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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Inside C#, Second Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A book for everyone :-)

I always assumed that Inside C# was a book for beginners and even though I had a copy with me, I never really did much more than casually browse through it. But recently I had an opportunity of teaching some basic C# to a group of youngsters and I thought I'd use the book as a reference so that I can chart out a schedule for teaching. It was a totally unexpected though pleasant surprise for me when I found that the book had a lot of interesting stuff even for an intermediate-to-advanced level programmer. I wonder how many other books out there show us the IL that is generated and explain what it does in simple and easy-to-understand language.
Now I am using it as my leisure time reading book because it really has a lot of useful information. While I might have stumbled upon these little bits of info on my own, this book does save me a lot of time and energy in the sense it's all written there in nice big print for me to assimilate. I strongly recommend this book for all of you with a hunger for knowledge. It doesn't matter if you have been doing C# for ages, the book will still have something for each of you.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Rules of Play : Game Design Fundamentals
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Katie Salen, Eric Zimmerman
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Mediocre at best. Easily forgettable.

Managed to finally get through this wordy behemoth. Now that I have, I'm not sure that it was worth the battle. The historic/cultural analysis is quite one sided, leaving the most controversial topics entirely untouched. The text reads like a "retro-gamers guide to the universe", and fails to offer any meaningful examination of game design topics. Certainly not enough to warrant calling it a "textbook" or "reference book" (as the books description claims).
If you are interested in game design, skip this one and look to others like Chris Crawford for intellectual stimulation.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Unleashed (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Ray Rankins, Paul Jensen, Paul Bertucci
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Great Resource With Real Life Examples & Code on CD

A great resource book! The real life examples that are presented in this book and the detail instructions on how to build something with SQL Server 2000 are extremely easy to understand and useful. This book is already helping my employee's build a data replication environment and do some complex data transformations using DTS. Some great example code on the CDROM as well.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Pearls (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Jon Bentley
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Packed with programming wisdom

It's great to see they've come out with an update to this book. The essays in this book are easy to read and touch on many valuable things, such as tuning and optimization of algorithms, using mini languages to provide robust tools, doing back-of-the-envelope calculations, and much more. I have recommended this book to several beginning programmers that I know as an excellent introduction to thinking effectively about the challenges of software engineering.