Shadow of the Giant centers once again on Peter Wiggin, Bean, Petra and the rest of the battle school students after the formic war. There is more polShadow of the Giant centers once again on Peter Wiggin, Bean, Petra and the rest of the battle school students after the formic war. There is more political intrigue as nations race to establish supremacy by both war and diplomacy. Peter's vision of a world without nations is finally established. We are further drawn in to the effort to find "Petra and Bean's" babies which were implanted in random women around the globe.
A decent, but not great, conclusion to the series. I would state that, much like the main path of the ender series, the shadow series had its best books first. Still, if you have made it this far, the book is worth reading to conclude the events which establish the order of earth after the war......more
The tone of this book changed from chapter to chapter and it was readily apparent that there were multiple authors. That in itself wouldn't be too badThe tone of this book changed from chapter to chapter and it was readily apparent that there were multiple authors. That in itself wouldn't be too bad, but some of the chapters just seemed a little weak to me.
There was plenty of good information available and I particularly liked the chapters on source control, deployment automation, and testing. In addition, the ideas behind the chapter on documenting your database were good, I just don't know how much I liked the stated output. But, I'm sure it will work for many people, just like I'm sure that the chapter on Writing Readable SQL will work for many. For me, I would pull my hair out if I followed the suggestions given. But I do think it is important to be consistent. And I guess that is the main point for this book... to bring out the ideas that you should be thinking about, even if you don't agree with the implementation ideas that are suggested....more
SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled approaches the task of maintaining and tuning an SQL Server in a methodical fashion. The book mightSQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled approaches the task of maintaining and tuning an SQL Server in a methodical fashion. The book might take a little while to get through, but it isn't that it is a hard read, it is just that there is a lot of information. The book will best be read by a DBA who has at least some working knowledge of how to interact with the SQL Server (i.e. this might not be the best book for a true beginner).
The following is a quick overview of what the book has to offer:
Chapter 01 - SQL Query Performance Tuning A general overview of the iterative performance tuning methodology. Also gives a description of the coming chapters and the information to which each will delve.
Chapter 02 - System Performance Analysis In my mind, the best chapter in the book. This gives us a comprehensive guide for using the Perfmon tool as well as the system DMVs to understand how your system is performing.
Chapter 03 - SQL Query Performance Analysis A quick look at profiler traces, execution plans and some of the statistics options.
Chapter 04 - Index Analysis This chapter presents a fairly thorough look at SQL Server indexes, their benefits, their costs and how you can use them effectively.
Chapter 05 - Database Engine Tuning Advisor A short chapter dedicated to using the Database Engine Tuning Advisor (DTA or DETA).
Chapter 06 - Bookmark Lookup Analysis Another fairly short chapter discussing the Bookmark Lookup Operation, and ways in which they can be avoided.
Chapter 07 - Statistics Analysis Discusses how SQL Server keeps track of statistics, how they are used, and the few options you have to keeping up with them.
Chapter 08 - Fragmentation Analysis A look at index fragmentation, what causes it, some options of dealing with it and how you can maintain objects affected by it.
Chapter 09 - Execution Plan Cache Analysis This chapter investigates the Execution Plan Cache, the costs associated with storing the plans in the cache, and some tips on how you can make the cache reusable. This chapter may have me rethinking how we currently execute the majority of our database loads.
Chapter 10 - Stored Procedure Recompilations This chapter investigates the intentional and unintentional ways for recompiling stored procedures, the costs associated with these recompilations and tips on how to avoid the same.
Chapter 11 - Query Design Analysis This chapter has a few general tips and tricks for working with query design.
Chapter 12 - Blocking Analysis This chapter goes into the details for the SQL Engines locking mechanism, the isolation settings, the effects of each and how they can effect blocking within the database engine.
Chapter 13 - Deadlock Analysis A short chapter on deadlocks, some quick tips for how you might avoid them, and information on how you can capture information that will enable you to triage the errors after they occur.
Chapter 14 - Cursor Cost Analysis A chapter on the different types of cursors, the various pros and cons of each and some tips for defining them to be as efficient as possible. As always, lots of warnings on avoiding them entirely if at all possible.
Chapter 15 - Database Workload Optimization A chapter on the iterative nature of capturing the overall workload of a server, analyzing it for problem queries, and then iteratively tuning them. This seems like the "Bringing it all together" type of chapter and does a good job of showing where each topic you have learned about will come in handy for helping to improve the overall health of the system.
Chapter 16 - SQL Server Optimization Checklist This is almost like a summary chapter, in the guise of a quick checklist. It reviews the rest of the larger subjects which the book has covered as a reminder that you can quickly flip through.
This book was an easy read on a subject that can be relatively intimidating for a developer with no experience in the area. It is a great introductionThis book was an easy read on a subject that can be relatively intimidating for a developer with no experience in the area. It is a great introduction to learning how to read SQL Server Execution Plans. There are lots of good examples and screen shots describing how the server is interpreting the commands being executed.
However, one should note that the book is NOT about how the plans will help you to improve your queries. Instead, knowing how to read through the various execution plans will help the reader to understand where problems might exist....more
Xenocide continues the story of Lusitania, through the eyes of Ender, Valentine, Jane, Miro, and the rest of Ender's adoptive family. However, the stoXenocide continues the story of Lusitania, through the eyes of Ender, Valentine, Jane, Miro, and the rest of Ender's adoptive family. However, the story also branches out to include a storyline with Chinese culture influence, which includes a strange subplot with a society which revers OCD like activities - claiming that the gods must talk to these people. There are a number of philosophical discussions, moral dilemmas and much character development. However, it just didn't feel like it was pulled together as well as in the first two books in the series. The ending was also a little off for me.
All in all, the book was OK. I didn't like it nearly as much as either Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead. I did like it enough that I will probably continue with Children of the Mind. I've also heard that the Shadow series is much more in-line with the Ender's Game feel....more