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Welcome back and happy New Year!

This entry brings information about a couple of new databases we now subscribe to, Computing Reviews and Safari Books Online. These two resources are aimed at those studying computer science.

To be honest, computer science majors don't come into the library very often (they usually do Google searches that turn up equally handy results), but if they do, here's the skinny on our two new CS resources.

Computing Reviews

Computing Reviews is a database that provides full text reviews of things published in the computer science field. It is a way for specialists and generalists to keep tabs on what's going on in the computing field today. Computing Reviews is a relatively unbiased source of reviews. Since a lot of the books they are reviewing probably come from specific vendors or companies, it's good to have a third party review their content to see if it's generally useful.

How to search:

The Computing Reviews interface is not like the traditional database default search interface. Most of the default interface's content is taken from Today's Issue, which includes the Editor's Pick, a quote, reviews of articles and reviews of books.

Once you have your results, you can sort them by:
• Media Type (Journals, Proceedings, Divisible Books, Whole Books, Other)
• Relevancy, Title, Author, Publisher, Published Date, Reviewer, or Date Reviewed
• Descending/Ascending Order

Safari Books Online

Safari Books Online is pretty awesome. It provides the full-text of many computer science-related books, including the O'Rielly Books (a gold standard for programing language guides (C++, Java, Perl, etc), program guides (Excel, Photoshop, etc), and operating system guides (Unix, Windows, etc), among others) and books published by Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Adobe Press, and Microsoft Press, just to name a few. It also has some articles that are full-text!

How to search:
• Safari Books Online does not have an advanced search option, but once you complete a regular (simple) search, there are many options for sorting and narrowing your results
• The interface is pretty straightforward, yet it is customizable. You can hide (or display) the book covers, and you can hide (or display) the navigation frame on the left
• Once you have identified a book and have clicked on the title, either click "START READING ONLINE", or browse to a chapter by using the navigation frame on the left

In my opinion, Computing Reviews is not what you would want to initially use to get a CS major started on his/her research. Direct them to Safari Books Online to get them started.

If you have some time on your hands, try this out: browse (or search for) reviews of books in Computing Reviews, then once you find a good review, read the book at Safari Books Online! Or you could do it vice versa, by first finding an interesting book at Safari Books Online, then read the review of it to get an outside opinion on its usability or credibility.

Hey-- who knows! Maybe even you guys can get something out of Safari Books Online. Next time that Powerpoint presentation is stumping you or you feel the winds of Photoshop blowing your way, connect to Safari Books Online and see if there isn't something there that might help you out, too!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
Wow, a lot of information, but after doing some searches, I think I am getting the hang of it. Thanks, Kelci! -Ann
Jan. 20th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
sounds good. Im going to take a look at some adobe products.
Mar. 10th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
devin coogan
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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