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1. Physics : Principles and Applications
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2. Technical Communication (9th Edition)
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3. Technical Communication
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4. The Elements of Style, Fourth
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5. Radical Evolution : The Promise
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6. National Electrical Code 2002
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7. As the Future Catches You: How
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8. An Introduction to Theories of
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9. Military Innovation in the Interwar
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10. Essentials of Business Communication
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11. The Art of Innovation : Lessons
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12. Engineering Fluid Mechanics
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13. Technical Writing: A Practical
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14. Writing for the Technical Professions
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15. Write Up the Corporate Ladder:
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16. Managing Technological Innovation
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17. Occupational Safety and Health
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18. The Party's Over: Oil, War and
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19. The Machine That Changed the World
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20. Technical Communication

1. Physics : Principles and Applications (6th Edition)
by Douglas C. Giancoli
list price: $136.00
our price: $136.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130606200
Catlog: Book (2004-08-09)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 38300
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2. Technical Communication (9th Edition)
by John M. Lannon
list price: $89.00
our price: $89.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321089790
Catlog: Book (2002-04-08)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 61483
Average Customer Review: 1.86 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars This book is better than what some reviewers write!

This book is written well and is a useful tool to use when writing everything from a resume and cover letter to a complete proposal. It also give instructions on how to make a web page and scripting in html. Although I am sure that this material is very similiar to that of the previous editions, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to write better.

I wish that I had not read the previous bad reviews and ordered this book in hardcover instead of a used softcover.

1-0 out of 5 stars Written by an expert in the marketing of textbooks!
John Lannon was a successful author of a college writing and composition textbook. He then created various spinoffs so that his publisher could cover more markets: business writing, technical writing, and so on (for both college and high school).

So he's really not a current specialist in technical writing, and he's not employed as a technical writer. He's just an English instructor who has been using essentially the same basic materials in all his books for decades.

This text is a perfect example. It has very little to do with today's field of technical communications. There are many other textbooks that have more specific and up-to-date examples and guidelines for contemporary technical writers. Any book by Hackos, for example, runs circles around this one.

In any case, he and his publisher don't need your single-copy sale. They sell thousands of these books for coursewide use at many schools across the country for use in very elementary courses. They don't care about individual users.

So save your money and buy something else!

1-0 out of 5 stars What's new in this 9th Edtion?
The answer is nothing. This 9th edition is practically the same as 8th. This author must be the greediest man I've ever seen. Over half of the colleges in US use this book for technical writing, and he's still charging people $80 for it. Hasn't he made enough money with the 1st edition already?

2-0 out of 5 stars Good Reference Text, But Poor Reading Material
This text book is not reader friendly. It is tedious and boring. However, it is a good reference manual. Hard to justify the price you pay for it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Clear-Concise-Simple
The key to technical writing is best described as clear-concise-simple. The most accurate review of this book is to simply add NOT to each of these goals.It is NOT Clear - NOT Concise - Not Simple. It does boast one quality. It is vastly overpriced.
The writers style is easy to describe. It is very much like those bookshelf size computer manuals that we have all come to know and "love" so well! ... Read more


3. Technical Communication
by Mike Markel
list price: $80.95
our price: $80.95
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Asin: 0312403380
Catlog: Book (2003-07-14)
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Sales Rank: 15255
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Owner's review
This book is in awesome shape, I used it for an online course, so i have never carried in a book bag. No markings, and very very minimal corners bent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and real world scenarios
I teach technical writing at a community college and frequently switched textbooks until I discovered Mike Markel's. It is well organized, gives 8 measures of excellence in technical writing that students quickly grasp, has very up-to-date scenarios that prompt critical reading and writing and the online quizzes and resources are the frosting on the cake. This book is a great tool for educators, students and absolutely anyone who wishes to write in a professional manner.

3-0 out of 5 stars Well written, over priced common sense.
The information in the book as well as the scenarios presented are well put. The writing is adequate for the subject. Overall, though, I feel the cost of the book exceeded the value. Much of the information in the book is common sense.

4-0 out of 5 stars Technical Communication--Mike Markel
I am using this for my course in technical writing at the University level. It gives a very thorough look at tech writing, and its exercises help emphasize ethics, collaboration, and working with the Web. All of these are important in the world of business that many students will be entering. Although I could not possibly cover the entire text in one semester, it is carefully laid out so that it is easy to emphasize the things that work best for your course. ... Read more


4. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
by William Strunk Jr., E.B. White, Roger Angell
list price: $7.95
our price: $7.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 020530902X
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 338
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the braille version of the timeless reference book. According to the St. Louis Dispatch, this "excellent book, which should go off to college with every freshman, is recognized as the best book of its kind we have." It should be the ". . . daily companion of anyone who writes for a living and, for that matter, anyone who writes at all" (Greensboro Daily New). "No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume" (The Boston Globe). Two volumes in braille. ... Read more

Reviews (195)

5-0 out of 5 stars TEXTBOOKS DON'T HAVE TO BE BIG
While skimming through Stephen King's book ON WRITING, he highly recommended THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE. Taking his advice I searched for a copy and found one in a free bin--of all places! I looked at it and decided that it was so much better than any other textbook that I had seen that I decided to WRITE IT. Three pages a day for a month or so. It's a very short book, only about 80 pages or so. You learn everything from words that are often spelled wrong, to punctuation, to style, etc. Very blunt and to the point. No exercises in here, problems 1 - 10 all. Nope, you just read this book and enjoy it. Why, there's actually a little humor in it at times, which is pretty good for a textbook. Now I've heard some people say that this book is bad because it is saying to follow all these rules and don't stray from them. I think they got it all wrong. This book is essentially saying this: you can't blaze new trails in the English language without having a solid foundation in the basics first! This goes for ANYTHING. You don't suddenly set off an a 200 mile trek, you slowly work up to it, starting from the basics. After you have mastered the basics, then you can break free. One thing that this book continually points out is that it is OFTEN A MATTER OF EAR. Meaning that if you are experienced enough, you will know whether to stick to the traditional or whether to be liberal when phrasing something, for example. By far this is the most talked-about textbook that I've seen and the most valuable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Little Book
A pithy little handbook that gives rules and examples to help you avoid the most common mistakes in writing, plus some smart advice on the finer points by a renowned essayist and children's writer. It is by far the single most useful book on writing. But it is not the last word. For those who wish to go further, I recommend these books in addition to Strunk & White: The Prentice Hall Handbook for Writers, for a review of basic grammar and syntax; Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, by Joseph M. Williams, for more detailed advice on constructing paragraphs; The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing, by Thomas Kane, for more general advice; and Garner's Modern American Usage, for intelligent, detailed, and up-to-date guidance on diction. All these books belong on the shelf of every serious writer.

(By the way, I agree with the previous reviewer that the third edition is slightly preferable to the current one.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Useful book for writers and editors
For writers and those who work in publishing this little book contains a lot of matters worthy of consideration. It's not the most useful book I have on the subject (that honour goes to "Style Book" by Derek Wallace and Janet Hughes published in 1995) and I don't agree with everything the authors have to say, but it does contain a lot of useful tips, pointers and ways of polishing your text. You can't go wrong by giving it a careful read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Your ticket to becoming a better writer
Few things can make you as self-conscious about your writing as reviewing a book that you feel has improved your writing. And few things are as silly as terribly written reviews praising such books. Hopefully, what I learned from this book will lead me to be able to write a review that will convince you to buy it.

Many years ago I decided that I wanted to be able to write better, but I didn't really know where to begin. I'd taken classes, but I was unsatisfied with what I had learned. I'd learned how to assemble different kinds of essays or papers, but I strongly felt that something was lacking on a more basic level. My writing lacked, well, style.

I happened to ask a professional writer I knew for advice. I asked him how one could become a better writer. The answer he gave me seemed completely underwhelming at the time: "Read the Elements of Style twice a month and compare its advice to your writing," he said. He suggested that I not merely read it once but that I read it continuously, as we all need to be reminded of the guidelines it provides. Writing is a skill that improves with constant practice, much like playing a musical instrument. Take your writing, apply the lessons and guidelines from this book, and see where you can improve things. While he insisted this was the most important advice I could receive, I remained skeptical.

Eventually, I had the good sense to give his advice a shot. Soon afterwards, I was a published writer. I still use this book and refer to it regularly. If you use it regularly in the way my mentor described, it will make you a better writer as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING
Simply the most valuable book on my shelf. ... Read more


5. Radical Evolution : The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies -- and What It Means to Be Human
by JOEL GARREAU
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 0385509650
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 503746
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6. National Electrical Code 2002 Handbook
by NFPA
list price: $103.50
our price: $103.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 087765462X
Catlog: Book (2001-12-28)
Publisher: Thomson Delmar Learning
Sales Rank: 24827
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Produced by the NFPA, the popular National Electrical Code® (NEC®) 2002 Handbook contains the complete text of the 2002 edition of the NEC® supplemented by helpful facts and figures, full-color illustrations, real-world examples and expert commentary.An essential reference for students and professionals, this Handbook is the equivalent of an annotated edition of the 2002 NEC® that offers insights into new and more difficult articles in order to guide users to success in interpreting and applying current Code requirements to all types of electrical installations. A valuable information resource for anyone involved in electrical design, installation and inspection, the NEC® 2002 Handbook is updated every three years and provides 100% of the information needed to "meet Code" and avoid costly errors. Delmar is pleased to make this one-of-a-kind reference - containing the most widely accepted and most frequently used criteria for electrical installations in the U.S. - available directly from us for our customers who work in and around the electrical trades. It may be used independently and makes an excellent companion to books in Delmar's best-selling electrical wiring series. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Makes me feel smarter!
I am desk jockey who does electrical design work. I have little in-the-field electrical experience. I use the NEC codes frequently to make sure what I design is code-compliant. I have a copy of the standard 1999 NEC book and found many parts of it difficult to interpret. This new "handbook" version has answered all of the questions and uncertainties I had about the code. It has an illustration and explanation for just about every question I could think of. Even when I don't need a certain thing, I have found myself leafing through the book just to learn more.

I would recommend this to anyone, but especially engineer types or those who are inexperienced. I feel much more confident about my job and I don't have to ask electricans those questions that make you feel stupid anymore. Even master electricians will appreciate the explanations of code changes from the 1999 version. Overall, I can't recommend this book more, well worth the $50 or so more than the standard NEC book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing.
If you hang around with fellow homeowners, there's a lot of water cooler conversation about various things, including the electrical code. This book just nails everything you ever wondered about, everything you haven't yet wondered about, and a few thousand things that you'll never need to know. Want to install a subpanel? Want to figure what gauge of cable to use to supply it? Want to know how to calculate the in^3 fill of a box? How deep to bury an underground cable? How to use raceways? That information totals about 1/4 of 1% of the contents of this book. ... Read more


7. As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth
by JUAN ENRIQUEZ CABOT
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
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Asin: 0609609033
Catlog: Book (2001-10-16)
Publisher: Crown Business
Sales Rank: 8795
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

In As the Future Catches You, Juan Enriquez of the Harvard Business School attempts to capture the trajectory of technological progress and understand the forces shaping our social and economic futures. Enriquez argues that February 2, 2001--the date that anyone with Internet access could contemplate the entire human genome--is akin to 1492 and Columbus's discovery of America. Instead of a new continent however, Enriquez sees the alphabet of DNA (A, adenine; T, thymine; C, cytosine; and G, guanine) and predicts that it will be the "dominant language and economic driver of this century." While none of the ideas presented here are entirely new, As the Future Catches You stands out because of Enriquez's ability to view and connect trends--genomics in particular--in a way that just about anyone can understand. Eye-popping typography and graphics coupled with a compact and almost poetic writing style make this thought-provoking book one to savor. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to Read and VERY INSIGHTFUL
If you want to understand some of the "big picture" issues in our society I strongly encourage you to read this book. Peter Drucker's Management Challenges for the 21st Century and Daniel Pink's Free Agent Nation are two other good reads on a knowledge-based economy.

While Mr. Enriquez spends most of the book talking about genomics (his area of expertise and knowledge) and the implications arising from developments in the area, he also tries to illustrate the impact such discoveries might have on the world economy in a very basic, easy-to-understand manner. Mr. Enriquez does an excellent job in talking about the importance of education and how the large differences among certain geographic regions may lead to a larger divergence of wealth in the next century.

In talking about genomics, Mr. Enriquez is quick to talk about cloning and the moral and ethical issues that will arise from such technology and how it will be EXTREMELY TOUGH to policy this technology due to its rapid evolution and ability to move into other countries borders. In the past the evolution of public policy was adjusted with the technologies but genomics is different in that we are talking about the potential to create human life via cloning, which stirs up all kinds of moral and social issues which affects politicians and their voting constituencies.

The one thing I know is that genomics is revolutionizing modern medicine as we breathe today. The new drugs, cures and foods that will be created and these WILL have VERY PROFOUND impacts on our standard of living in the next century and will cause tons of social implications. This book is your entrance into learning about geonomics in a very easy to read book. I highly recommend purchase of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
If you read only one book about the looming genetics revolution, As the Future Catches You would be a pretty good pick. After laying a foundation with a basic introduction to DNA and the genetic sciences, Juan Enriquez takes the reader on a tour of the mystifying advances that are putting humans in greater control of their own evolutionary destiny. This book is designed as much to inspire questions as to answer them, and uses a variety of font styles and sizes and almost poetic prose to provoke the thoughtful involvement of the reader. We from getAbstract recommend this book to any reader who doesn't want to let the future catch him off guard.

4-0 out of 5 stars Why reviews of this book vary from * to *****
This book reads like an engaging lecture. If you're looking for an extensive and scholarly work . . . you'll give it a single *. If you're looking for a well written, extended and readable Powerpoint presentation (and I mean that in all seriousness) you'll rate this book much more highly. I was surprised by how light the book was on words/$ but was pleasantly surprised that after I'd adjusted my expectations the book was readable and engaging. And it's significantly less expensive than the thousands Enriquez probably charges to deliver this presentation in person . . .

1-0 out of 5 stars Huh?
I am a librarian. We have this book in our collection only because it was given to us for free. I'm not sure what all of the praise is for. It is puzzling to me.

1-0 out of 5 stars Good, if you like PowerPoint
The most telling phrase was in the afterword: "I apologize for simplifying so many debates and concepts." At least he knew what he was doing.

I found this to be a turbulent stream of factoids, hero worship, and incomplete ideas. The author seems not to distinguish between opening a discussion and failing to finish a thought. The quantitative statements are sometimes incorrect - his decimal points seem to wander as much as the rest of the presentation.

Visually, the text is a mess. Maybe he wanted it to look lively and creative, instead of putting the life into the text itself. His typographic "creativity" tops out around the Crayola level, though. It's what I'd expect of someone who just discovered all those cool controls over fonts, sizes, layout, etc., but has not yet discovered they don't all need to be used on any one page. In fact, this typography interferes with a good reader's perceptual habits. I actually like aggressive use of type, like some of David Carson's - but Carson brings visual competence to the page.

The one graph (p.147) is uninformative even by USA Today standards. It would probably have Tufte spinning in his grave. (As far as I know, Tufte is alive as of this writing - that graph might well kill him.)

Toffler's 'Future Shock' needs continuous replacement, because the future keeps getting here and keeps being something we didn't expect. I'm glad to see people writing about the ever-changing future. I welcome thoughtful, communicative visual presentations. This book just doesn't give me either. ... Read more


8. An Introduction to Theories of Personality (6th Edition)
by B. R. Hergenhahn, Matthew H. Olson
list price: $106.67
our price: $106.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130992267
Catlog: Book (2002-07-25)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 87712
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Book Description

This introduction to the theories of personality introduces readers not only to the rich history of psychology but to practical information that helps them understand their own lives and their relationships with other people. Using a theorist-by-theorist approach, the book summarizes the major theories of personality and emphasizes that the best understanding of personality derives from a variety of viewpoints. Thus, theories representing the psychoanalytic, sociocultural, trait, learning, sociological, and existential-humanistic paradigms are offered as different—yet equally valid—ways of approaching the study of personality. Includes a series of experiential exercises.What Is Personality? Sigmund Freud. Carl Jung. Alfred Adler. Karen Horney. Erik H. Erikson. Gordon Allport. Raymond B. Cattell and Hans J. Eysenck. B. F. Skinner. John Dollard and Neal Miller. Albert Bandura and Walter Mischel. Edward O. Wilson. George Kelly. Carl Rogers. Abraham Maslow. Rollo Reese May.For anyone wanting a comprehensive understanding of personality and individual differences. ... Read more


9. Military Innovation in the Interwar Period
list price: $26.99
our price: $26.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521637600
Catlog: Book (1998-08-13)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 184952
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great historic analysis on military innovations
It is a very good review on how things developed between world wars. It provides a good insight of the thinking of the different countries and how they coped with their doctrines and how much they took an advantage of the WWI experiences.
I am rating 4 stars because actually I would like much more information rather than 30 pages on each subject.

4-0 out of 5 stars Readable and Good
This is an anthology of various articles. Generally anthologies are the pits as they tend to lack a central them and the quality will vary. These articles are generally by the authors and as such they are of an even standard.

There are a number of chapters that discuss a range of issues from the use of Tanks to the development of the Aircraft Carrier.

The book is interesting although the area covered is naturally enormous and the amount of space that can be devoted to complex subjects is naturally limited. Despite this most of the essays are interesting and not only for what they say. In the first essay about the development of armored warfare by way of an aside the writer attacks Gueridian as a sycophant and also as a person whose reputation was largely the result of self publicity. Later the English theorists Fuller and Liddell Hart are critiqued as presenting overly schematic histories of the First World War which warped the truth to fit in with their own theories. Interestingly the essay then goes on to suggest that the first world war infantry battles were so complex that even now we struggle to understand them and for that reason it was no surprise that Douglas Haig had the problems that he did.

All in all an interesting book although again very much a starting point for the issue it covers.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Serious Systematic Look at Military Innovation
This may be the one book Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld should read. It is a serious systematic look at military innovation between the first and second world wars and its ten chapters run the gamut from aircraft carriers to submarines to mechanized combined armed warfare (the Blitzkrieg) to the development of radar, the emergence of amphibious landing capability, and the evolution of strategic bombing campaigns. There is a wide divergence of patterns both between topics and between countries. The British led in aircraft carrier development but made a series of organizational and technological choices that left them far behind the Japanese and the Americans. The British also led in the development of the tank but then rejected it as a mobile warfare system and were rapidly supplanted by the Germans who used the 1920s British tests as a basis for their development of Blitzkrieg. The submarine was rejected politically by everyone but was then developed effectively by the Americans and the Germans. The American torpedo failures are a maddening study in bureaucratic rejection of reality and a sober warning to the current peacetime Pentagon.

This book captures the complexity and the lessons of peacetime military innovation as well as any that has been written. It should be required reading for everyone who wants to work on the current problems of transforming the Pentagon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Food for Thought
Williamson Murray (Editor), Alan R. Millet (Editor), combine again to publish a "must have" reference work for any serious military professional. The articles are universally excellent, well researched, and full of analysis. As military policy makers and strategists confront the ambiguities of the 21st Century, this work provides superb lessons learned from history. Buy the book and read it - it will be time and money well spent.

5-0 out of 5 stars HQDA Recommended Reading!
This book is on the HQDA Recommended Reading list! Enjoy! ... Read more


10. Essentials of Business Communication
by Mary Ellen Guffey
list price: $72.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0324013620
Catlog: Book (2000-07-10)
Publisher: South-Western College Pub
Sales Rank: 512431
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This text-workbook is a streamlined, no-nonsense approach to business communication. It takes a three-in-one approach: (1) text, (2) practical workbook, and (3) self-teaching grammar/mechanics handbook. The chapters reinforce basic writing skills, then apply these skills to a variety of memos, letters, reports, and resumes. This new edition features increased coverage of contemporary business communication issues including Internet and e-mail communication, diversity, and ethics. Coverage of grammar and the writing process has also been increased, with a new chapter on oral presentations and speaking. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for college and your career
Finally, a complete text that is always useful. I have read this book over and over... each time learning something new. It's great if you need a complete and extensive description or a quick overview. This book will go from your college backpack to the desk of your new exciting job!

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Guide to Business Writing
This book is an excellent tool for writing, especially for the non-native English writer. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a study guide with many examples that have been updated for the current business environment. The numerous samples and the grammar review are very helpful for studying the fundamentals. This book is extremely relevant in a business world crowded with a cornucopia of poor writing, misspelling, and incorrect grammar usage. My heartfelt thanks to Ms. Guffey for writing such an excellent guide. ... Read more


11. The Art of Innovation : Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm
by Tom Kelley, Tom Peters, Tom Peters
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385499841
Catlog: Book (2001-01-16)
Publisher: Currency
Sales Rank: 7846
Average Customer Review: 3.98 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

IDEO, the world's leading design firm, is the brain trust that's behindsome of the more brilliant innovations of the past 20 years--from the Applemouse, the Polaroid i-Zone instant camera, and the Palm V to the "fat" toothbrushfor kids and a self-sealing water bottle for dirt bikers. Not surprisingly,companies all over the world have long wondered what they could learn from IDEO,to come up with better ideas for their own products, services, and operations.In this terrific book from IDEO general manager Tom Kelley (brother of founderDavid Kelley), IDEO finally delivers--but thankfully not in the step-by-step,flow-chart-filled "process speak" of most how-you-can-do-what-we-do businessbooks. Sure, there are some good bulleted lists to be found here--such as thesecrets of successful brainstorming, the qualities of "hot teams," and, towardthe end, 10 key ingredients for "How to Create Great Products and Services,"including "One Click Is Better Than Two" (the simpler, the better) and "GoofProof" (no bugs).

But The Art of Innovation really teaches indirectly (not to mentionenlightens and entertains) by telling great stories--mainly, of how the bestideas for creating or improving products or processes come not from laboriouslyorganized focus groups, but from keen observations of how regular people workand play on a daily basis. On nearly every page, we learn the backstories ofsome now-well-established consumer goods, from recent inventions like the PalmPilot and the in-car beverage holder to things we nearly take for granted--likeIvory soap (created when a P&G worker went to lunch without turning off hissoap mixer, and returned to discover his batch overwhipped into 99.44 percentbuoyancy) and Kleenex, which transcended its original purpose as a cosmeticsremover when people started using the soft paper to wipe and blow their noses.Best of all, Kelley opens wide the doors to IDEO's vibrant, sometimes wackyoffice environment, and takes us on a vivid tour of how staffers tackle a designchallenge: they start not with their ideas of what a new product should offer,but with the existing gaps of need, convenience, and pleasure with which peoplelive on a daily basis, and that IDEO should fill. (Hence, a one-piece children'sfishing rod that spares fathers the embarrassment of not knowing how to teachtheir kids to fish, or Crest toothpaste tubes that don't "gunk up" at themouth.)

Granted, some of their ideas--like the crucial process of "prototyping," orincorporating dummy drafts of the actual product into the planning, to work outbugs as you go--lend themselves more easily to the making of actual things thanto the more common organizational challenge of streamlining services oroperations. But, if this big book of bright ideas doesn't get you thinking ofhow to build a better mousetrap for everything from your whole business processto your personal filing system, you probably deserve to be stuck with themousetrap you already have. --Timothy Murphy ... Read more

Reviews (49)

3-0 out of 5 stars Less than expected
The Art of Innovation is the story of the famous Palo Alto based design firm, IDEO. The book is easy to read and moves quickly. The author, Tom Kelley, is the brother of founder David Kelley. Tom is the General Manager and is an ex-management consultant. This is important because the book really devolves into a light treatise on business management practices. This makes sense since given Tom Kelley's responsibilities at IDEO and his background. It also explains the Tom Peter's Foreword. If you like Tom Peter's books, you will enjoy this book.

If you are looking for real insights into the IDEO design process you will be disappointed. Most of the insights are of a personnel management nature, and even those are at a relatively high level. Mr. Kelley pokes more than a few veiled barbs at the slow industrial giants who simply cannot compete with the brain power and management prowess at IDEO. That may sound sarcastic, but Mr. Kelley's pride in his company often crosses that fine line into arrogance.

There are a few actual projects described to point out how valuable a certain IDEO practice is. There are repeated references to IDEO's contribution to the invention of the Apple mouse and follow-up work on the Microsoft Mouse. Also, a great deal of time is spent talking about the redesign of the common shopping cart that was done in one week for a segment on Nightline. I know that IDEO has had many important clients and recent important projects. Perhaps they can't talk about them because of non-disclosure agreements. There are color pictures of some products at the beginning of each of 15 chapters but often there is no mention of those products in the text. Some black & white photographs of products and the IDEO workspaces also accompany the text. There are no diagrams or illustrations.

A great deal of the book outlines the emphasis that IDEO puts on the treatment of their employees and their penchant for quick and frequent prototyping as a key to success. All projects start by assigning a "hot" team and letting them brainstorm and prototype their way into some great ideas. No details are given on how the teams are formed or managed.

This book is for you if you are looking for a light management practices book and just a little insight into a premier design firm. You will probably be disappointed if you want to find out how products are designed or what specific processes are used to manage the design process. You also will not get a great deal of competitive information about IDEO. The book assumes that you have at least a general idea of what Industrial Design is about.

Tom Kelley admits that workshops about the "IDEO way" have been turned into a profit center. They give seminars on how to organize product development at client companies. I could see IDEO including this book with their seminar, or perhaps they could give it to a prospective client to whet their appetite. It definitely leaves you wanting more information. I am left wondering, "How much is that seminar, and will they let me in?"

5-0 out of 5 stars Innovation for Fun as Well as Profit
There are dozens of excellent books which discuss innovation. This is one of the best but don't be misled by the title, "Lessons in creativity from IDEO, America's leading design firm." Unlike almost all other authors of worthy books on the same subject, Kelley does NOT organize his material in terms of a sequence of specific "lessons"...nor does he inundate his reader with checklists, "executive summaries", bullet points, do's and don'ts, "key points", etc. Rather, he shares what I guess you could characterize as "stories" based on real-world situations in which he and his IDEO associates solved various problems when completing industrial design assignments for their clients. "We've linked those organizational achievements to specific methodologies and tools you can use to build innovation into your own organization...[However, IDEO's] 'secret formula' is actually not very formulaic. It's a blend of of methodologies, work practices, culture, and infrastructure. Methodology alone is not enough." One of the greatest benefits of the book is derived from direct access to that "blend" when activated.

It is extremely difficult to overcome what James O'Toole characterizes, in Leading Change, as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." He and Kelley seem to be kindred spirits: Both fully understand how and why truly innovative thinking encounters so much resistance within organizations. Whereas O'Toole suggests all manner of strategies to overcome that resistance, Kelley concentrates on the combination ("blend") of ingredients which, when integrated and then applied with both rigor and passion, may (just may) produce what Jobs once referred to as "insanely great." What both O'Toole and Kelley have in mind is creating and sustaining an innovative culture, one from within which "insanely great" ideas can result in breakthrough products and (yes) services.

"Loosely described", Kelley shares IDEO's five-step methodology: Understand the market, the client, the technology, and the perceived constraints on the given problem; observe real people in real-life situations; literally visualize new-to-the-world concepts AND the customers who will use them; evaluate and refine the prototypes in a series of quick iterations; and finally, implement the new concept for commercialization. With regard to the last "step", as Bennis explains in Organizing Genius, Apple executives immediately recognized the commercial opportunities for PARC's technology. Larry Tesler (who later left PARC for Apple) noted that Jobs and companions "wanted to get it out to the world." But first, obviously, create that "it."

Kelley and his associates at IDEO have won numerous awards for designing all manner of innovative products such as the Apple mouse, the Palm Pilot, a one-piece fishing mechanism for children, the in-vehicle beverage holder, toothpaste tubes that don't "gunk up" in the cap area, "mud-free" water bottles for mountain bikers, a small digital camera for the handspring Visor, and the Sun Tracker Beach Chair.

With all due respect to products such as these, what interested me most was the material in the book which focuses on (a) the physical environment in which those at IDEO interact and (b) the nature and extent of that interaction, principally the brainstorm sessions. In the Foreword, Tom Peters has this in mind when explaining why Kelley's is a marvelous book: "It carefully walks us through each stage of the IDEO innovation process -- from creating hot teams (IDEO is perpetually on 'boil') to learning to see through the customer's eyes (forget focus groups!) and brainstorming (trust me, nobody but nobody does it better) to rapid prototyping (and nobody, but nobody does it better...)." Whatever your current situation, whatever the size and nature of your organization, surely you and it need to avoid or escape from "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." Granted, you may never be involved in the creation of an "insanely great" product but Kelley can at least help you to gain "the true spirit of innovation" in your life. I join him in wishing you "some serious fun."

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the way I would run my company
This should be the first book you read when you get out of college. Much of what Tom Kelley says would probably make your boss turn away, going against many theorems taught in management classes.

But just maybe he is re-defining the perfect environments for the the ideas that change the way we interface.

5-0 out of 5 stars a handbook of innovation
It is a handbook for innovation, the book share the experience of IDEO, the methods and the work practice to generate new ideas and the process of turning ideas to product. The first one is observation, people many ignore this point or pay little attention on that point. Tom mentioned a point that, we should user-oriented. Observed people how actually use a product instead of only interview them. Because some of customers are lacking product knowledge they cannot express the difficulty of using the product, even they do not fully utilize the product, so you may only get limited insight from interviewing them only.
I know that many people know the term of Brainstorming, which is a method of ideas generation. However, how to have a good brainstorming is a difficult task.

The third process is making prototype. It helps to solve the problem in 3-D, and let you know the problem or mistake in early stage of the process.

The last insight is about the quality of the team members. They should broad in their skills and interests, deep in their knowledge and experience in one or more disciplines. All these could enhance the cross-pollination. All they should accept the divest within the team.

1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of time.
Reading this book is a waste of time. I know, It is tough to explain how someone can do innovating thinking etc. But this book does not help any. Read books on mindmapping instead. ... Read more


12. Engineering Fluid Mechanics
by Clayton T.Crowe, Donald F.Elger, John A.Roberson
list price: $113.95
our price: $113.95
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Asin: 0471384828
Catlog: Book (2000-10-06)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 399780
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This reader-friendly book fosters a strong conceptual understanding of fluid flow phenomena through lucid physical descriptions, photographs, clear illustrations and fully worked example problems. More than 1,100 problems, including open-ended design problems and computer-oriented problems, provide an opportunity to apply fluid mechanics principles. Throughout, the authors have meticulously reviewed all problems, solutions, and text material to ensure accuracy.

The Student Solutions Manual contains 100 example problems with solutions, designed by the authors to address the main concepts of each chapter of their text, Engineering Fluid Mechanics, 7E. These complete worked-out solutions help walk you through problem-solving processes that you can apply to the exercises in the main text. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Undergrad Masterpiece
This text is a great introduction to Fluid Mechanics. The derivations are very easy to follow, and the problems apply to many real life situations. For graduate students, it may be a little to light weight, but for undergrads it provides a broad base of information.

5-0 out of 5 stars good textbook
Good textbook, good examples, and easy to read. Anyone with a solid physics & calculus background will be comfortable with this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Where's the beef??
Lot of fluid problems, good graphics, and very good examples, though not nearly enough. You're going to need good lecture notes or a tutor.

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor examples,
The book is easy to read however, it is very hard to solve the problems. The author does not do a very good job showing which equation's are used. In the example problems the author bring's in values which are constant's but does not indicate what the values are and the units. It is a very hard text book to follow. However the derivation of the formulas are done very well.

5-0 out of 5 stars easy to understand
very good for people who start to learn fluid. many physical interpretation and suitable problems at the end of each chapters. however, this book is not appropriate for advanced students/professionals. ... Read more


13. Technical Writing: A Practical Approach (5th Edition)
by William Sanborn Pfeiffer
list price: $86.60
our price: $86.60
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Asin: 0130938912
Catlog: Book (2002-02-27)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 315855
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Book Description

This book offers an easy-to-use approach towards learning the fundamentals of technical writing. The author's writing style is user-friendly, and engages the reader by providing a comprehensive overview of current topics in technical writing.Chapter topics cover process in technical writing; ethics and globalism in the workplace; organizing information; page design; patterns of organization; process descriptions and instructions; letters, memos, and electronic communication; informal reports; formal reports; proposals and feasibility studies; graphics; oral communication; technical research; and style in technical writing.For professionals in the technical writing field. ... Read more


14. Writing for the Technical Professions (3rd Edition)
by Kristin R. Woolever
list price: $74.67
our price: $74.67
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Asin: 0321202112
Catlog: Book (2004-03-26)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 100067
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Writing for the Technical Professions provides practical advice for composing a wide variety of professional documents. This easy to read, easy to reference book will help any one in a technical profession communicate their ideas. A focus on the electronic workplace, legal and ethical issues, and an emphasis on collaboration and international communication make this book one of the most up-to-date books on the market today. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Writing for the Technical Professions
This book helped me write technically and professionally. The author highlighted the common errors by the writters for the technical writting. Tabs are an excellent way to organize this workbook. Some English professors already used this book as a reference book in their Technical Writing classes. I would like to use this book as a workbook to practice my technical writing skill for the computer software user manuals. ... Read more


15. Write Up the Corporate Ladder: Successful Writers Reveal the Techniques That Help You Write with Ease and Get Ahead
by Kevin Ryan
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0814471501
Catlog: Book (2003-07-20)
Publisher: American Management Association
Sales Rank: 157271
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Anyone who wants to succeed in the workplace needs to present ideas clearly, persuasively . . . and in writing. But until now,business-writing books have emphasized rules and mechanics, which often stifle the writing process. Write Up the Corporate Ladder introduces anew, simplified approach to writing based on the way professional writers write, emphasizing the importance of "writer's intuition" and "message overmechanics" to enable readers to write both faster and smarter on the job.

This helpful book spells out the difference between good, bad, and mediocre writing, provides step-by-step instructions for bringing out your own bestideas, and features personal interviews with Fortune 500 executives and best-selling business authors like Ken Blanchard, Michael Lewis, Suze Orman, andothers. Valuable tools include:

* Tips on how to break the rules that undermine effective business writing * A special chapter on writing content-rich one-page memos and concise e-mails * A custom Action Plan for determining skill level and tracking improvement * A comprehensive list of online writing resources ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Can Write Clearly Now The Pain is Gone¿
Professionals everywhere should soon be singing the praises of the straight-forward, common sense advice imparted from the author and an impressive showing of well known writers and executives in Kevin Ryan's, Write Up the Corporate Ladder. Void of the antiquated, worn out writing adage we've had our fill of-it's a fresh look at what experts concur is one of the most essential skills in business today.

According to Ryan, an easily achievable and winning combination of confidence, commitment and focus takes the anticipatory (and sometimes painful) pressure off of writing performance in an era of increasing volubility.

From Waterloo to the space race to modern day memos, Ryan presents a number of well excerpted communication examples to reinforce key concepts and keep readers interested and engaged. His reader-friendly style is sure to put even the most timid writing protégé at ease.

Cleverly, Ryan begins by justifying the importance of clear and effective business writing (in case you still had any doubt!) Then, after a step by step introduction to the Plan Then Write method of composition, we're reminded by the expert interviewees once again just how valuable good writing skills are in today's competitive marketplace.

As a writer and editor, I mightily concur that the Plan Then Write method does indeed produce great results and Ryan's helpful instruction is among the best I've read in this area.

My favorite chapter? Definitely chapter 5. The Art of Writing: How to Solve Problems Using Your Writer's Intuition, in which Ryan explains that, "We all have a writer's intuition. It consists of our innate logic, common sense, and everything we've internalized about writing and reading after doing both-almost daily-since the age of five." If you "get" this concept, you're well on your way to becoming a better writer and will most certainly gain an impressive advantage over those around you who don't!

Robin Hendricks, M.Ad.Ed.
Managing Editor

Medical Education Broadcast Network

5-0 out of 5 stars Writing good? Now write better.
Another book about writing well? Who needs it, you ask? My answer is: Anyone who wants to write better. Those who want to be better writers must continually practice their skills. Sure, you could probably improve your style without this book, but why not learn a few more tricks of the trade? I especially enjoyed the rewrite examples ("Rewriting History" was particularly interesting). Expend a bit of energy reading and studying Ryan's book and then expect to write with a bit more ease. Someone once commented that even good writers need perpetual reassurance. "Write Up the Corporate Ladder" is that reassurance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do you need a mentor to think and write effectively?
Clever title. Also, Ryan and his contributors really do reveal various techniques that will help anyone to "write with ease and get ahead." However, I think it would be a serious mistake to determine the value this book wholly on the basis of its relevance to career success. It offers more, far more than that. Ryan carefully organizes his material within three parts. In the first, he explains what he calls the "Plan Then Write Method"; next, he provides a series of interviews with ten successful business authors; finally, he provides a series of "views" from corporate executives. The "Plan Then Write Method" is explained step-by-step. Think of Ryan as a personal tutor who helps his reader to understand the importance of Subject, Audience, and Purpose. Basis stuff, yes, but presented with a crisp style and in sharp focus. (Would we expect less from an expert on effective writing?) He has chosen his collaborators well. More to the point, with uncommon skill, he elicits from them their most valuable advice concerning so-called "secrets" to effective writing. All agree with Ryan that the ultimate objective is successful communication.

Time Out. Within the classical tradition, there are four levels of discourse: Exposition which uses information to explain, reveal, "expose," etc.; Description which makes vivid with compelling details; Narration which tells a story with a plot or explains a process or sequence; and Argumentation which convinces with logic and/or evidence. The best writers of both fiction and non-fiction operate effectively on all four levels.

Here are a few brief excerpts from various interviews:

"The first thing I ask myself is: What do I want to focus on, what do I want to teach? I always try to break my subject into three or four main points, the most teachable concepts, because I don't think people can grasp more than that. The second question I ask is: How do I want to teach it? Do I want to write it like a regular book, a parable, a quotation book?" Ken Blanchard

"The act of writing is the process of clarifying thought. Not just for the reader, but for the writer....There needs to be momentum, and you have to create that; you have to set up the questions at the beginning. That's actually one of the fun things to think about, How am I going to get the reader to turn the page? Now we're on quest together!" Marcus Buckingham

"There are three steps to writing well in my opinion., regardless of what you are writing. Step one: how to end. Step two: where to begin. Step three: what to leave out. Also, I only write one draft that I keep changing until I don't believe it needs to be changed anymore. When I'm finished, there may not be a word left of what I originally wrote down." Roy Williams

Later in the interview, Williams shares what I consider to be especially valuable observations about effective writing:

"The most valuable tip that I can give anybody is: If you want to be a brilliant writer, truly a brilliant writer, then you need to read books of poetry. Poets are the most confident group of writers I know. Let me explain. The simple truth is that a poet is the only writer whose goal is to persuade and cause you to see things with different eyes, and to communicate that new perspective in a very brief, tight economy of words. Poets use unusual combinations of words in a very unpredictable way. Poets have the freedom to put together sentences and utterly break the rules of communication."

As I have attempted to indicate in this brief commentary, Ryan's book is really less about using effective writing to advance one's career (i.e. to climb the corporate ladder) than it is about effective thinking which is communicated through effective writing to achieve whatever results the writer may seek. All of the techniques which Ryan and his collaborators so carefully examine are but means by which to achieve that ultimate objective.

One final point: Ultimately, the effectiveness of communication with others depends almost entirely on how honestly one first communicates with one's self. In this context, I am reminded of Polonius' advice to son Laertes:

"This above all: To thine own self be true,
And it must follow as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have For all MBA Students
Write up the Corporate Ladder is a must read for all MBA students. As future leaders in the business world, we need to be very good communicators. Kevin Ryan provides us with the tools to grow to be very strong business communicators. His book also teaches us how to avoid many common mistakes that lead to wasted time and energy. Not only do I recommend that all MBA students read this book, I think it is crazy to not keep this book on your desk as a reference. My writing has improved a great deal thanks to the techniques taught by Kevin. This is a great opportunity to add value to our MBA skill set.

Erik Chavez
University of Chicago GSB
MBA Candidate 2005

5-0 out of 5 stars A valuable addition to any writer's bookshelf
At last a clear and practical book that gets right down to the real issues. Excellent writing skills are critical to success in today's world. Ryan gives proven and valuable steps to bring your writing to a new level of clarity and conciseness. A real must have book. ... Read more


16. Managing Technological Innovation : Competitive Advantage from Change
by FrederickBetz
list price: $120.00
our price: $109.20
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Asin: 0471225630
Catlog: Book (2003-06-20)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 586487
Average Customer Review: 2.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Written by technology management pioneer Fredrick Betz, this updated edition introduces technology management and illustrates the importance of managing information technologies, as well as how MOT is carried out with todays physical technologies. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Verbose, dull, and utterly uninspiring
This textbook was a requirement for a graduate-level course taught by (guess who?) Dr. Betz. I had read the entire book before the class even started (thank god for coffee), and I re-read every chapter as the semester progressed. I received an 'A' on every assignment, which is good, considering that I was bored out of my mind with the material. The book has a few interesting anecdotes, and a lot of page-filler anecdotes. It is more concerned with scientifically correct vocabulary than giving context to concept in plain English (e.g. endless ranting about physical morphologies, schematic logic, and different flavors of paradigms -- YAAAWN). Overall, this forgettable piece of work is reflective of an uninspiring academic.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Big Picture on Management of Technology
Betz's book qualifies as a "seminal work" on the subject of the Management of Technology. The book is concise and well-written.
It gives the needed historical perspective on technology issues.

To give you an idea of the scope and clarity of Betz's vision I note that he aptly summarizes the technological history of the world in a few paragraphs of his introduction. These most pithy sentences present a Big Picture that will serve as the backdrop to his cogent exploration of contemporary management of technology issues (a sample):

"The gun ended the ancient dominance of the feudal warrior, and the printing press secularized knowledge. The combination of the rise of the mercantile class and the secularization of knowledge are hallmarks of modern societies."

Betz brings together a lot of good research and presents it in a concise and stimulating format. He doesn't present the research as if the thinking had already been done. He ends each chapter with some questions for reflection.

Having written myself on the subject of intellectual property law [in the International Media Encyclopedia Academic Press 2002, 2003], I was amazed to find illuminating case studies on the subject that I had overlooked. For example, Betz explains that the drug Penacillin was not developed commercially until WWII because companies did not want to undertake development costs without a patent.

I highly recommend Betz's book both for Managers of Technology and for classroom use in Undergraduate and Graduate Business schools and perhaps even in Econ departments. While not an economics textbook it serves as a good introduction to technology issues for economists as well. Economists of course need to read the original papers by Schumpeter and Kondratieff, Sah and Stiglitz, but they will find important clues to the significance of those works here. I recommend the reader follow up this book by reading Hal Varian's Internet Economics or Paula Samuelson's publications on Intellectual Property along with Eric Reymond's
The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

I find the book's case studies well written and very thought provoking. I literally couldn't put the book down. At the first reading I skipped the main text to read the case studies on Apple, RCA and Ford.

1-0 out of 5 stars Too simple and too much introductory -not for grad student
This book is too simple to use as a textbook. It's a nice book for undergrad class in business school or introductory class of management in engineering fields. Again, this is not the book that can be used as a textbook at all. Too simple and spend half book just for "roughly talking". Reader can found more reviews in "Interfaces, Vol.29, (2), 1999", in Book review section. The economic of technology is the more important is ignored in this book. Not recommend. ... Read more


17. Occupational Safety and Health for Technologists, Engineers, and Managers (5th Edition)
by David L. Goetsch
list price: $108.60
our price: $108.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131137646
Catlog: Book (2004-02-06)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 507402
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A tremendous book
The above reviewer will obviously have occupational health issues, because smoking weed while writing reviews will cause one to be disoriented, lose their balance, and possibly fall off a 100 story construction site beam.

This is an amazing book. While covering all of the topics in depth, this book is also easy to read, presenting the material in a fashion that allows the reader to recieve a complete understanding of the topic. This too was an assigned book for my class, and I'll be lucky if I get to take a Goetsch class again.

1-0 out of 5 stars Poorly Written
This is one of the most poorly written textbooks I've read. The author, who is apparently a Phd, writes with the style of a 7th or 8th grader; he uses poor grammar, is painfully repetitive, uses jargon from differing areas of specialty (such as medical terms that require a medical dictionary to understand), leaves out information that should be there (based on the topics covered in my construction safety class), includes irrelevant information, and is flat out wrong about some topics (UL and ASTM would be interested to know "any relationship between a fire rating and the reality of fire resistance may be little more than coincidental".) This is especially frustrating considering this is the fourth edition. There is some evidence that the author has substantial knowledge about the topic. However, he is out of date in some areas and, in general, he presents that knowledge poorly. Also, judging from the breadth of topics this author had written about it appears the old cliche is true: "Jack of all trades. Master of none." While there is some decent information in this book, it is a chore to read. This was a required text for my class. If you have a choice in the matter choose something (anything) else. ... Read more


18. The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies
by Richard Heinberg
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.56
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Asin: 0865714827
Catlog: Book (2003-04-15)
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Sales Rank: 3026
Average Customer Review: 3.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The world is about to run out of cheap oil and change dramatically. Within the next few years, global production will peak. Thereafter, even if industrial societies begin to switch to alternative energy sources, they will have less net energy each year to do all the work essential to the survival of complex societies. We are entering a new era, as different from the industrial era as the latter was from medieval times.

In The Party's Over, Richard Heinberg places this momentous transition in historical context, showing how industrialism arose from the harnessing of fossil fuels, how competition to control access to oil shaped the geopolitics of the 20th century, and how contention for dwindling energy resources in the 21st century will lead to resource wars in the Middle East, Central Asia, and South America. He describes the likely impacts of oil depletion, and all of the energy alternatives. Predicting chaos unless the U.S. -- the world's foremost oil consumer -- is willing to join with other countries to implement a global program of resource conservation and sharing, he also recommends a "managed collapse" that might make way for a slower-paced, low-energy, sustainable society in the future.

More readable than other accounts of this issue, with fuller discussion of the context, social implications, and recommendations for personal, community, national, and global action, Heinberg's book is a riveting wake-up call for humankind as the oil era winds down, and a critical tool for understanding and influencing current U.S. foreign policy.

Richard Heinberg, from Santa Rosa, California, has been writing about energy resources issues and the dynamics of cultural change for many years. A member of the core faculty at New College of California, he is an award-winning author of three previous books. His Museletter was nominated for its "Best Alternative Newsletter" award by Utne Reader in 1993.

... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Up The Creek Without A Paddle!
This volume begins with a discussion of what energy is and how it has been used to develop our industrial way of life. Brief histories of wood, coal, and oil use are also included. Much of this book centers around the amounts of oil, coal, and natural gas remaining to be harnessed in the future, with several experts giving their predictions for the peak production of the world production of oil, not far away by most accounts. The United States had it's oil production peak in 1970 (predicted in 1956 by M. King Hubbert) and has been in decline since, with a slight temporary increase in the 1980's due to Alaskan oil.

As Richard Heinberg emphasizes continually in this book, the decline in world oil production seems imminent, along with the ensuing decline in national industrial economies which rely on oil, the United States being by far the biggest example. Per capita energy use by Americans is five times the world average, Heinberg writes, and he makes it abundantly clear that this waste and extravagance cannot continue much longer, and no number of Iraqi type excursions will make a difference. Heinberg writes that this decline of energy availability and use can be achieved peacefully with individual countries cooperating with each other, or violently with nations squabbling over the remaining oil. However, one thing stands out very clearly now, back in the 1970's during the initial problems with energy shortages due to the Arab oil embargo, it should have been a wake-up call to our leaders to develop sustainable energy sources then, it was not done, our short-sighted leaders failed us. But as Heinberg says, corporate leaders are also at fault, with their massive self-interest at risk, they could make less money if the country shifted more to alternate energy sources, and their lobby is very strong on Capital Hill in Washinton, D.C.. If that alternate energy program was began on a massive scale in the 1970's we would probably be in much better shape now, in terms of our energy future, but as Heinberg states in this book, at this late stage our options are limited. The massive industrial military machine the United States has is given attention here also, as Heinberg writes, this massive allocation of resources can and should be directed to more pressing concerns, the citizens of the United States do not need a military budget that equals the rest of the world combined (we are'nt going to fight the Soviets, that is now clear).

This volume also covers alternate energy sources today, and what they can do to help us in the future, again, as Heinberg says, we have began with too little and too late to prevent a collapse of our industrial way of life. How large of a collapse will it be? No one is certain. Heinberg also touches on the subject of overpopulation and immigration. Did you know that approximately 90% of the population growth in the United States over the next 50 years will be due to immigration? This is an area that has been neglected, and as Heinberg says, it is politically sensitive and politicians rarely stick their necks out in areas such as this. Also, in terms of overpopulation, have we, due to the use of oil in creating a large world food supply, exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet? This is another area Heinberg writes much about.

Heinberg envisions, after the world oil supply peaks and begins it's inevitable decline, a slower paced, more idyllic lifestyle, and as he says, probably a more agreeable one, at that, to most people.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chilling Examination Of Coming Crisis In World Oil Supply!
As someone who now has the time and energy to watch current world events with interest, I have puzzled over what seem to be possible ulterior motives for our aggressive intervention in Iraq. Yet, given its rich supply of so much marker (or high quality) crude oil, this well documented book by author and academic Richard Heinberg book gives one a new perspective as to why we seem to be taking the actions we are to consolidate the stranglehold the Western world needs to guarantee a continuing and uninterrupted flow of it in its various forms. The author makes a strong and persuasive case for the notion that the world is running dangerously close to serious shortfall and consequent disruption in the overall supplies of crude oil for variety of reasons.

In "The Party's Over", Heinberg threads an argument that the world is quickly running out of inexpensive oil, and that the world economy as it is currently oriented around the premise of such cheap sources of oil is about to undergo a relatively sudden sea change. In fact, he argues, within the next few yeas the high mark of such oil production will peak, much to the dismay of consistently expanding requirements for ever more total production. Given this gradual but consistently greater historical requirements for oil and its products, momentary gluts on the world market are more representative of temporary relaxation of segments of the world oil market rather than indicative of an overall trend, which slowly but surely increases from decade to decade. To wit, Heinberg argues, the Western world is about to enter a new era, one that will dramatically change the nature of international commerce and the increasingly unified world economy, in which a sneeze in Asia gives Canadians a cold.

Thus, posits the author, even if the Western democracies are willing and able to initiate conservation programs and develop strategies for switching to alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power, the overall effect of the declining availability of crude oil over the coming decade or so will be to force a de-facto decline in the total availability of energy for overall consumption. Such a set of circumstances could prove to be a serious challenge to the attempts to grow the global economy, and may also seriously damage overall standards of living, especially in modern post-industrial societies like our own that are so intensively energy dependent. According to Heinberg, we may well be on the cusp of a new era as different from our current culture of extravagance and plenty as the times after the industrial revolution were from the feudal era. Yet this time the progress may be in the opposite direction.

What all this represents is a massive transition placed in its proper historical context, illustrating the several ways in which our long dependence on fossil fuels and its corollary development of corporate forces with immense geo-political influence may face a fractious and much more difficult future in the face of such dwindling sources of overall supply, including the possible of resource wars in the Middle east and elsewhere as well. Given our seemingly obsession with SUVs and all the other petroleum intensive products of modern life, the impact may be one that is especially difficult and troublesome for affluent societies such as our own. This is a troubling yet quite informative book, and one I highly recommend. Enjoy! .

3-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining. . .
If I were rating this book solely on entertainment value, I'd have given it 4 stars. . . it was a very enjoyable read. That said, I'm not sure I could even give the arguments in the book 2 stars. I found it particularly ironic that while he repeatedly disparages economist, he liberally quote Paul Ehrlich, who was so thoroughly embarrassed in his 1980's bet with the economist Julian Simon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read it then Judge
Notice how almost all of the criticism of the book is not directed at what is said in the book but at some doomsayers from 30 or so years ago. Since the 1970's technology has given us a much better handle on what we have in the ground. We know from such innovations as 3-D seismic mapping that only 40% of the world's land and oceans have any potential for oil discovery and that there is a 50% chance that less than 1 trillion barrels of recoverable oil are in this 40%. This is something we had no clue about before the 1990's. As technology has enabled us to become more efficient at extracting the oil we know we have, it has ominously showed us how little is actually left. Heinberg's greatest success is in showing how the energy returned must exceed the energy spent when analyzing a source of energy. Hence it does not matter how cheap all these renewables get. Since oil is needed to build solar panels and ethanol plants and nuclear plants, we will not have enough cheap oil to upgrade the infrastructure in time to prevent a collapse.

1-0 out of 5 stars a huge oversupply
...of bad books on the coming shortage of oil. Other reviews point out the flaws in the book including a lack of adaquet knowledge of alternative sources of fuel. For example, many reading this book may not realize that the cost of renewables has gone done 50% each decade since the 1970s. The energy future is much brighter than Heinburg portrays, and his book will soon stand next to my copy of The Coming Collapse of 1993! ... Read more


19. The Machine That Changed the World : The Story of Lean Production
by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, Daniel Roos
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060974176
Catlog: Book (1991-11)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 4481
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's five-million-dollar, five-year study on the future of the automobile, a groundbreaking analysis of the worldwide move from mass production to lean production.

Japanese companies are sweeping the world, and the Japanese auto industry soars above the competition. Drawing on their in-depth study of the practices of ninety auto assembly plants in seventeen countries and their interviews with individual employees, scholars, and union and government officials, the authors of this compelling study uncover the specific manufacturing techniques behind Japan's success and show how Western industry can implement these innovative methods. The Machine That Changed the World tells the fascinating story of "lean production," a manufacturing system that results in a better, more cost-efficient product, higher productivity, and greater customer loyalty. The hallmarks of lean production are teamwork, communication, and efficient use of resources. And the results are remarkable: cars with one-third the defects, built in half the factory space, using half the man-hours. The Machine That Changed the World explains in concrete terms what lean production is, how it really works, and--as it inevitably spreads beyond the auto industry--its significant global impact.

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Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars a Manufacturing Mustread
The Machine That Changed the World; The Story of Lean Production
A great book that although becoming a little outdated portrays the ongoing trends in the automobile production industry in three major cultural areas.
The three areas are;the Asian lean production (Toyota) v.s. the American system,(mass production) v.s. the European craftsman system. On a larger scale it will and is affecting manufacturing everywhere.
Henry Ford was the founder of the American mass production system, and Ford was very successful adopting it to the aircraft and steel industries. American companies adopted this system and it is one of the main reasons for American pre-eminence in many industries worldwide. Toyota has become the founder of the Lean system of manufacturing. Most of the
early adherents to this system were other large Japanese companies, and responsible for the Japanese manufacturing miracle since the 1960's, as it was adapted from automotive to all manner of industries.
The book is well written and interesting even though it is based on an MIT study of global trends in the auto industry. I would like to see an update to this book. The one anomaly I see is the German Automobile industry. If Japan and Korea have some of the most efficient auto manufacturing plants in the world and
North America is becoming more competitive, what is happening in Europe comes as no surprise. Many European automakers have yet to fully embrace American mass production techniques and are now faced with the greater efficiencies of Lean
production. The book does not explain in my mind the success of the German Auto industry. It seems to be the one exception to the rule.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent in-depth analysis of the automobile industry.
In "The Machine That Changed the World", Womack, along with several other individuals, give an analysis of the Automobile Industry within global boundaries. This book was the summarization of a five year, five million dollar study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Analysis was provided for both foreign and domestic automobile manufacturers with an eye toward the future. This book spoke "globally" far earlier than it was hip to speak in such terms, analyzing such foreign automotive powers such as Toyota, with their Toyota Production System, perhaps the greatest example of Lean Manufacturing in the world. For anyone who would like to learn anything about the automobile industry in general, or even further, would like to learn about successful business practices, I highly recommend this text.

3-0 out of 5 stars Don't "Machine" - try "Lean" instead
If you are just starting out learning about Lean Manufacturing, and you only have time to read one book, "The Machine that Changed the World" is an historically important book but "Lean Thinking" is the one that actually gets you started toward implementation. It's one of those rare occasions where the sequel was better than the original.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lean should be a journey not a destination
This is the first book that I planned to read as a part of learning about lean, the other two books are "Lean thinking" and "Becoming Lean" , so far I could say that the "Machine that Changed the World" is a good benchmarking between craft, mass and lean producers. It mainly gives you an insight of the differences between lean and mass producers from the production, sales, marketing, customer relation and other dimensions. If you don't know about lean I really recommend you to start by reading his book because it will make you start to think in a lean way, if you know about lean and convinced about what it can do to you organization start with lean thinking and then go to "Becoming Lean".
This book is aimed at strategic level and as a key tool to convince old timers about the lean-mentality against the push-mentality.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introductory Book
I usually refer to this kind of books as "Open Minds", are written in a very simple way that may seem that the content is simple, BUT IS NOT. This book is in my opinion a must read for any Industrial Engineers, Managers, Supervisors. It can be used also for training and kaizen events.
Silly is that one that reads this book expecting that he will know everything about lean manufacturing, JIT, or modern IE.
In summary, this book is the entrance to a new world with a new way of thinking and doing thins and it is a necessary complement to any technical book. ... Read more


20. Technical Communication
by Mary M. Lay, Billie J. Wahlstrom, CarolynRude, CindySelfe, JackSelzer
list price: $77.18
our price: $77.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0256220581
Catlog: Book (1999-11-17)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Sales Rank: 511585
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Book Description

Technical Communication represents the works of five highly respected authors, all writing in their areas of expertise. Scientific examples and assignments within a social context are used for a realistic view of communication issues. This is the only text to extensively address argument, including reasoning, credibility, persuasion, decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking. The topic of audience is also addressed more thoroughly than in any other text. The book covers the traditional parts of the technical communication course but has been updated greatly to respond to the demands that the computer places on communicating. ... Read more


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