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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop 7 for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Barbara Obermeier, Deke McClelland
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5

According to the authors the RAW file format is mainly for use in transferring graphics between Apple and PC computers and loses a great deal of detail. In other words they wrote a book about Photoshop CS but they know little if anything about the subject.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Numerical Recipes in C : The Art of Scientific Computing
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Authors: William H. Press, Brian P. Flannery, Saul A. Teukolsky, William T. Vetterling
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Most useful book on my bookshelf

I'm a graduate student in biochemistry who frequently needs to solve numerical problems (FFT, least squares curve fitting, optimization, random number generation, eigensystems, etc.), and I can honestly say this is the most useful book on my bookshelf.
The code is simple enough to customize for your particular problem, and powerful enough to handle problems orders of magnitude larger than you could do in Matlab, Mathematica, or Excel.
The explanations are wonderfully clear, and even fun to read! They give you concise descriptions of theory, followed by a good dose of practical advice and editorializing.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Joy of Digital Photography (A Lark Photography Book)
Publisher: A Lark Photography Book
Authors: Jeff Wignall
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A treat! Full of info, fun, and great advice.

This is a fantastic book. I bought it because its predessor, The Joy of Photography helped me learn to use my first 35mm camera. Now I have been struggling to master pixels and downloads and I am pleased to say that Jeff Wignall has come through again! This book is so much fun, inspiring and filled with gorgeous photography. There's great information, not only on the technical bits but on taking wonderful pictures. The presentation is beautiful and there's cool things like a digital timeline. This is the best photo guide I have ever owned!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Basic.NET How to Program, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Tem R. Nieto
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
So Boring

This book is a disappointment. While it contains a significant amount of information on VB.Net and may be used (for the most part) as a reference, the material is presented in a manner that is often confusing and hard to understand - particularly for those who have had limited programming experiences. For example, the authors frequently present items in their "LiveCode" examples but completely ignore any explanation of them other than to state something to the effect that an explanation will be presented in a "future chapter." While there may be reasons to do so, on a limited basis, this seems to be the rule rather than the exception. As a beginner, I am trying to understand everything that is presented - which is impossible because of the book's poor presentation. What makes this even more frustrating is that the same programs could have been written, in a simpler manner, that would fully cover the same concepts the authors are trying to present but avoid the use of concepts that haven't yet been covered in the book. I find that I'm using the outstanding notes my instructor provides us each week as the primary basis for acquiring programming skills, and using the book as a supplement. I have found it effective to completely ignore much of the unexplained concepts, presented well in advance to their being formally being introduced by the authors, rather than trying to understand them.
One of the most obnoxious aspects of this book, however, is the atrocious practice of the book's editors/publisher to break up tables and programming examples across several pages - and then provide written explanations for the material contained on them on yet other different pages. This completely defeats the purpose of presenting material in a table in the first place - which should be to allow the reader to understand important concepts at a glance. While the editors have done the same thing with so many of the programs in the book, having to flip-flop back and forth between pages in order to compare written explanations with the programming examples is a reader's nightmare.
It can only be hoped that, in future editions, the authors will remove all non-essential concepts from their examples and present them only when they are needed. Placing tables and examples on the SAME PAGE as explanatory text would, alone, make the book significantly better. So, until that happens, I'll continue to use the excellent notes provided by my instructor and other books to serve as my primary source of information on Visual Basic.NET. One would think that such matters would have been ironed out in a second edition - apparently, this was not the case.