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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
HTML4 for the World Wide Web, Fourth edition:Visual Quicksta

At work, I was tasked to create webpages for training purposes. Going by friends' recommendations, I got a copy of this book and started to the task with no prior HTML experience. Granted, I am no pro, but this book made the whole process of learning easy. I can find what I need to do and see a picture of what I want to do with text letting me know how to make it like the picture. I have received compliments on my pages at work. This is definitely a book to keep within arm's reach at your desk.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy XI Official Strategy Guide for PS2 & PC
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: Michael Lummis, Elizabeth M. Hollinger, Edwin Kern, Kathleen Pleet
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
An extremely poor and incomplete guide LESS then 1 star

This seemingly updated version of the original FFXI official strategy guide was highly anticipated by many of my friends. When this guide was issued I hurriedly ran to the nearest EB and bought this guide thinking it would unravel more of the countless mysteries that surround FFXI and would not disappoint me like the original had. What I received was the exact same FFXI official strategy guide whose pages I had been using as padding material for packages with only about 50 pages of new content added in.

PLAYERS BE WARNED, this guide is NOT worth the money you spend on it, all the information contained within is extremely basic and can be found out from numerous websites or by simply asking ANY lvl 50+ person within the game. This guide is COMPLETELY useless. It does not profile HNMs, gives no information on DYNAMIS, <<<NO RANK MISSION INFO AFTER RANK 5>>, gives absolutely no system for lvling craft skills or useful info on ANY craft. It gives a player NOT even a conception of how the aggro system, renkei system 50+, conquest system work or how the night and day cycles, moon-phase, affect a player's performance both on the battle field and while crafting and harvesting!!!. This guide does not even give basic lessons in EFFECTIVE PARTY STRUCTURE, something that should be on page 1!! of any guide dealing with a game as party reliant as FFXI (They EVEN SUGGEST making 4 man parties to challenge VT monsters if you cannot make a 6 person group!! That's fine and dandy in the first 15 lvls!! of a 75 lvl game but after that, this advice will HURT you more then help you and your friends will laugh at you for even taking it). This guide does not even offer practical pros and cons for jobs and advanced jobs and even suggest TARUTARU as a race choice for a first time through Dark knight. This guide could be the INSTRUCTION MANUEL for this game and not a strategy guide because it barely gives anything away. Every time I walk through a wall and find a "strange device" and am asked for a password, I curse at this guide and rip another page from its spine. THIS GUIDE DOESN'T EVEN SUGGEST GOOD LVLING LOCATIONS PAST LVL 25!!! There is no mention of the Maat fight nor any real help with ANY GENKAI! a MAJOR part of the game when a character reaches 50+. ANY experienced player knows that this game only BEGINS at lvl 60 and this guide ENDS at lvl 50. 90% of useful game info is MISSING from this guide. It is as if I made a walkthrough of the first hour of a regular console RPG and then leave you to figure out the rest. This is supposed to be a strategy guide. Its supposed to give me answer not leave me with more questions then I went in with!
OH, you want MORE things that are missing from this guide... hmmm lets see: BCNM 30,40,50,60, garrison, kindred seal BCNM, coffer locations, Artifact armor gear locations, Relic armor descriptions and info on obtaining them, Relic weapons info and info on how to upgrade them, garrison, ballista, the LVLS OF NMS!!!! and HNMS, info on Zilart missions, info on the sky pass, info on Tu'lia and the hall of the gods, info on the GODS, profile of forced NM pops, tricks and secrets such as how to walk on the rail of an airship, info on mining and ifrit's cauldron, info on the AVATAR BATTLES! and fenrir, info on QUESTED RARE/EX items like the Opo Opo Crown, not to mention info on ANY serious quest in the game. So what are you left with: a guide full of "oh this is a sword.. you have to attack enemies for experience"! and other nooblette things like LISTs of weapons and armor in the game... oh , wait they have that list already up in the Jeuno AH you fools!, any noob can check it and see almost ALL the available items in the game, their stats and lvls, and *gasp, even how much they have been selling for! If lists are your fetish then by all means spend the money, you might even take this guide to bed with you! I have seen poor guides before, but this is by far the most infuriating of them all, even 90% of the players in the PICTURES of this guide have armor less then lvl 20 and not one has armor greater then lvl 50.
But I must confess this guide has served a purpose... It has kept me warm on a particularly chill summer's eve when I used it as kindling to start a fire in my fireplace.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ Primer (4th Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Stanley B. Lippman, Josée Lajoie, Barbara E. Moo
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great computer science book,excellent C++ tutorial/reference

Great book, I relied on it forever and half. It has everything you could ever want in a C++ reference. Not for the faint of heart, but for those wanting to dive into C++, GET THIS BOOK (but get the revision 3.0, just as good, but it has all the new standard stuff)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Interviews Exposed: Secrets to Landing Your Next Job
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John Mongan, Noah Suojanen
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
of questionable value

This may be valuable for new grads getting their first job, or people who want to do sanity a check before looking for a new position.
In the bulk of this book, the author covers what he feels are common programming related interview questions. Almost all of the examples are in C, except for a few oddballs (one is done in Perl, which doesn't exactly lend itself to clarity). I don't understand why the author chose C. He states it is the "language of choice" for interviewers. Most universities are making their grads think OO these days. While they may have a few projects in C, the majority of their experience is going to be in C++ or Java, or C# in the near future. If a new grad is going to interview, and they state that they aren't that great with C but they know C++ or Java really well (which is probably true for most new-grads), I would be very, very surprised if this was an issue. What if it was an issue? As a new grad, would you want to work somewhere where your interviewers could only think in C?
Regardless, the common feature here is OO. The book misses the boat on this point. I have been working in the Java space for quite some time and the non-OO examples were hard for me to follow, and I found myself not wanting to follow them because they seemed inelegant. I would have preferred to see them in (OO) pseudo code.
The rest of this book covers interviewing tactics, a few logic puzzles, and a small section on resume writing. The sections on interviewing tactics and resume writing assumed a very low experience level and seemed more like they were written for high-school grads than for college grads let alone experienced software developers. The puzzle section was fun.