Product: Book  Paperback
Title: Algorithms in C, Parts 15 (Bundle): Fundamentals, Data Structures, Sorting, Searching, and Graph Algorithms (3rd Edition) Publisher: AddisonWesley Professional Authors: Robert Sedgewick Rating: 5/5 I have quite a few books on algorithms and C programming, and this probably takes the cake. Sedgewick writes clearer than perhaps anyone on the subject. The book is filled to the gills with tiny 20 line (complete) programs that do amazing things  such as the program to compute all the prime numbers less than N (provided as input). These examples are typically given to illustrate some point (such as using dynamic array allocation for storing which numbers are prime)  but the short, concise algorithms given in the examples are learning aids as well (i.e.  I didn't know you could calculate a list of primes so easily, and I can probably take this knowledge and use it somewhere else). The reader is challenged to alter the examples (instead of using an array to store which numbers are prime, use a bitmap). Because the examples are small, compact, and easy to read, this provokes one to actually sit down and try and play with them. In contrast, I also have the Algorithms In C O'Reilley book by Kyle Loudon and after reading the Sedgewick title, I'm throwing that away. That book spends 1/3 of the chapter describing the algorithms, and then spends the rest of it in userinterface code examples. Of course, all the user interfaces for all the examples in the book are pretty much the same, so the whole book is filled with redundant useless code. More analysis, less filler, please. As Sedgewick was a student of Knuth, I consider his books as the practical guide to Knuth's tomes (which seem out of date  do we really need algorithm analysis on external storage these days??), which are filled with rigorous mathematical analysis. I highly recommend this book(s)  actually there are two, with the second volume covering graphs. I wish my University had used these texts in programming / algorithm analysis courses. I really don't have any negative commentary  other than the nitpick that his coding style is very compact and skeletal > main(){ for(...) do_something;} However, since the examples are so small, it hardly matters.
Product: Book  Paperback
Title: Inside SolidWorks Publisher: OnWord Press (Acquired Titles) Authors: David Murray Rating: 2/5 Engineers are lousy authors. David Murray is an engineer. He may be a great teacher in front of a classroom  where he has the opportunity to explain and illustrate his point in great detail  but he does not get the job done in a book. After working through this book it appears to me to be an update of an earlier version. My guess is that he has done little more than change the name to address the 2003 version of SolidWorks. His motive? Sell more books! Furthermore, Mr. Murray glosses over over how to accomplish the more difficult tasks in SolidWorks  but is effusive and wordy when it comes the subject of CAD/CAM and simple SolidWorks operations. Take for example lofted parts. After having beat the relatively simple operations of sweeps and revolved parts into oblivion, he leaves the reader out to dry when it comes to lofted parts. If you cannot figure lofting out for yourself using the SolidWorks Help files, the reader is dead in the water. Bottom line, my take is that this book is a unsophisticated attempt to bleed as much profit as possible from a much earlier work. Don't count on it to carry you through the more difficult aspects of using SolidWorks for 3D applications.
Product: Book  Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns Publisher: AddisonWesley Professional Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides Rating: 5/5 It is assumed that almost any software developer or an architect has read or at least heard about this book. Your whole thinking and understanding of OOP will change after reading it. This book increments the usage of OOP at least by 1.
Product: Book  Hardcover
Title: Digital Communication: Third Edition Publisher: Springer Authors: John R. Barry, David G. Messerschmitt, Edward A. Lee Rating: 5/5 This book has great breadth as well as depth. I am in sticker shock over the price, however!
