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Brian Bosh "Programmer" (Albuquerque, NM United States)
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HTML 4 For Dummies®: Quick Reference
HTML 4 For Dummies®: Quick Reference
by Deborah S. Ray
Edition: Plastic Comb
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Little Book, Jan. 1 2003
Over the years, I've learned many programming languages (technically, HTML isn't one, but I'll ignore that technicality). The primary way I've learned them is with books, such as those by MS Press, Sams and even the Dummies series. Many programming books are bad; the Dummies books, particularly so. They tend to overly dumb down concepts to a point of being so vague that the message is lost.
But not this book.
The information in HTML4 Quick Reference is highly concentrated. It does start out so simply that a developer new to HTML is rightfully tempted to skip the first few chapters. Fortunately, the structure of the book allows one to do this. Outside of the absolute most basic things (The structure of HTML, links and images), each part (The book is divided in to parts & sections, not chapters) stands independently. Each part is, for lack of a better comparison, a step-by-step guide.
The only real "style" the code has is that each tag is placed on its own line. It lacks indenting, something that is quite necessary in a hierarchy-based language such as HTML. But this could be as much due to the books small form-factor as the authors' personal preference.
The book does feature a writing style for code, though. One of the most important things the Rays preach is writing tags in pairs, e.g.
<form>
</form>
and then filling in the attributes as opposed as right-to-left, top-to-bottom style that many other books take. They also make effective use of formatting their own sample code with bold to highlight additions.
At least one of the reviews before me claimed the color-reference to be worth the price of the book alone. While, admittedly, it is handy, it is slightly flawed. For one, it, as with all things printed, is printed with CMYK coloring. There is a disclaimer before the colors appear, but this point needs to be stressed: The colors on screen will not match the colors on the page. The second complaint I have with the color guide- The colors appear in numerical order: #000000, #000033, ..., #FFFFCC, #FFFFFF. It would be better to have sorted them by hue or luminosity, similar to Macromedia Dreamweaver's color palette. Although, admittedly, if you're doing work in a WYSIWYG editor, this book is not nearly as important as if you're developing in a text-editor.
As far as I'm concerned, the heart of this book lies in its appendices. In an organized fashion, it lists a majority of HTML 4 tags, their attributes, a description of each tag and attribute, their status within HTML (deprecated, which version of HTML they originated in, or what browser(s) support them exclusively).
Appendix B features the various symbols (&, ü, etc.), their numeric representation, the Mnemonic representation (& = & amp;) and a description of what each represents. It would have been nice if the list was divided into categories of some sort, instead of just listing them numerically like the colors, but the natural ordering within the ANSI/Unicode character spec provides for some degree of natural organization.
Appendix C is a brief list of CSS 1 properties and values. This appendix glosses over too much, but if what you need to know is contained within it, it's faster and easier then searching for the information elsewhere on the web. Of course, my edition of this book came out less then 2-years after CSS1 was formalized.

QBASIC with an Introduction to Visual BASIC 5.0
QBASIC with an Introduction to Visual BASIC 5.0
by David I. Schneider
Edition: Textbook Binding
9 used & new from CDN$ 6.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Lets one appreciate ease of programming today, July 8 2000
I am a fairly expierenced programmer, but I decided to take a look at this book anyway.
Nearly 5 years ago, Vol 1 introduced me to VB. Everyone told me that QBasic (A language known as Structured) was dead, and to learn Visual Basic (Known as Object Oriented Programming) instead. I tried and tried, but I could not grasp Visual Basic. I came accross this book, which introduced QBasic to me. It did it clearly, which is an acomplishment is itself. Best of all, it let me learn VB and QBasic, which I still use to this day.
On to this volume. Since QB hasn't changed since '91, the QB section has grown in detail. Many advanced elements are introduced, like machine language and controlling memmory. Also, the so called "DOS API" is demystifided.
The VB code is not quite as great. Much of the time consuming QB code like PRINT and INPUT is now gone in VB, replaced by 2 mouse actions. The bulk of this section is re-explaining QB information, which becomes redudant. The Windows API is briefly introduced, but not expanded upon. If you need detailed, advanced VB information, look elsewhere. The bridge is made and is effective, but certain necessary skills are not made in the VB section.
The book comes with VB on CD, but be warned. It is a fully functional copy of VB, minus the ability to make EXEs. The reason Microsoft made this available was to further there new Active-X controls Internet market. Besides that, VB5CCE (what is included on this disk) can be downloaded as a 9.5MB file from [Microsoft]. having it on a CD is a nice convience though.
Despite redundancy and some oversimplification, this is a extremely valuable learning resource.

M:I-2 : Music From and Inspired By the Motion Picture
M:I-2 : Music From and Inspired By the Motion Picture
Price: CDN$ 16.96
46 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone, June 3 2000
This CDs strong point is also its weak point. There is something for everyone; pop to metal. Metallica's I Disapear is a great song, as is Limp Bizkit's Product. Godsmack is alright, but not their best work. Rob Zombie is alright as well, but as with God Smack, it is not his best work.
For alternative, Foo Fighters represent the CD's strong point.
Second to last, there is the soft stuff, by Tory Amos. This song seems to take forever to play, and if I could remove it, I certainly would.
Finally, this CD has a surprisingly high amount of unknown (to me at least) artists. For no reason in particular, they are enjoyable.
Buy this CD for the hard rock/metal, or to here a number of good unkown bands. But Rob Zombie is only alright, Foo Fighters are Lack Luster, and Tory Amos is pathetic.

S&M
S&M
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 28.73
10 used & new from CDN$ 8.83

5.0 out of 5 stars A great album, June 3 2000
This review is from: S&M (Audio CD)
S&M is different... But strangley pleasing. I enjoy both classical and metal, but when purchasing this CD, I had no idea how it would mesh. It meshes well. To begin with, it's not all redone like Grarage, Inc. It has 2 brand new songs!
Second, with the exceptions of absolute classics like NEM & Enter Sandman, theres a good chance you won't insantly recognize the songs, due to the slightly slower nature and backup by the symphany. Every detail, right down to the layout of the tracks is done excelently. The first few are a good mixture of classical & Metallica, the middle has some new work (Including No Leaf Clover and -Human), as well as the completly redone Nothing Else Matters, and it finishes on a loud, fast Metallica note.
This CD is not a turning point like the Blackest Album as, but it is certainly a mjaor milestone. Get it, as a Metallica vetran, or especially as someone new to Metallica.

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