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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Andrew Koenig, Barbara E. Moo
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
the *only* book that teaches c++


most books basically teach you how c++ is different from c, which distorts the perspective.

e.g. examples typically include creating a string class. as if c++ hasn't had one of those for a decade.

this book is the only one i have found that approaches c++ (and its libraries) as a language in its own right.

this approach allows the author to correctly prioritize the material, which ultimately will make you a more efficient and accomplished programmer.

this is the only book i would recommend to beginners.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Very disappointing


When I sought to find a scripting language to further the development of a website I was working on I was told that Perl was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, you'd never know it by reading this dull and boring book. It reminds me of one of those horrible college texts we've all encountered (and paid way to much for) with page after page of small font examples.
To be fair, I did learn many of the basics of Perl by reading the book (although I never did figure out what the intro by Larry Wall was all about, his magical beads, etc. I thought maybe Weird Al Yankovic had written it instead). After plowing threw most of the book -- and many tears later, I found I could actually write a few simple Perl programs. But getting them to work on a real webserver was another story.
That's when someone introduced me to another scripting language called PHP. Bingo! I learned more PHP, and how to use it on webservers, in one weekend of studying the on-line user manual than I did in two months with the Perl book. In short, forget Perl, unless you really like studying long, pedantic, cryptic and utterly obscure syntax to get a simple task done. If you do, however, you will enjoy this Schwartz and Christiansen book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy X-2 Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Brady Games
Authors: Dan Birlew
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Essential for the Game


Final Fantasy X-2 is a spectacular game, but trying to master it without is guidebook is near impossible! Nice user-friendly walkthroughs and text make this one of the better guides Bradygames has ever created!
What probably stand out most is how thick this book is! It's HUGE and since its over 350 pages I expected quite a bit from it. It delivers quite nicely and helps you master the game to 100%
The characters section of the guide goes into each character introducing you to the ones used in your party and what role they play in the game. No problems here.
The Dresspheres chapter is beautifully done telling you what abilities you get, how to get them and they even suggest when you should get them. All the Garment Spheres explained and a detailed screenshot and listing of what abilities and power ups you can gain for it.
The battle system is explained VERY nicely. While the battle system doesn't require that a whole section of the guide is dedicated to it, for those new to the world of Final Fantasy it helps, especially considering the battle system differs from Final Fantasy X.
The walkthrough is perhaps where the guide begins to fall and it's understandable to see why. Since Final Fantasy X-2 has no set path (its VERY non-linear) it makes the walkthrough nearly impossible to organize. All sidequests are incorporated into the walkthrough as well as several secrets. The walkthrough touches on one area and then doesn't return to it for a while. So if you're one who uses a guide as you go, it's difficult to do with this guide.
The information in the walkthrough is all over the place. Plus, the table of contents doesn't help you find what part you're at so get ready for a lot of page flipping. However, for what it's worth, the guide doesn't spoil any of the plot and it helps you obtain all the endings as well as 100% completion of the game thanks to the handy-dandy flow chart in the back, ensuring that you do everything you possibly can in one area. Not to mention the maps are highly detail. Each area shows enemies stats perfectly without having you flip to the back of the book (and page flipping in this particular guide is a real pain!).
Final Fantasy X-2 is full of mini games and this guide has an entire section for them. Every mini-game is explained in great detail with tips that will help you through. Again, it's nice because you'll get everything.
The bestiary is detailed explaining all stats but that information is also all over the place. Each fiend has their own box where their stats are detailed. A nice easy to use bestiary but again, a lot of pages to flip through.
Lastly the guide comes with a two sided poster. One side with a mixing chart the other just a poster. The mixing chart is actually in the guide so I wouldn't worry if you lose it or anything.
Overall, the guide is pretty good.
The good:+Detailed Walkthrough+Nice for those new to Final Fantasy+Clear Screens+Mini-Game Coverage+Detailed Bestiary+A Flowchart for 100% completion.+Helpful Boss Strategies
The Bad:-This information is all over the place!-A LOT OF PAGE FLIPPING!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Practical Radio Frequency Test and Measurement : A Technician's Handbook
Publisher: Newnes
Authors: Joseph Carr
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
finebuss handbook for serious amateur radio operators


This is my first Joseph Carr book and I am totally hooked.Being a new ham and with no EE background, I find this book to be very clear and easy to understand, even for newbies like myself.
To fully grasp the ideas inside I would guess being a hamhelps. With basic college EE background this book sure isa breeze to read. This is also a good handbook in case you forget RF fundamentals.
I am looking forward to buying more Josheph books.
frank chen, bx2ah, taipei