The Ajax Construction Kit promises to hand you working Ajax goodies. It delivers on this promise! It also provides you with a good understanding of how to tweak and nudge the applications provided, so that you can incorporate them into your own websites. If you wish to transform the goodies to any significant degree, or learn how to build your own Ajax applications you will need to find a different set of resources. This book does not set out to teach you how to program.
The book comes with a CD which has the source code for all the goodies in the book - AND a working webserver for your convenience in the form of a Live CD. If you would rather work in your own, familiar, environment rather than Ubuntu Linux, it also provides both the code and a server which you can install locally on a Windows, Mac, or Linux variant.
The author does apologize a lot when things get technical. Come on! We love this stuff, and it is presented well, so it isn't the least bit scary.