Equipment Barn Resources

This page contains a list of the books and resources used to learn what I needed to build EquipmentBarn.com. Books are briefly reviewed (with my best short Siskel & Ebert) and some good .Net websites are listed near the bottom of the page.

It is the websites and books listed here and these books that taught me what I needed to know to build EquipmentBarn.com, and nothing more-I didn't take any classes or use any other .Net or web development specific training.

The books are listed roughly in the order I read them, basically as the project required that area of understanding.

I've hyperlinked each book to bn.com if you'd like to read more about them.
 
Understanding .Net: A Tutorial and Analysis, by David Chappell
EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT! This book will not show you how to code anything thing but does an awesome job of laying out the .Net framework and an overview of the purpose and capabilities of the .Net platform. A friend gave me this book and reading it is in large part what prompted me to start this whole project.

If you want something to sit down and show you how to build "hello world" this is not it. If you are a manager or team lead or are a devloper considering a .Net project and want a high level overview of the capabilities of .Net then this is the book for you.
 
Microsoft ASP.NET Fast & Easy Web Development, by Nitin Pandey

Not bad, all of the examples are in VB.Net. This is a good  follow up to David Chappelís book. The depth is not great but the scope covers enough to get you going on a lot of the up front things you need to get started on the simple stuff.

 
Microsoft C# Fast & Easy Web Development, by Aneesha Bakharia

 

Not supprisingly this book repeats a lot if information from the ASP.Net Fast & Easy book. If I were doing it again and was doing my ASP work in C# I would skip the ASP.Net Fast and Easy book and jump straight here.  It does go into a little more depth and moves a little faster than the ASP.Net book

 

 
Teach Yourself SQL Server 7 in 24 hours, by Matthew Shepker

I usually laugh at the 24-hour books but this one is actually pretty good for the person who is a real SQLServer newbie.  It covers a broad range of topics from installing to replication. You will quickly outgrow it as the topics are covered to a very minimal depth, nevertheless I would recommend this if you want to move into the Microsoft development world and have absolutely no SQL Server experience.

The book does make some assumptions that you have a minimum level of competency in general relational databases-if you are lacking that exprience you probably should to start with something a little less specific to SQL Server

 
ASP.Net Databases using C#, Wrox Press

I havenít read this cover to cover  to give a fair review but the case studies at the end were VERY helpful. Like many Wrox books it appears to be very good if you like those books that have a case study/project that builds throughout the book. It appears to be get to the point on the Database assess methods and does not waste time on tangent topics. If you havenít done any .Net development you will need another book to get you going on the basics before starting the database and this book does not waste space on the basic setup.

 
ASP.Net: Tips, Tutorial, & Code, SAMS Publishing

A TOME!  I havenít the time to even begin to digest 5% of this one like most of the books above. It appears to be very thorough. This beast is 800 pages of tiny print. It has provided some nice examples and very in depth discussion.   If you canít find it here it is time to turn to the Web.

 


SOAP: Cross Platform Web Service Development Using XML, by Scott Seely

 

I got this when I was having problems integrating the web services interfaces between the Linux box and the .Net environment. It is fair, problem is I canít find anything much better out there.   I think most of my problems in this area were solved just trying and retrying the many examples found on the web.

 

 


Running Qmail SAMS Publishing, by Richard Blum

 

A very average to poor book.  Too much long winded discussion and too few examples.  This will help you get a Qmail server going but it really overcomplicates a process that doesnít have to be that complex. You would probably be better off just finding a good FAQ off the web. I heard there are a couple newer Qmail books out that may be better

 

 


IIS Security, Marty Jost & Michael Cobb

I would recommend that anyone considering putting an IIS Server on the Internet reading this book! Windows and IIS security is one of those things where you donít know how little you know until you learn something about it. This book begins by teaching you about hacking techniques and holes and progresses into how to patch the holes and finally gives you excellent procedures for ongoing monitoring. What I like best about this book is the checklists at the end of each chapter. Highly recommended!

 

 
Mastering SQL Server 2000, by Gunderloy & Jorden

I just got this because the depth in the 24-hour book enough just doesnít have the depth I needed to do some more advanced TSQL stored procedure programming. I havenít dug into it very deep yet but it is quite a long book (800 pages) and seems to cover most topics pretty well.

 



In addition to the books above I used several websites to get sample code, pose questions, etc. Here is a list of some of the ones that were the most helpful.
  4GuysFromRolla.com Despite the goofy name this is an excellent website for .ASP help.
  ASP.Net A good place to go and ask questions and discuss with other developers doing .Net on a daily basis. Some good experts here.
  ASP Quickstart A subset of the previous site but you have to spend some time here. This Microsoft site provides some very good samples, you should browse through and try to understand a lot of these before starting a new .Net project.
  MSDN Microsoft Developer Network-Basically all of the Microsoft documentation online, a good reference if you just need to look up how to do something-if you are having a problem or something is not working the way it should then this is probably not the best place to start.
  .NET 247 Lots of samples, best practices, and the best community of guys out there who know the stuff and are willing to help. In terms of more advanced topics they also seem to go a little deeper than some of the sites.
  15seconds.com A cool little site! Short articles that really cut to the chase on the topic at hand. If you want more info each article ends with about 20 other related short articles. You can usually zoom in on a nice answer to your problem after just a couple quick reads. There is some really well written stuff here.
  DotNetJunkies.com Lots of good articles, tutorials, etc.
  OnDotNet.com O'Reilly's .Net site. I still have a hard time not visualizing them as a Unix/Opensource oriented company but they are getting better at the Microsoft stuff.
  411ASP.NET Another good ASP.Net web directory.


Finally, here are some books that I have used in the past and referenced a bit during the building of EquipmentBarn. Due to past experience I didn't need them to complete the project but if you are light on any of the topics then these to help you get up to speed.

Windows 2000 IIS 5.0 Administrators Pocket Consultant, Microsoft Press

I canít say I am a big fan of this book. It seems like they just took the IIS help files and added a few screenshots around it. It is ok for a step-by-step quick reference guide if you pretty much know what you are doing but if you really need to learn IIS admin keep looking.

 

Perl Cookbook, OíReilly, by Tom Christiansen & Nathan Torkington

As anyone who has done much Perl will tell you this is a classic. As cookbooks go this is one of the best and you can even read it cover to cover and by the end have a good Perl foundation.  I is also an excellent refernce for finding quick chucks of code for knocking out those quick tasks that Perl is so good at doing.
 
Perl 5 Complete, Edward S. Peschko & Michelle DeWolfe

Another Tome, but if you are going to do Perl development on any platform-or especially cross platform then I canít recommend this enough. I have had this book for about 3 years so there is probably a newer version out.

This starts from the very beginning installing Perl on Windows, Unix, and Mac and covers every topic to a good depth.  It is a good beginner book but so thorough that I can't imagine even the most advanced developer not learning something.   It covers everything from database access to .CGIs, to OLE/DDE windows operations.  (I still can't believe only 2 guys wrote this book!)

Complement this with the Perl Cookbook and there is nothing you cannot do in Perl. 

 
Red Hat Linux 7 Unleashed, William Ball, David Pitts, SAMS Publishing
Your typical Unleashed book. Long, complete, in depth, and dry. A decent reference book but I canít imagine reading it cover to cover without massive amounts of caffeine.  I mostly just used it to get my initial Linux install completed, Samba running, Apache configured, etc.


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