Profile for Adaera > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Adaera
Top Reviewer Ranking: 416,629
Helpful Votes: 56

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Adaera (Vancouver)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
Leo Laporte's 2006 Gadget Guide
Leo Laporte's 2006 Gadget Guide
by Leo Laporte
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.32
10 used & new from CDN$ 2.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Every Geek, Feb. 7 2006
Being a long-time Tech TV watcher (before G4 took over and changed my favourite shows) I was familiar with Leo's previous Gadget Guides but had never actually read one. Now that I have, all I can say is, it's better reading than the Sears Christmas Wish Catalogue. Leo has found items I'd never even heard of, and I read alot of product newsletters.
The gadgets in this year's issue are nicely organized into easy to find catagories, and in the book's index I found even more items which for some reason I managed to miss on my first read-through of the book. While I would've liked to have seen a few more of the fun gadgets, such as USB Air Darts (good for those slow office times), I was far more interested in the outdoor gadgets for photographers and hikers, which sometimes intertwine when one is a landscape photographer.
Leo and Michael have very nicely done alot of research which saved me alot of time, weeding out the cream of the gadget crop from the chafe - of course they also managed to make me want to win the lottery so that I could buy alot of the gadgets in this book - just because they're cool and look like they are something every geek household must have. The information provided for each gadget is comprehensive, and the humour which the authors have interjected into the section introductions and product descriptions makes for even more enjoyable reading.With the inclusion of manufacturer's websites in the product info, one can find even more great gadgets to add to a growing wish list. This book is definitely a volume which needs to be on the shelves of geeks everywhere, and I would highly recommend it as a starting point for product research.

MySQL
MySQL
by Paul DuBois
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 36.53
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource, Dec 26 2005
This review is from: MySQL (Paperback)
Paul DuBois wrote this insightful book on the basics of MySQL. This book contains tons of diagrams and explains things very thoroughly. Not only that, but it shows examples in the following languages: Perl, Python, PHP, C, and more.
What I like about this book is that it is very helpful to those who do not know MySQL. The diagrams and examples are a great way of learning how to use the many features MySQL has to offer.
What I don't like about the book is that it is very long and it takes awhile to get into. If you already know the basics, you should look in the contents to find an appropriate chapter for you.
This book is not only for the newcomers and novices. It can be useful to just about anybody. All you have to do is look at the contents and find what you're looking for.

Linux Application Development (2nd Edition)
Linux Application Development (2nd Edition)
by Michael K. Johnson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 32.75
18 used & new from CDN$ 6.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Abundance of Information, Dec 21 2005
One of the more concise books I've read recently, this book covers every aspect I could think to ask of a typical book covering development in a linux/unix environment. Granted I am not your average linux programmer, nor even worthy of being "half-decent" however of a program I'd generally expect a few key things. These fundamentals are primarily automation, usability and speed, each of these is detailed thoroughly at various points within the book and are also reiterated as points not to forget which I believe is an essential technique in any educational book.
The book is aimed at a wide audience, ranging from experienced UNIX programmers looking to extend their knowledge into the linux environment, right through to novice program architects looking to use linux as their starting platform in application development, the structure and content is suitable to facilitate the needs of both extremes. As mentioned previously the book's intended use is as an educational resource, and therefore it's purpose is to teach a target audience who are interested in learning. Personally I have gained a lot from this book, being the novice myself having never attempted application development before I experienced the content from what is most likely the predominant perspective of those which have also read the book.
The only drawback I noticed was the sheer volume of text which has no screenshots or illustrations to separate, obviously taking into consideration that the linux environment is not usually one with much more than a command line interface, it would however be favourable and most likely improve the book's enjoyability if there were occasional shots of images such as how a given program looks when executed.
Overall I would greatly recommend this book for content due to the abundance of information given throughout, I would not however recommend it as a book to read non-stop as it is very much a necessity that a degree of practical experience accompanies the reading, and processing all the information available without any visual aid can often prove challenging.

Photoshop CS2 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
Photoshop CS2 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
by Elaine Weinmann
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.41
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Word, Dec 7 2005
This is an incredibly complete manual for PhotoShop CS2. This book managed to keep me interested and learning for many hours, and contained information on settings I didn't even know I had. PhotoShop CS2 for Windows and Mac covers everything any level of user could possibly need to know, from colour management to camera raw. I was pleased to find a section on Adobe Bridge which I actually understood and could work my way through. There is an abundance of extra tooltips in sidebars, which would have stood out better with some added colour other than a grey box in a black and white book, but more on that later. It was nice to see the work of the PhotoShop gurus included in this book in the few colour photos-they serve as a reason to both keep learning and remembering those gurus had to start somewhere too.
In regards to the layout of the book, the flow from section to section is done in a logical manner; however, I would've like to have seen more use of colour in some of the screenshots showing project steps. While the screenshots and photos were clear and it was easy to follow what the authors were doing, some procedures would be easier to visualize and compare to your own "follow along work" if they had been in colour. I particular liked the extra effort taken in the book's table of contents to include checkmarks next to CS2's new features. Even though many of us PhotoShop fans knew what was new, marking the new features made it easy to skip right to those tutorials and really get into CS2's changed or new features. The detail in the table of contents is also the best I have seen in any PhotoShop manual, surpassed only by the completeness of this publication's comprehensive index. Between the table of contents and index, there is no reason for any reader to not find what they are looking for help on.
If I hadn't yet owned any CS2 manuals, I think that this would probably be the only I would buy-if it had more full colour illustrations, it would indeed be the only book that would be finding a permanent quick-reference spot on my desk. I highly recommend this book to all levels of users-we're never so good that we can't learn something new, and I'm sure that tucked somewhere in the tutorials and extra tips, you'll find something new, or a different approach to a tried and true method you may have used thousands of times. PhotoShop CS2 for Windows and Macintosh is definitely a five star volume.

Get the Image You Want: Essential Photoshop Editing Techniques
Get the Image You Want: Essential Photoshop Editing Techniques
by Element K Journals Creative Team
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.59
19 used & new from CDN$ 6.43

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth The Price, Dec 7 2005
This book is of the calibre of work I would expect from Element K. The photos and screenshots are high quality and relevant to the exercise being shown on the page. For the most part, their instructions are clear and easy to follow, but I would've liked to have seen a little more detail in some areas. At times the authors have glossed over a step, presuming that the reader would know what to do. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this publication, and learned many useful methods for improving my own work. While the book is aimed at photographers, there are many procedures which can be used by graphic artists to achieve various effects. Element K did a very good job of explaining some of the more obscure tools-especially those where many new users may fear to tread, or may not even be aware that they exist. Both the table of contents and the index are well set out, making subjects very easy to find. The problem and solution sections at the end of each chapter also offer an extra bit of information on fixing image problems that could cause a photographer to toss a picture as unusable. While Element K is a very good resource site, and this book was probably published to make their online services known, it would've been nice to see some "outside resources" listed as well. No one site can offer absolutely everything a new user, or even a seasoned user, for that matter, may be trying to find help for. Overall, I would recommend this book to photographers just starting out in the field of image editing; it's definitely worth the price of the book to learn some trade methods on improving the quality of one's work.

Power of Impossible Thinking, The: Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business
Power of Impossible Thinking, The: Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business
by Jerry Wind
Edition: Hardcover
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book, Oct. 28 2005
If ever there was a knockout book about changing your life in a positive, measurable way, The Power of Impossible Thinking is it. This book is filled with examples of society's collective thought patterns and expectations, and ways to change them in your own life. If you are a businessperson trying to find original ways to grow your business, you'll know that almost everything's already been tried at least once. If you want to circle around the herd and forge your own path, read this book. Don't just look at all the angles, look for the angles that don't show. If you want to change the way your life is going, this book is for you-because it's all in the way you think; afterall, the way you think about your reality is your reality, and only you can change it-with a little help from Mr. Wind and Mr. Crook.
The first page of this book lists a few simple questions followed by a simple statement that maybe changing the way you think will give you the answers to the preceding questions. This is followed by a promise from the authors that this book will show you how, and true to their word-they do. The authors delve into the world of neuroscience in a detailed manner, but they do it without causing you to reach for the nearest dictionary or making you fall asleep. Their approach is quite the contrary-they make you want to keep reading; simply because what they are saying makes so much sense.
The Power of Impossible Thinking is one of those books that is constantly sparking new ideas in the reader's mind, as if the "light" doesn't just turn on, it keeps getting brighter. By the end of this book, the reader can't help but want to start putting these new ideas into practice. Throughout the text, the authors pose questions to the reader, making him or her take a look at the way they think about things and how they can be changed. The brief point by point chapter reviews help to nurture those ideas as you move onto the next chapter, and the next.
As you progress through this book, you will come to a quick realization that this is not just another stuffy life management book which promises to fix all of your problems. It is, however a handbook you can read and re-read many times. This isn't a book you read once and then put on a shelf; it's one you will want to read often-to keep the dust from settling back on all of those old mindsets you are working on changing.
The audio CD which is included with the book offers a quick review of the book's main points. Condensed into approximately twenty minutes, it can fill that drive time to the office. The author interview section of the CD offers more insight into the author's points of view and gives the listener further understanding of how these men have implemented the power of impossible thinking in their own lives. For those who want to further reading into the subject, the book contains many bibliographical footnotes and references for the reader to investigate.
Needless to say, I am a fan of the Power of Impossible Thinking. I've put some of these practice to work in my own life with successful results, and for anyone else wanting to make some radical changes in their lives, this book is one of the best places to start.

Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
by Chris Hofmann
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 24.54
16 used & new from CDN$ 0.72

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Your Library, Oct. 28 2005
If the authors of this book were car mechanics I would be first in line to take my car to them for repairs. FireFox & Thunderbird Garage is the most complete text I have seen yet on these two programmes. The book opens with an indepth introduction to the Open Source philosophy and gives the reader an understanding of the vision held by those who create programmes and release them as open source.
This book is rife with good humour and holds a plethora of sites on the web to visit. I have to admit I was surprised to see the home page for The Arrogant Worms listed as a favourite site by an American author, but given the sense of humour injected into this book perhaps I shouldn't really have been that surprised. Sidebar notes are placed in relevant areas along with web resources, and content is easy to find using the extensive table of contents or index.
The authors have divided the Garage into two "service bays" one for each programme, with cross-referencing for helpful hints and further information. Both sections are laid out in a logical, step by step format. Even someone who has never opened FireFox or Thunderbird will be advanced users by the time they finish the last page. The book is illustrated with clear, easy to understand screenshots and diagrams which accompanied by a comprehensive list of online resources. Procedures for Windows, Mac and Linux are covered, along with complete keyboard menus for both programmes.
FireFox & Thunderbird Garage goes far beyond the basics, covering such areas as spam, phishing, virus and trojan dangers and security tips. The chapter on blogging was informative and a nice addition to the book. I think my favourite part of the book, aside from the knowledge I have gained, were Eunice's Popovers. If you want to know what they are, you'll need to buy the book and find out for yourself. Firefox & Thunderbird Garage is worth every cent of the cover price and one that has found a permanent home on my reference shelf.

Cascading Style Sheets: Designing for the Web (3rd Edition)
Cascading Style Sheets: Designing for the Web (3rd Edition)
by Hakon Wium Lie
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 36.53
13 used & new from CDN$ 21.81

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done, Oct. 28 2005
CSS: Designing For The Web, written by the creators of CSS, is the perfect book for anyone who wants to brush up on their CSS knowledge. This book covers almost every aspect of CSS in outstanding detail from Span and Div to Media-Specific Style Sheets, it truly is a remarkable guide. On thing I found most useful in this book was the CSS Quick Reference which lists every attribute in CSS 1 and 2.x with possible values and a page number where that attribute is explained, all of this sitting in the inside cover for quick access. This book is not, however, a guide to HTML and readers should appreciate how HTML works to get the most from this book (understanding of basic CSS wouldn't go amiss either).
Cascading Style Sheets: Designing For The Web doesn't only show you the code to do what you want, it explains it as well. This is something I've found lacking in other CSS books and until I read this book I couldn't tell you what the baseline or ascender was, why em was different from ex or why using pixels for measurements is a bad idea. This book is written by those who know best and they succeed at outlineing the "best practices" for CSS on the web.
One of the problems with CSS and the web is that different browsers have a habit of displaying differently and some browsers (no names please) are badly lacking in support for CSS. Recognising the problem, the authors have put a key at side of each attribute letting you know which common browsers (they list Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Konqueror) support that particular attribute - excellent information for those who need cross-browser support. Don't let the book's name surprise you, its not only concerned about CSS for the web. The book devotes a chapter to other media, specifically print.

Introduction to Computer Security
Introduction to Computer Security
by Matt Bishop
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 71.19
29 used & new from CDN$ 30.00

5.0 out of 5 stars If you have a computer, read this book, Oct. 28 2005
In the preface of this book, Mr. Bishop states that he has set out three goals for this publication. In my opinion he met and surpassed all three of these goals. Introduction To Computer Security centers on relevance to the reader's real world. Mr. Bishop has shown in terms easily understandable to the lay reader, that anyone who works with computers needs to be aware of basic security practices, and why. He clearly conveys the truth and practicality of the theory and practice necessary to implement good computer security.
Mr. Bishop goes into great detail to explain the theory and practice of computer security, and even though this book is meant to be a course textbook, Mr. Bishop does not lose the reader's interest like so many other technical manuals on the market. While technical terminology is inescapable for a work such as this, almost anyone can easily learn and use the basics Mr. Bishop discusses.
As a network owner who, with the help of a very capable server administrator, has stood up to distributed denial of service attacks for extended periods of time, I know first hand the importance of a secure network. Network owners and administrators, through a burden of responsibility to their users, need to be able to attain a secure working environment on the network. Mr. Bishop's inclusion of simple, well-labelled diagrams and tutorial exercises at the end of each chapter help the reader to gauge his or her understanding of the material covered.
Admittedly some of the material covered in this book was far beyond my technical experience, but I was able to at least gain a greater understanding of the theory behind the practice of computer security. I also enjoyed the Shakespearean quotes which opened every chapter. Mr. Bishop successfully tied the past to the present in a way that many readers could enjoy. The several pages of bibliographical references at the end of this book are a goldmine of knowledge for anyone wishing to learn more about the world of computer security. I would highly recommend this test to anyone involved with the running of a network big or small, and it should be mandatory reading for anyone seeking a career in network administration.

The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web
The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web
by Dave Shea
Edition: Paperback
52 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done, Sept. 25 2005
When building a website, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) can make or break a website, This book will show you how to build a website out of nothing but CSS. In my opinion Zen Garden is "Cadillac" of web design. In this book there is a lot of high detailed pages showing you many example templates, then it goes on to tell you how they coded/made the design. Also gives a lot of snippets and other types of bits of coding, also covers how to overlap and set transparency to pictures and menus. Also lets you know what browsers will be compatible with CSS. CSS isn't perfect and just like any other type of coding, you might end up spending hours and hours trying to get something right, with this book you wont be spending hours coding, this book also tells you the "do's and don'ts" for building a CSS website, also gives you a few sites where you can check your work for errors and whatnot. Also gives you many CSS resource links, where you can get help, templates, code example, other CSS books. I recommend this book for anyone that uses CSS, from the most basic user to the advanced.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4