Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Osborne MCSD Certification Books

Before I rant about these books let's hit something I have really liked about them. They have a lot of digital content that comes with them. The key piece of that is a digital copy of the book, which let's me use it in many other forms than just reading it. I can have text to speach tools read them to me. As they read I can follow along and have them force me to pay attention and keep a decent reading speed.

Even though I am going to have negative things to say about their practice test software later, I like that they include practice tests.

I had a company I worked for a while back buy me a copy of one of these books. I will never buy another one. I check them out from the library if they have them to just get a different perspective, but won't rely on them primarily for taking an exam.

The text of the book is full of "bugs." What I mean by bugs is inaccurrate code and text that is not so much typos, but just plain wrong. This is one of the problems I have with the practice tests. Mostly with the answer key. This include the digital tests and also with the chapter reviews. I have to say that the bugs in the text of technical books in general is pretty bad, but these books have out done the rest at being buggy.

The other problem with the practice tests and reviews are that they are too rudimentary.

Another problem with the text is that many of their examples stop short of being useful. In many instances they show a limited example. They give no explanation of the parameters or anything else in the example. They just move to the next example of another concept.

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