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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning C#
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jesse Liberty
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good primer for the novice

Speaking as a novice programmer myself, I found Liberty's title a very readable introduction to C#, not to mention .NET, Visual Studio .NET, and related concepts (e.g., ASP.NET). In working towards the MCAD, I felt comfortable with Microsoft's training kits. However, wanted a better foundation in C#, as I plan to make that my emphasis, even though my [limited] background is in Visual Basic. There may be better titles out there; but for someone in a similar situation, it's hard not to recommend success.
...my familiarity with other O'Reilly titles leads me to think that this would be the ideal C# intro, if compactness is a concern, and paper is preferred over cathode rays.
If you expect anything other than a primer, you probably will be let down. That includes if you're not actually up to primer level: if you're absolutely new to programming, make this a 2nd title, after a more basic and general intro.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Authors: Steven L. Kent
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
From Pinball to XBox

"Ultimate" is an apt word for the title of this book. Kent covers everything from the beginnings of pinball to the modern day consumer wars between XBox, Playstaion 2, and Nintendo's Game Cube.
Whether your an avid gamer, someone interested in the business, or just want to take a stroll down the video game memory lane this book will more than please. Having dropped my fair share of quarters in the arcades and owning numerous video game systems this book had my curiosity peaked. Sure it's mammoth, but once you start it, stopping will be hard. Using non-technical writing with a lot of paraphrases from different industry leaders thrown in, the reading just glides along. The chronology of the piece at times gets ahead of itself but quickly falls back into place without losing its pace. Also, keeping up with the industry personnel can get a bit confusing as CEO's, programmers, and salespeople move from company to company. Kent however does a fine job in explaining who everyone is and what they've done.
Besides a better understanding of the business, the biggest thing I got out of this book was a good old case of video game nostalgia. Hearing some of the names of the older, and sometimes forgotten systems (Commodore 64, Jaguar, Colecovision) and their arcade counterparts (Missle Command, Lunar Lander, Sea Wolf) brought back endearing memories of dumping quarters in the "latest" games down at the arcade and sitting up all night trying to figure out the newest game on the Atari 2600. Sure the games today are faster and definately better looking than the ones of yesterday but I'd be lying if, after reading this book, I didn't catch myself on ebay seeing if any of these older games were available.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MindManager for Dummies
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Hugh Cameron, Roger Voight
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
It Does MindManager Justice

This was the first "For Dummies" book that I felt was worth the cost. I didn't read it cover to cover straight, but I have now touched on all the chapters in the order I needed. Although I have been a MM user since way back, MindManager X5 has some very nifty enhancements. I didn't upgrade from MM2002 until I got the book and then I just let loose.
If you're new to MindManager, this will get you started and give you some neat tips. If you're a regular user, I would get this book when you upgrade to X5. There have been enough changes in procedures and nomenclature that it just won't work with previous versions of MindManager.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft® Excel 2000 Power Programming with VBA
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John Walkenbach
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
For Excel power users and VBA novices

Irreplaceable resource for spreadsheet developers.
No wasted space or filler material. In fact it could easily have doubled in size.