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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Flash MX ActionScripting: Advanced Training from the Source
Publisher: Macromedia Press
Authors: Derek Franklin, Jobe Makar
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Want to learn ActionScripting?

If you want to learn Macromedia Flash, you need to know ActionScripting. If you want to learn AS, this is the book that you are looking for.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Unix: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Deborah S. Ray, Eric J. Ray
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best Starter Book

I looked at many many intro books, and this was the best one out there by far. Although a visual UNIX book sounds strange, the visual part means that the author provides examples of input at the command prompt. I am actually thankful to this author for writing this book. (BTW- the classic O'Reilly guide to sys admin would be a great book to get this one with: ISBN 0596003439)

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Statistics for Managers Using Microsoft Excel (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: David M. Levine, David Stephan, Timothy C. Krehbiel, Mark L. Berenson, Mark L Berenson
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Blech - lots of errors, poor writing

I'm only through chapter 3, but I've found
* inconsistancies - not using the same term in the same manner; all through the chapter, it refers to class boundaries, but in the excersizes, they are called bins - you have to check out the solutions manual and figure out what they are asking for.
* circular definitions - using the term in the definition of the term you are describing (ie, frumious = being frumious)
* poor examples - when describing how to use an excel wizard to process data, it tells you to select E5:E12 - without describing what this range is supposed to be (bins? midpoints? data?)
* incorrect answers in the solution manual (some are right, some are not)
* PHStat does not function as specified in the book in all cases (ie, percentage polygons)
Frankly, the book is a big waste of cash, and should not be selected as a book to be used for statistics classes - unfortunately, neither the students nor the profs at the school I'm attending had a choice. I'm having a hard time believing this is a THIRD edition, with all the errors. Either the authors or the publishers can screw up on a first edition, but it takes an effort for both to do it, much less three times.
Too bad you can't give negative star reviews.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: C# and the .NET Platform, Second Edition
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Andrew Troelsen
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Can be a good book - at times

I got this book a while ago (when I was a Java developer) but never really read much of it until I got my latest contracting job - which primarily involved c#/.net as well as some COM interoperability. For the longest time I never understood why I kept getting frustrated whenever I read this thing. It finally hit me - the book is somewhat of an anomoly. On one hand, it misses some major areas of .net functionality (doesn't even cover xml document creation nor COM interoperability) and on the other hand it goes into excrutiating detail on other points. A lot of times he will start a topic off by going into a lot of detail - but then will admit that he is explaining something very obscure that 99% of people may never need to know. My question is - then why cover it? Cut out some of this obscure stuff and put in some more of the topics that most people would encounter. Although I have painted a negative picture so far, there are some areas where this book really shines. I am finding that as I progress from being an intermediate to advanced c#/.net developer I am starting to appreciate this book more.
In summary, I would recommend this only as a 2nd or 3rd book to your c#/.net collection - there are too many holes in the text for it to be considered a primary text (I personally fell in love with Wrox's Professional C# - 2nd ed).