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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Robot Building for Beginners
Publisher: Apress
Authors: David Cook
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The definitive beginner's book!


As a beginner and someone who has gone through several "beginner" robot building books, I cannot recommend this book enough. Not only does the book give step by step instructions on building a line-following robot, but it will also explain what each part does, why it was picked, where to get it, etc. This will be extremely useful later, when building your own robots. Other books will either assume you know something you don't, or give you step-by-step instructions without the rationale behind them. If you have to get only one book, then Robot Building for Beginners is the one (a cliche, but true nonetheless).



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Eric A. Meyer
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
2nd Edition, March 2004. Stay away from it!


It's the last O'Reilly book I get!This "guide" does not mention what elements are supported by what browsers. Doesn't even mention what is part of the CSS1 or CSS2 standards! (it only mentions these items sometimes within the text, but nowhere else, not even in the pourly formatted reference at the end of the book).It does a good job detailing how to use the elements but that's about it.I think that Thomas Powell's "HTML & XHTML, The Complete Reference" does a excellent job explaining CSS and certainly has a better CSS reference in the 2 chapters dedicated to CSS (it's an XHTML book after all, so don't get it if all you need is CSS).
I have not checked other books written by Meyer but this 2nd edition is not a "Definite Guide"!Check your bookstore and do a good comparison before spending money on this book!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Software Project Survival Guide
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve C McConnell
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Should Be Required Reading for Development Managers


A great read! The author outlines a systematic and controlled approach to software development, explaining why each step is necessary and the consequences of NOT doing them. Having worked in development shops which had no formal process, I found an amazing laundy list of everything that we had done wrong! The book does not go in depth on how to perform each of the steps of a successful Dev process, but it is excellent for getting a Manager (or programmer) to understand the benefits of each part of the process, and the pitfalls of NOT doing them. It also offers an excellent reference list of other dev. process books including some with more in-depth coverage on the how-to's.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Maya Character Animation
Publisher: Sybex Books
Authors: Jaejin Choi
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great book for the intermediate animator


Maya Character animation is probably one of the best books I have seen so far dealing with character construction. While it is not for beginners, if you have a solid knowledge of Maya, the Maya tools and a general understanding of how it all works, this will take you to the next step in building your animations in a professional manner.
I am an animation student at the Columbus College of Art and Design and this book has been a great help in reducing my character modeling time as well as showing me different ways to assign control surfaces so that my characters movements are easier to direct and look much more natural.
Another good thing about this book is that it does deal with issues such as assigning textures to your characters and shows you multiple ways to reach the same goal so that you are able to work with the style that suits you the best.
All in all, a definite must have in any serious animators' library and it should be put right next to the Maya 4.5 Bible