How to Work with This Book

This book has been designed as a tutorial and should be followed chapter by chapter. As you read each chapter, perform the tasks you read about. Be an active learner by getting totally involved in the book's hands-on exercises and custom projects. When you get totally involved you learn things by doing rather than studying, and you learn faster. Do not move to new information until you've fully grasped the current topic. Allow your brain to sort things out and put them in proper perspective before you move on. Take frequent breaks between learning sessions as some chapters in this book cover a large amount of material. Do not try to do everything in one sitting. It's better to divide the material into smaller units than attempt to master all there is to learn at once. That said, however, never stop in the middle of a hands-on; finish the exercise before taking a break. Having learned a particular technique or command, try to think of ways to apply it to your own work. As you work with this book, create small sample procedures for yourself based on what you've learned up to this particular point. These procedures will come in handy when you need to review the subject in the future or simply need to steal some ready-made code.

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