7, but that shouldn't be a problem, I found them quite interesting. I'm just saying that the value of this book is almost exclusively in chapter 7; at least it was for me.

The remainder of the book is what I really bought it for, and that's the part about building intelligent machines, which was great. I think when most buy this book, they think that is all that they are getting. Quite a pleasant surprise it was to be enlightened about all human existence. Just read it.