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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Unified Modeling Language User Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh, Ivar Jacobson
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Beyond UML - The Shortcomings of Object Modeling

Unfortunately, this is one of the poorest books I have ever read. To begin with, the langauge is stilted and difficult to follow. It is as if the authors wrote the book in a different language and then translated the work into English. If the purpose is to communicate concepts, the work falls short for this reason.
The primary difficultly with the work lies in some of the assumptions of the unified process. First, analysis and the upper lifecycle of systems development are treated very cavalierly. The attitude is that analysis is okay and may yield some valuable information, but you should be able to go right into design without wasting all that time in analysis. My 11 years of professional experience indicates otherwise.
The next difficultly is communication between various audiences. UML is touted as the most effective diagramming technique for communicating both business and software concepts. Yet the modeling techniques are severely lacking in techniques for capturing fundemental business information. In addition, many of the concepts presented are very esoteric and peculiar to object modeling and are not easily applied to the business world or even to transaction-based software applications.
There is also a concerted effort to ignore many valuable techniques developed in such disciplines as Information Engineering, Structured Analysis and Design, etc. The UML will be a mature enough modeling language only after these missing pieces have been incorporated.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the buzz words of the object community, buy the book. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend wasting your money.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Adobe InDesign cs Bible
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Galen Gruman, Galen Gruman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Adobe InDesign CD Bible

My page layout experience starts back in 1996 with PageMaker. Back then; I had to install about ten 3.5" floppy disks on my old Mac. I think the name Aldus was also on the disks. Anyway, I've been using PageMaker until my recent purchase of the Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition, which includes Adobe InDesign CS. Now that I have my hands on a copy of the Adobe InDesign CS Bible, I can start learning to use InDesign. This book is definitely as thick as the Bible. It has 938 pages chock-full of Adobe InDesign CS information. The author says, "My goal is to guide you each step of the way through the publishing process, showing you how to make Adobe InDesign CS-also known as InDesign 3-work for you." Throughout the book you'll find icons in the margins indicating various types of information such as: Cross-Reference, New Feature, Tip, Note, Caution, Platform Difference, and QuarkXPress User. Before you start Chapter 1, there is a QuickStart Chapter. This QuickStart Chapter is intended for novices like me. It's a brief look at the basics. I quickly created a document and worked with frames, text, lines, pictures, colors, and then printed my newly created document. This QuickStart Chapter got my page layout juices flowing. As you may know, InDesign is a high-end program. If you're a beginner like me, you'll want to read this book chapter by chapter. Part I Welcome to InDesign consists of Chapter 1 What InDesign Can Do for You, Chapter 2 A Tour of InDesign, and Chapter 3 Getting InDesign Ready to Go. These chapters are vital to becoming familiar with InDesign and what it can do. Chapter 19 Creating Special Text Formatting was very interesting. This chapter covered some very professional looking text formatting such as creating automatic drop caps, formatting fractions, and hanging punctuation. I've always wondered how these things were accomplished. Now I know how and InDesign makes it easy. I can't imagine trying to do this stuff in a word program, if it can even be done. Okay, the one thing I've always wanted to do in my family newsletter is to create a picture-in-text effect. The InDesign Bible showed me how to turn my text into a graphics frame. Part IX: Introduction to Publishing was an outstanding edition to this book. It was these sixty pages that helped me gain a much better understanding of the environment in which most people use InDesign. All in all, this is a great book; however, reading this book didn't make me a professional typographer or a page layout expert. It has helped me to start using InDesign in much more of a capacity than I realized I would be able to. Since Adobe isn't going to continue to upgrade PageMaker, InDesign was the next logical step. I know, it's expensive, but if you have Photoshop you can upgrade to the Adobe Suite, which gets you InDesign. Then you'll need to get this book and you'll be on your way to creating some amazing page layouts.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Poser 6 Revealed: The Official Guide
Publisher: Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade
Authors: Kelly L. Murdock
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
great! Every new user should have this book.

As a new user of Poser, I purchased this book to help me get up to speed. It is very well laid out, and is chock full of info for those of us who are just starting out, or, possibly, who are upgrading from Poser 4 or earlier. Although it does not address the "artistic" side of Poser, it will help the artist get to know his or her tools so that one can go on to create exciting artwork. I would heartily recommend this book!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CCNP BSCI Exam Certification Guide (CCNP Self-Study, 642-801), Third Edition
Publisher: Cisco Press
Authors: Clare Gough
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Good for review or recertification

Information are thrown away in this book without a solid hierarchy. For example, compare the IS-IS chapters with another book (like Ciscopress 2nd edition Paquet, Teare-i would advise that book for 1st timers): Clare's book starts by throwing definitions all over, without explaining the OSI model and introducing IS-IS in a "smooth" way. The "backbone" concept is not clealry explained. Etc.

Hope this helps