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Steven Mandel

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Top Stories by Steven Mandel

Lately, it seems that every computer book that you find is a weighty tome of at least 500 or 600 pages. You groan just thinking about having to schlep another monster-size book around. It is so nice then to inform you that sometimes good things do come in small packages. This book, while only 200 pages, contains lots of nuggets that will appeal to all levels of developers. Chapter one covers an exhaustive list of navigation short cuts that you will find in Visual Studio 2003. If you want to master getting around in Visual Studio, this is a great chapter to have nearby. I would urge Ms. Kurata to update this chapter to include Visual Studio 2005 shortcuts as well. In chapter two's topics on Windows Forms is an important discussion on how to use the Windows Form's error provider to do proper validation in a Winform setting. Chapter three has code tips. There are some t... (more)

Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML

I'm sure that there are times when you visit your favorite bookstore to look at new books on your favorite .NET topics and you cringe at the weighty tomes sitting on the shelves. You open these books and page upon page of continuous print swims before your eyes, but you figure it's important so you plop down your hard-earned money, take the book home, begin to read it in you rocker recliner and fall asleep. O'Reilly has developed a new series of books called Head First that .NET developers would be wise to take a look at. It uses a markedly different approach to important topics... (more)

Book Review: Murach’s SQL Server 2008 for Developers

Murach's SQL Server 2008 for Developers is an upgrade from an earlier version that was written for SQL Server 2005. It employs the Murach approach of dual pages that repeat and enhance the concepts being presented on each page. As the authors have done with previous releases of SQL Server, this book serves as a good review and as an introduction to the new features added to SQL Server 2008. In addition, because of the relative newness of SQL Server 2005, they also point out features that were added with that release as well. The book has 22 chapters that are divided into five sect... (more)

Book Review: SQL Antipatterns

I never thought I would ever describe a technical book that I have reviewed as delightful but that is exactly how felt when I read the book SQL Antipatterns by Bill Karwin. The book's subtitle ‘Avoiding the Pitfalls of Database Programming' really summarizes the goal of the book in a nutshell. The book consists of 25 chapters divided into four distinct topics. Each chapter reviews a different antipattern. Mr. Karwin defines an antipattern as "a technique that is intended to solve a problem but that often leads to other problems." Each chapter starts off with a problem to solve or ... (more)

.NET Gotchas

You might be wondering what this book is all about. As the author explains, the dictionary's definition of a gotcha is "an unexpected usually disconcerting challenge, revelation, or catch". Mr. Subramaniam defines the gotchas in his book as "those things that pop up unexpectedly when you're programming in .NET. … In this book I focus on the .NET framework and features that have consistently exhibited behavior that was not obvious to me." Mr. Subramaniam explains that the purpose of his book is not just to explain how to use a technology "but how to use it well and do thing... (more)