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ad_crumenam "ad_crumenam" (Texas, USA)

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Beginning SQL Server 2005 Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Beginning SQL Server 2005 Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
by Robert Vieira
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.99

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, BUT..., 26 Aug. 2006
This is a great book, as Vieira's books always are. However, it is a near-total rehash of some chapters from Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming. If you already have that book (as I do), then this book won't be overly useful since you'll know pretty much everything in it already.

It does not cover SSIS, which is SQL Server 2005's replacement for DTS packages, except at an extremely basic level. It does not go in-depth on many new T-SQL language features, including the PIVOT/UNPIVOT operators. It skims over the complex features, which makes sense since it's a book for beginners, but it does claim to be useful to experienced programmers new to SQL Server 2005. I don't agree; experienced programmers will have most of their questions answered by the books online and there are books you can buy that specifically cover SSIS, analysis services, etc. So experienced programmers don't really need this book at all.

If you're on SQL Server 2005 and you are brand new to database programming then this book will be incredibly useful. If you're already familiar with SQL Server 2000, I'd give this book a miss. Maybe the Professional book (due in a few months) will be more useful. The book is incredibly well-written and very clear and easy to understand, and Vieira's conversational tone makes it pleasant to read. It doesn't seem forced; many tech authors try way too hard to make dry material interesting or funny. That isn't the case here.


VB & VBA in a Nutshell: The Language: The Languages (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))
VB & VBA in a Nutshell: The Language: The Languages (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))
by Paul Lomax
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.50

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light on VBA, 29 May 2006
The book is light on VBA-specific information, but since VBA programming is nearly identical to VB programming in many respects and this reference covers the language ONLY, I find it incredibly useful for VBA programming.

That being said, it does not cover (nor does it ever claim to cover) the object models in any Office products...nor does it really teach you how to program VB/VBA. If you already know how to program in an object-oriented language then you may be able to learn VB/VBA from this book but otherwise, you're better off with a tutorial as this book is mainly a reference, like its other Nutshell brethren.

Also, this book does not tell you much that cannot be learned by using the help files in older Office products, which were far more thorough than the help files in newer Office products. However, if you don't have the help files installed or prefer using a book, this is quite useful. Since many companies still use VB 6 and Office products dating back to Office 97, this book is still quite relevant.

The only thing preventing me from giving five stars is the lack of good examples for some important features...like loops. Otherwise, it's great.


Access Cookbook: Solutions to Common User Interface & Programming Problems
Access Cookbook: Solutions to Common User Interface & Programming Problems
by Ken Getz
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, not terrific, 28 May 2006
I know that the 'Cookbook' series from O'Reilly tends to be heavy on bells and whistles and light on explanations, and the Access Cookbook is no different.

It makes Access dance in interesting ways, for sure...but despite having many unique problems to solve using Access, I found that the book simply didn't show me much of anything revolutionary. I did find that modifying some of the code allowed me to take shortcuts, but my problem with the examples is that they were not explained adequately, making them more difficult to adapt for the beginning/intermediate programmer than they would have been if more effort had been put into explaining what was going on.

Having said that, there are far worse Access books on the market than this one...and I found that the edition I use works on every version of Access that we have in the building, even Access 97, which is pretty impressive.


Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
by Robert Vieira
Edition: Paperback
Price: £45.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fan-freaking-tastic!, 16 Jan. 2006
This book is GREAT. We're still on SQL Server 2000 and a lot of books are coming out now for 2005 and the 2000 books are disappearing, but this is the SQL Server programming bible as far as I'm concerned.
The book is superbly written, easy to read, very easy to follow, laid out in a sane and logical manner yet easy to jump around from place to place, and just all-around RELEVANT. The whole time I'm reading it, I feel like the author's sitting right next to me; the book has a very friendly and conversational tone that never patronizes the reader.
Basically...if you need a guide to programming SQL Server 2000 instead of administrating it, look no further than this wise and weighty tome. I just wish this author wrote EVERY computer book.


Beginning Transact-SQL with SQL Server 2000 and 2005
Beginning Transact-SQL with SQL Server 2000 and 2005
by Paul Turley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serviceable...not great, just OK, 14 Jan. 2006
Transact-SQL is the SQL Server dialect of the SQL language so if you are an Oracle or MySQL body (or any other DBMS except SQL Server), this book is not for you.
If you are looking for a book on SQL Server administration, please look elsewhere. This is not the book for you, as it covers the Transact-SQL language and nothing else.
Phew...now that we've gotten that out of the way, we can discuss the actual book. If you're new to SQL and use SQL Server exclusively, then this book is pretty darn good. I don't agree with the author that programming experience is helpful, though if all you need to do is write simple queries, this book is more than you need; check out Sam's Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes. If you need to go beyond simple SELECT and INSERT and tap into aggregates, stored procedures, cursors, triggers, and views, then this book is certainly a serviceable tutorial, though I feel that the author focused too much on the HOW of Transact-SQL and not enough on the WHY. It's all well and good to teach us how to program a stored procedure, but in my opinion the book lacked practical advice on how to implement these new skills. Maybe that's where the 'programming experience helpful' part comes in, but I've found that I use the book far less than I thought I would.
If you're already fairly comfortable with SQL and need to do serious programming using SQL Server, Robert Vieira's Professional Programming in SQL Server 2000 is a better bet, and it includes a brief Transact-SQL tutorial. If you are looking for a Transact-SQL reference, this book will not fit the bill; I found it to be a poor reference (because it's an instruction manual), though it is well-indexed. I also found that it did not cover certain functions (namely CAST() and CONVERT()) clearly enough.
However, if you're a programmer who is new to the Transact-SQL language and don't know anything about writing queries and don't need to know much about SQL Server's administrative features, then this may very well be the book for you.


Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft SQL Server 2000 in 21 Days
Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft SQL Server 2000 in 21 Days
by Richard Waymire
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to SQL Server 2000, 26 Dec. 2005
As the previous reviewer stated, this book is very centered on SQL Server 2000; the title of the book, 'Teach Yourself SQL Server 2000 in 21 Days' is kind of obvious in that respect. This book is not a SQL tutorial; it focuses mainly on aspects of installation, usage, and database administration as they pertain to SQL Server 2000. If you are looking for a SQL language tutorial, this book is probably more than you need though it does contain an excellent but brief SQL tutorial.
As for teaching SQL Server 2000, this book does so superbly. It doesn't assume that you're a programmer or that you know much about databases but it does assume prior experience with computing. I purchased a copy nearly five years ago when I was just getting started with SQL Server and this book didn't leave my side for weeks. By the time I finished, I had a SQL server up and running with reliable backups and easy admin tasks, and was using it for a practical purpose. The sections on using XML with SQL Server were a little thin, but the information has probably been updated in a subsequent version between 2001 and now. Despite the thinness on this subject, I had my SQL server producing data in a usable XML format and a website calling a stored procedure that used XML.
I highly recommend this book if you're interested in the administrative aspects of running a database. It may also be useful for developers who want to know more about database administration. If all you need is to learn the SQL language for simple queries, this book is overkill; and if you want to know about Oracle or MySQL, this is obviously not the book for you!


Angels And Demons
Angels And Demons
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who cares if it's believable?, 3 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Angels And Demons (Paperback)
This book is a work of fiction...it does not pretend to be anything other than that. I don't see why people are so concerned about the plot being "unbelievable." Do we read fiction to learn about science and religion, or do we read fiction to be entertained? Really, now. As entertainment goes, Angels and Demons is certainly entertaining, engrossing, and hard to put down, which is why someone should read it. If they want reality, perhaps they would be happier watching "Big Brother."


Practical Algebra (Wiley Self-Teaching Guides)
Practical Algebra (Wiley Self-Teaching Guides)
by Peter H. Selby
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Algebra review, 2 May 2004
This book is more for the mature student reviewing Algebra after a lapse in education than for the young student taking Algebra for the first time. The book also assumes knowledge of basic arithmetic so if you cannot multiply or divide fractions, for example, you should try one of the Teach Yourself Mathematics/Basic Mathematics books before beginning this book. However, if you are comfortable in basic mathematics and need to review Algebra, this book is perfect. Incidentally, Peter Selby also wrote a pre-Calculus review of Geometry and Trigonometry which is also excellent; so if you are reviewing intermediate maths with a view to learning Calculus, give both books a go.


The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 25 April 2004
I think what a lot of these reviewers are missing is that Dan Brown's bookis a work of FICTION. It's meant to ENTERTAIN...and as entertainment,this book is fabulous. It's one of the most engrossing books I've everread, but I never got annoyed with the convenient situations or plot holesbecause I read this book merely for entertainment. It's a thriller. It'sSUPPOSED to have twists and turns, unlikely situations, and nail-bitingendings. I highly recommend this book if you're on hols, on a longflight, or outside in your garden on bank holiday weekend. You won'tregret it as long as you keep one thing in mind: it's a STORY.


The Life of David Gale [DVD] [2003]
The Life of David Gale [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Kevin Spacey
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £3.35

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 5 Oct. 2003
As a native Texan, I'm used to seeing my state and its institutions misrepresented in both the U.S. and the world media. This film, however, gets it exactly right. They actually filmed outside the real death house in Huntsville, and scenes that took place in Austin were actually filmed in Austin and at the University of Texas (my alma mater). So two thumbs high up there.
The story itself is wonderful, though I can tell you as someone who lived in Austin for six years that protests on the scale of those in the film never took place, especially not in front of the capitol building...but that's about the only thing that the film got wrong. The story is compelling, with an anti-death penalty activist on death row, awaiting lethal injection (Texas does NOT use the electric chair) and the tough, ballsy reporter who initially judges Gale the way everyone else does. The way he brings her around is fascinating and the bare truth with which he bares his soul to her...his story is not romanticized one iota. It's a great film, and one of the only films to come out of Hollywood recently that has not portrayed Texans as gun-happy zealots. Wonderful.


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