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Book reviews for "Murphy,_Brian" sorted by average review score:

Give Me Half!
Published in Paperback by Scott Foresman (Pearson K-12) (1996)
Authors: Stuart J. Murphy and G. Brian Karas
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Wonderfully simple look at fractions
This book is an accurate description of how children react to sharing. As the brother and sister learn to share the food each of them have, they are also learning about fractions. Each child is reminded by their parents to divide the pizza, juice, and cupcakes in half to share equally. The children's first instinct is to share unequally. The book introduces new terms (i.e. divide) and gives the reader a fun introduction to fractions and getting along with each other.

The Nelson Demille Collection: Cathedral/the Charm School/Word of Honor
Published in Audio Cassette by Bantam Books-Audio (1999)
Authors: Nelson Demille, Michael Murphy, James Naughton, Brian Nurray, and Brian Murray
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The Charm School
Despite the cold war being over, the possibility of a school that trains spys is still real.
Highly recommend this book, one of DeMille's best.
This story is so plausible it will keep you awake at night.

Professional Active Server Pages 2.0
Published in Paperback by Wrox Press Inc (22 March, 1998)
Authors: Brian Francis, Richard Harrison, David Sussman, Shawn Murphy, Robert Smith, Alex Fedorov, Alex Homer, and Stephen Wood
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Technically excellent, poorly written and edited
This is the handbook to have for writing ASP applications. The first six chapters cover everything you need to write basic applications that dynamically generate web pages. The following chapters cover specific areas such as database access, site personalization, optimizations, and interacting with other applications. If you want to build web-enabled distributed applications on a Microsoft NT platform, you will need more than this book, but this book is essential. From a technical standpoint, I would give the book 5 stars. However, apparantly WROX forgot to edit it. It is certainly understandable that authors selected for their technical knowledge may require a little help in grammar, syntax, sentence structure, and writing style. It is unfortunate that WROX chooses not to provide this help, but rather to ship the books as soon as they are complete. WROX has an outstanding group of authors who cover every essential NT technology as well as many cross-platform technologies. I hope that WROX will take a closer look at the quality of the final product.

Well done, in Plain English
Want to learn to build your own It's in this book. You'll have to be proficient with ansi-SQL and/or ADO 2.0 in order to really take advantage of the information presented here. But overall it's a well presented book on ASP. If you plan to buy this and want to build true interactive sites with full database integration, pick up ADO 2.0 Programmer's Reference and Instant SQL Programming also from WROX Press, then you'll have a strong book base to build powerful web sites such as The only drawback is its concentration on VBScript rather than ECMAscript (aka JavaScript). Try and stay away from the VBScript presented in this book and use ECMAScript for the examples instead. The reason is because Microsoft and Netscape are finally agreeing on ECMAScript standards that will be much easier to translate into Client-side Cross-browser code if you use it for Server-side code now. As ECMAscript matures it will present a much more flexible environment to work in than VBScript will (much the same way that C compared to Visual Basic does now). I don't have a book recommendation for ECMAscript, I haven't found a good reference yet, the info on the web has been my resource. But if you're desparate for a reference, WROX Press also has a handbook called Instant JavaScript that isn't too bad, but has lots of room more improvement. Happy Building! Ciao -C

As good as ASP gets
If you have read the first edition of this book, this second edition may look familiar. However, the book has more pages - about 1000 (edition 1 had about 600). There are several additions, especially topics on MTS and Message Queue, which are very good in themselves. "A case study in compatibility" is excellent guide for all, to develop for a varied set of browsers. A whole chapter is dedicated to transactions, a prelude to the chapters on E-Commerce case study and MTS.

The best part is an extended reference at the end of the book, and this time JScript is also covered.

I have a few comments about this book
1. The book should have been thinner, with some chapters on CD-ROM
2. You must be at intermediate level to use this book, else you could get lost easily. Beginners, don't yet touch this unless you know VBScript

In short, without a doubt, the best book ever written on ASP.

Mage: The Ascension (Mage)
Published in Hardcover by White Wolf Publishing Inc. (1995)
Authors: Phil Brucato, Brian Campbell, Chris Hind, Kevin A. Murphy, Nicky Rea, John R. Robey, Kathleen Ryan, Teeuwynn Woodruff, Allen Varney, and Teewynn Woodruff
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Love the System, Don't love this addition.
While the white wolf system is usually thoroughly enjoyable, I have found that the Mage characters start off fairly weak, easy pray for any others. The book itself was fairly easy to follow, but a little too much game specific information that newbies would not understand. I have also found the combat system to be a bit clunky at best.

The play section was misorganized (Character creation should come before playing rules) and the whole 5 pages that explain the rules do a poor job.

Complex intellectual game of Magic(k) in the modern era
If you want a game to melt your mind, pick up Mage. This is the third of five lines of game books in the World of Darkness, and the one with the most hope. In Vampire, Werewold, and Wraith, you play the monster. In Changling, you play the doomed to die crazy hero. In Mage you wrestle with Reality. Your views shape the world around you. You are fighting other views, that clash with yours, to the point where your magic can be harmful to you. Overall, this is a great game. The layout is average, the system is standard White Wolf. The philosophy is fantastic. The world is what you make it. Literally. Things exist and happen because people believe they do. Your job is to change or survive people's beliefs. On the negative, the index is one of the worst I've seen. 1st Edition Mage had a much better index. The index is too short and not nearly complete enough. It even lacks the normal page framing, making it look like the authors forgot to do it before sending it to the printers, and just whipped something together. If you use this book and this game, make sure to use sticky notes for your most common rules...

It's White Wolf... what can I say?
Let me start my review by saying that I view all White Wolf games (at least the 5 main games) as being equal. That's right, I'm not going to promote one book over another. The beauty of all White Wolf games is the "Golden Rule:" The game is up to the storyteller and players. If you don't like an idea, change it or ignore it completely. This works quite well with small groups if you feel comfortable with table top or LARP. However, when you get to larger groups (esp. roleplaying online) it's more difficult to decide on which rules are practical and which ones aren't.

This edition of Mage *does* have a slight problem with clear definition of rules and systems, and I've yet to see any of White Wolf's books completely cover the systems as they pertain to other games (for example, can a hedge wizard be discovered as such using the gift "Scent of the Trueform?"). As with all of White Wolf games, I think this is a game best played with a small group of close friends.

Now a little more about White Wolf and specifically Mage. I don't know how many have noticed this, but all of these games probably seem like they're shaped after Myths or other real-world beliefs (no matter how obscure). The reasoning for this: They are! Take a look through the bibliography of a White Wolf book and marvel at the resources. This is one area where I would promote Mage above the other books (although I said I wouldn't) because in reading through this you get a small glimpse at the beliefs of so many other cultures. What's even scarier - notice how people of different cultures seem like they live in "another world?" If you really think about it, the Mage concept isn't hard to follow at all. We see this in everyday life. We believe things to be one way, and that's true for us. Others believe differently, and that makes their reality. What happens when the two collide? Disagreements, fights, all-out wars (think of the Inquisition)... It's really a great game to get into, but if you're not all that much of a roleplaying fan it's just nice to read and ponder the concept. Great little quotes and mini-stories, too!

Quiet Flows the Don
Published in Hardcover by Carroll & Graf (1996)
Authors: Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, Robert Daglish, and Brian Murphy
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Awful commie propaganda. Slanderous portraits of Liberals and of the Whites in the civil war. Wafer-thin characters all around, from decadent blood-sucking nobles to gooey warm camaraderie amongst their "class enemies." Read Tolstoy instead. Life is too short.

The epic story of the Cossacks in a Nobel winning novel
Certainly a masterpiece, spellbinding for 1300 pp., I happened on this amazing book as a remainder at The Strand in New York. Difficulty keeping the generals apart and whose side they were on, but a captivating story that has led me to learn to read and write Russian with hopes of living there/studying there. I had been a fan of Russian poetry for a while, esp Ahkmatova, but this is really simply an unbelievable story. Would be interested in reading more about World War I and this part of the world. Read The Guns of August and now need to read the equivalent for this area. Your suggestions are encouraged.

A literary monument
This is the second time I've read this thousand over page tome and it's truly magnificent. The greatest Russian/Soviet novel this century. Sholokhov is in the ranks of Tolstoy, Turgenev and Dostoevsky. An intensely beautiful, powerful and action filled tale of heroes in a land changed forever by war and revolution.

Drawn into the Light: Jean Francois Millet
Published in Hardcover by Yale Univ Pr (1999)
Authors: Alexandra R. Murphy, Richard Rand, Brian T. Allen, James Ganz, Alexis Goodin, Jean-Francois Millet, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Frick Art, and Historical Center
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Nice book, but the selection of works is limited
This book is a catalogue for an exhibition that was held at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The reproductions do not represent the full work of Millet but rather the selection of works that was presented in that exhibition. There are many reproductions of drawings, pastels and watercolors, and only a few paintings. Many of the drawings are preparations for larger scale paintings. I bought the book after a visit to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris and was disappointed not to find many paintings that I remember from that visit - not even "The Angelus", which is probably Millet's most famous work. Still there is a large number of beautiful drawings and paintings, and the introductory text is interesting. I wish the reproductions would be larger - there are only about ten full page reproductions throughout the book.

Very pleased with the quality of the book
This is the first quality pyblication I have found on Millet. While I was looking for more of a coffe table type book of his paintings, I was slighlty disappointed that many of his works were not included but the history of his life more than makes up for it.

Missing Mittens
Published in Paperback by HarperTrophy (26 December, 2000)
Authors: Stuart J. Murphy and G. Brian Karas
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Awkward, but cute
By far, the illustrations are the best part of this book. The wonderful depictions of Farmer Bill, his farm and animals give the book much more depth than the forced rhymes. And frankly, they also do a better job of getting across the concepts of odd and even.

My preschool boys greatly enjoy the twist at the end of the book, where there's a glimpse of the next item that will be found to be missing. The fact that the found mittens are drawn as having parts missing pleases them also. It provides a great topic for discussion.

The follow-up suggestions are rather disappointing and unimaginative. The book certainly isn't helped by their inclusion.

I'd rate this as an average children's book. The basic story is quite cute, but the illustrations make the book.

Odd and even concepts
My son has really enjoyed this book. The story takes place on a farm during the winter time. Perfect story for this time of the year. Farmer Bill is trying to figure out what is happening to all of the mittens.

Core Jini (2nd Edition)
Published in Paperback by Prentice Hall PTR (28 December, 2000)
Author: W. Keith Edwards
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Unbelievably verbose
Don't get this one if you know Java and you're trying to come up to speed on Jini quickly. The book rambles almost endlessly. Get _The Jini(TM) Specification_ (Arnold, et. al) instead: it's much easier to read than the title would suggest.

Clear and informative but almost 800 pages.
Core Jini is straightforward, and clear; I found the text-to-code ratio comfortable. It seems to me the target audience would include experienced programmers first, and veteran systems administrators second. To read it, you need to be an experienced Java programmer only if you plan to implement Jini on your own. Otherwise, the book is a useful reference on Jini's architecture and processes.
It's also way thick. I'm thinking I should exclude from my five-star list any book over 500 pages that is a) not called a reference on the cover, and b) has the word "Core" in the title. Stop the madness!
I didn't think the author had to problematize the issues of distributed programming to the degree he did. For me, this added to the bloat. To the author's credit, those discussions make many parts of the book accessible to a wider audience than Java programmers.

Great book but code breaks on two machines
This is a great book for learning JINI Technology. Also, the
author has a great web site to help you along. It's one of the
few books that has example code that mostly works. He simulates
a multi machine environment on one computer. However, his
example code breaks when you run the server-side code on one
Window 2000 computer and the client-side code on another
Window 2000 system (unfortunately, his book or web site
doesn't help you here and this would be the real world
environment for JINI Technology).

Professional IE4 Programming
Published in Paperback by Wrox Press Inc (1997)
Authors: Andrew Enfield, Brian Francis, Richard Harrison, Alex Homer, Stephen Jakab, Chris Ullman, Sing Li, Mike Barta, Shawn Murphy, and Dino Esposito
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VB Scripting - say goodbye to cross browser compatability!
A fine book for Intranet development - a seriously flawed effort for Internet work. All material is covered using VB script, which is utterly worthless if your trying to develop a site that works with both Navigator and MSIE. Though you can complete every task discussed in this book with either VB or JavaScript, the authors summarily dismiss JavaScript. Don't purchase this book if you plan to develop sites that work across the browser divide!

Decent IE4 book
The reader from Raleigh, NC obviously didn't read the title of the book before purchasing. This is an "IE4" book, not a Netscape, or any other third-rate browser book. If you want cross-browser support, than DON'T buy a book that is named "IE4 Programming".

I though that this book gave decent coverage and was worth the $.

Simply written, generous references in table format
I appreciate the authors' simple style--direct-to-the-point in simple English (unlike the abstract prose used by experienced programmers who lack the gift of of sharing information in simple terms). The book has lots of examples and screen shots, and with generous lists of properties, methods and events. The indices at the back of the book serves as a reference when done with the entire book. This book is a must in every Web programmer's library.

The New Men: Inside the Vatican's Elite School for American Priests
Published in Paperback by Riverhead Books (1998)
Author: Brian Murphy
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Completely Misses the Hard Issues Regarding Vocations
If this book was intended to be a series of mini-biographies of seminarians attending North American College, then it has succeeded in its goal. In terms of the realities of becoming a seminarian, i.e. dealing with vocation directors and bishops who are not always in harmony with the teachings of the Church and the Pope regarding what a priest is or should be, this book completely misses the issue. Only toward the end of the book, when one of the seminarians wishes to incardinate into the diocese of his twin brother, is the veil parted and we see vocations directors and bishops pulling out their daggers and stabbing this seminarian with a series of totally fabricated allegations. If the seminarians portrayed in this books are the cream of the crop, then the priesthood in the United States is really in bad shape. I don't think they reflect favorably on the vocations directors who selected them or on other seminarians. This is especially in regard to those seminarians who are still dating women or who are alone in their own little world and have nothing to do with the other students (e.g. the Vietnamese seminarian).

The book completely misses where the real balance of power exists regarding vocations. Diocesan vocation directors and to a much lesser extent diocesan bishops decide who will be allowed to become a seminarian. You must pass the "political litmus test" of the vocation director regarding what his vision of the Church should be. This usually means that you can not be loyal to the Pope or to the Magisteriam. All the good intentions in the world will not get you into the seminary if the vocation director perceives you as too loyal to the Pope or too obsessed about Church teachings.

In my own case, I was a daily Mass server in my local parish during junior high school, high school, college and my first year of graduate school. Once I got my Masters Degree I applied to be a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. I received a very positive recommendation from my pastor and attended all the meetings with the vocations board of 5 priests and logging over 1,500 miles in individual meetings with each priest who was located throughout the western half of Oklahoma. The decision of the Vocations Director and the Board was that: 1. I was simply looking for something to do until something better came along, and 2. I was simply interested in the externalities of religion. That was the kind of response I got after serving 10 years as a daily Mass server and working on any number of other activities at the parish during the same time.

In 1996-97 I attended several vocations conferences sponsored the the Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington. Archbishop Thomas Murphy was in attendance. One young man asked the Archbishop what a seminarian's relationship with women should be. Instead of giving the Church's traditional answer to that question, namely that a seminarian should confine his dealings with women to his mother, sisters and other female relatives, the Archbishop said that seminarians were expected to be involved in serious relationships with women and that seminarians who weren't would be considered unsuitable for the priesthood. The clear import of the Archbishops statement was that seminarians should be out fornicating to prove that they are "real men." A month later Archbishop Murphy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and died 6 months later. I consider this the wrath of God against Archbishop Murphy for trying to lead these young men astray.

Prior to this, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen had decreed that he was suspending all further sponsorship of the permanent diaconate because he considered it an insult to women and just another all-male bastion of injustice and oppression against women. His attitude about deacons surely extended to priests (after all, there is only one "Sacrament of Holy Orders" and one sacramental theology of holy orders) and would account for the lack of vocations in his diocese.

The book indicates that several of the men are still involved in dating or carrying on romantic relationships with women. The "rule book" for seminarians and vocations director, "The Program for Priestly Formation," produced by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, specifically states that prospective seminarians and seminarians should already have a committment to celibacy and the observance of perfect chastity which would preclude any romantic relationship with women. The fact that these men were accepted as seminarians even with these issues unresolved is a clear failure of the vocations directors. But then again, most vocations directors and bishop in the United States are not in favor of celibacy or a male priesthood.

There is no vocations crisis in the United States other than an artificially created crisis manufactured by the bishops of the United States in their attempt to pressure Rome into lifting the requirement of celibacy and the exclusion of women from the priesthood. Africa and Asia have a surplus of priests who have offered to serve in the United States. The response of the American bishops: Black and yellow priests need not apply because they are all just a bunch of "economic opportunist." That excuse was never used during the last 100 years when up to half of all U.S. priests were Irish immigrants, but then again, they were all white. If the truth were to be known, dioceses receive plenty of applications from qualified American men wanting to study for the priesthood. But most of these applicants are rejected because they are perceived as too conservative and loyal to the Pope. The result, a manufactured vocations crisis. Vocations offices are full of applicants, but almost all applicants are rejected. A book needs to be researched and published which will show that vocation offices filing cabinets are full of applications but that almost all applicants are rejected. The result, the true that the vocations crisis was manufactured and contrived by the American bishops as a display of opposition to the Pope and the Magisterium.

A fascinating look at the growth of vocations
I found Murphy's book an interesting and in many ways inspiring read. The struggles of the individual seminarians who are profiled here are gripping. Even more compelling is the manner in which these men, of varied backgrounds, approached their prayer lives and developed their own approaches to the challenges of celibacy, the loss of their old lives, etc. I heartily recommend it.

As an agnostic --> athiest, I was intrigued by the question, "Why would anyone become a priest?" This book gives a brief glimpse into the possible answers, all of which are very personal and unique.

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