No reviews of Computer Books?
I was browsing NYT Circuits
columnist Pogue's blog
and ran across a post
lamenting the lack of computer book reviews. (free reg req for some if not all of the links above). I scoffed. Then thought a little bit...
I logged into Infotrac
(a Thomson Gale database for public library use -- btw, what's up with them starting you in the thesaurus? how bizarre is that?) via my local public library
to give it a whirl. I chose this database first because I've found that Gale databases are consistent in adding book review
to the title field. I chose advance search and searched (Ti (Book Review) AND Ke (Microsoft)). A couple of interesting things, but only from library trade pubs. Tried (Ti (Book Review) AND Ke Dreamweaver). Once again, only library trade pubs. Decent reviews, but not enough of them.
I then logged into my workplace's access (courtesy of our affiliated academic institutions) to WilsonWeb and Book Review Digest Plus
(BTW- updated interface, still a little ugly, but better). (microsoft in ALL) -- a little too broad, all kinds of things available. Tried Excel -- some good reviews here, but not, in general, on the basic books. Books like Operations Analysis using Excel and Data analysis with Excel: an introduction for physical scientists were well covered. Missing were reviews of Sams or O'Reilly books. A search for dreamweaver ALL yielded a book from a library journal.
I logged into EbscoHost and Academic Search Premier (couldn't do the public library one, can only do what your IP is linked to apparently). Here there's a "book review" document type. Searched microsoft with that limiter -- seems like lots of good stuff. I searched on Excel and came back with a lot of the specialty books found in Book Review Digest Plus. Dreamweaver yields the same reviews from R.S. Gordon. If you know the name of the book you'd like a review for, you might find it in the subject index. What's more common, I suspect, is someone with an information need who just needs to find the best book to teach them what they need to know. For example, "how do I use CSS to update my blog template?"
This doesn't look good. I hope I'm wrong or missed something obvious.
Update 3/31: Resource Shelf just posted a link to LITA's Technology Electronic Reviews. Another nice librarian resource, but still not exactly what I was looking for. I still want something for the general computer guy.