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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle PL/SQL 101
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Christopher Allen
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A so-so book on PL SQL but mostly on Oracle.


I realize that most of the people reading this review are Oracle people. I also realize most of the people here aren't interested in non-oracle products.
However, some of us use open source databases. I personally use PostgreSQL. Postgres has pl/sql functionality, and I was looking to implement some stored procedures to optimize the functioning of several programs I have that iterate over a few hundred thousand rows. I talked to a couple Oracle admins about the problem, and they suggested pl/sql.
Bear in mind, I am a perl programmer, and generally I am not interested in programming sql. However, when it comes to performance you really need to offload the brunt of the processing to the database.
So I looked for a book on PL/SQL and found that there really werent any that were "beginner" books. Furthermore, I found that all of them were Oracle books. So, I crossed my fingers, and bought the beginner oracle pl/sql book.
The first 80% of the book was entirely review, covering the barest basics of SQL, and moving into some other less basic but still not intermediate SQL.
By the time the book began to cover pl/sql it had become a heavily windows- and oracle- centric discussion with little attention paid to other databases and other operating systems. The author does not even entertain that people create SQL queries with tools other than SQL*Plus.
So perhaps the word on this book would be thus.
If youre an oracle admin and windows user, you'll love it. It provides the basics of SQL, and gives a modest tutorial on pl/sql.
If youre a programmer and or unix user, you may find yourself disgusted by how pedantic and shallow the book is. If you dont mind spending the $25 for the book, go ahead. Otherwise, there is probably an Oracle DBA around who has a copy of the book, who loved it, and would be happy to let you borrow it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Producing Great Sound for Digital Video
Publisher: CMP Books
Authors: Jay Rose
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Jay Rose delivers


I am convinced that audio is the biggest diference between professional productions and home video. People will "watch" anything, but if the audio is bad the whole project is bad. Jay Rose makes it clear how to get the best sound tracks you can get on video and how to make them better in post production. This book covers everything needed, and the CD is actually filled with useful sound clips. In just a few days I learned what I was doing wrong and how my projects could be much better. I found the book very well written as well. If you produce digital vidio, this book is a must.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning the Korn Shell (2nd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Bill Rosenblatt, Arnold Robbins
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Concise, Informative, Easy to Read


An excellent book for beginning to intermediate UNIX/ksh users. Clear. To the point. Easy to read. Few "forward references" -- those that exist are clearly explained; i.e., "X is because of Y, which is discussed in Chapter N." No superfluous diagrams or typographic fluff.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: VB and VBA in a Nutshell: The Languages
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Paul Lomax
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Only good as a reference


This book is around 600 pages long and 500 of them are VB and VBA references. Do not buy this book to learn VB because it is primarily a reference book. I personally didn't find the reference to be all that valuable.