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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Studio Hacks
Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates
Authors: James Avery
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent addition to your library


I highly recommend Visual Studio Hacks for anyone with less than 2 years experience using Visual Studio 2003. For those developers with more than 2 years experience, it may also be very valuable depending on the scope and depth of their experience. A few key points about why I really like this book:

The book is enjoyable reading, intellectually stimulating and provides information that is practically relevant. There is insight from a number of different contributors, not just the primary author. While reading the book, I got ideas for other Hacks that I'll be testing.

The book can be read by choosing individual Hacks of interest or by consuming them by chapter or cover to cover. I read the book cover to cover over the weekend, while testing a number of their tips at the same time.

A number of valuable tools and add-ins are discussed which will improve the developer experience.

There are very few if any books currently available that address and deliver what this book achieves. This book has something for the beginner and the experienced .Net developer. For example, another book on the market with a similar goal provides content that is only for the beginner.

For the most part, the book provides insight not found in Microsoft's documentation or other books. This is very important since most books on the market today simply rehash what's in the documentation or what is commonly found in other books.

My only small disappointment with the book is that a few of the Hacks should have been eliminated, since they really weren't Hacks and replaced with other less documented Hacks. Obviously, this is very subjective and more a reflection of a hunger for more cool Hacks.

Go to your local bookstore, browse this book, see what I mean and add it to your collection.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Practice of Programming
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Brian W. Kernighan, Rob Pike
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
For new coders a five star, for old timers a one.


If you've been around the block a couple of times don't waste your time. If however you are new and would like to see what's in this field do read carefully for the book contains many gems. Well written and carefully prepared.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jonathan Corbet, Alessandro Rubini, Greg Kroah-Hartman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great book, don't buy it.


...
This is a great book for understanding the linux kernel (and for writing device drivers for older kernels). Its now horribly out of date (2.1xx, we're soon going to be on 2.5xx). Its my understanding that the next edition is coming out very shortly (a matter of a month or two)...hence linuxhq is "featuring" this book.
If you do buy this none of the examples will work out of the box on 2.2x and 2.4x kernels!
If you just want an understanding how the linux kernel works and you just can't wait to find out, then its your money..go ahead.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows with C# (Core Reference)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Charles Petzold
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Petzold is stuck in a time-warp


Petzold is a literate writer who effectively uses information (and anecdotal material) from the history of Windows programming, and the broader history of computer programming, to put his technical examples in a rich context.
I find his exposition of C# grounded in practical problem-solving with .Net's Forms and Controls extremely useful. The kinds of problems he poses and solves (with source code in the text and on the accompanying cd) are the types of problems that I face creating user interfaces and interacting with Windows system services.
The book is, as other reviewers commented, focused purely on client-side issues, but I disagree with another reviewer who felt it didn't cover COM : He does mention and show examples of using the InterOp facilities, and, I believe, that since .Net is designed to replace both COM and ActiveX, this is very appropriate. There are a lot of other resources for COM and COM+.
For myself I would rather learn a language bottom-up through studying and using concrete code examples that accomplish real-world tasks than read abstract books on the structure of the language, etc. Perhaps if you are a "top-down" learner who prefers to start with a very formal language definition and Backus-Naur diagrams and then implement some algorithms, and then, finally, get around to implementing the algorithm in a specific OS environment, this may not be the right book for you to start with on .Net.
I have other books by Troelsen, Gunnerson, and Liberty, and they are useful also, but Petzold's book is the one I keep coming back to and re-reading over and over.
The clear technical writing style that Petzold has achieved is, imho, very rare these days. I have the wonderful sense reading the book that I am sitting across a table from a wise friend who is gently and patiently guiding me forward through a complex technical subject.