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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, Dennis M. Ritchie
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Classic... and still the best..!!!

Concise ..and to the point explanation of the C programming language.K and R explain the language syntax and semantics in a succinct manner, that makes the reader understand C in record time.This book serves as an invaluable reference on my bookshelf.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Computer Organization and Design Second Edition : The Hardware/Software Interface
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: David A. Patterson, John L. Hennessy
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Indispensable if you like to bang metal

This book kicks butt. It's got everything most programmers could possibly want to know about how the machine underneath works, and more.
It covers circuit logic, hardware arithmetic, how a processor works . . . It answered all of my "I wonder how that happens in the machine" questions.
However, I doubt you'd really want to read it unless you're in a computer architecture class. I don't even mind the ridiculous price; it's one of the few textbooks I feel is worth it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Go LLama: Definitely book to start learning Perl

If you already own the 1st edition of this classic and are considering upgrading--don't. Although it claims to have been "significantly reworked for Perl 5", there is only 1 new chapter (brief overview of CGI) and 1 new appendix (listing of standard Perl modules). The examples and exercises are *identical* to the 1st edition's. I was hoping that they would have been reworked for the O-O architecture of Perl 5 but they weren't. In fact, it lists most of Perl 5's new features in the chapter entitled "Topics We Didn't Mention"! If you don't already have the 1st edition, I'd highly recommend this book. However if, like me, you already have the 1st edition, don't bother upgrading to the 2nd edition. Better to get Programming Perl instead.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Practical C++ Programming, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steve Oualline
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not to be trusted

I needed a book to refresh my C++ knowledge since it has been a few years since I have written C++ code. My labmates already own copies of Stroustrup's definitive "C++ Programming Language", Stephen Prata's "C++ Primer Plus" and Chapman's "Late Night Guide to C++", but I wanted to own a C++ text so I can read it at home. The O'Reilly series of programming languages (Perl, Python) generally are pretty good, and I got this book with high expectations.
Bad move. The text is just filled with errors and bugs. Some bugs are so rudimentary you just have to question whether the authors tested the code. For instace, the section on substr on P.50:
"... to extract a portion of a string, there is the substr member function. [Form of function is]:
string.substr(first, last)
This function returns a string containing all the characters from first to last. ... "
And proceeds to give an example. Alas; the form of the substr function is NOT string.substr(first, last), but string.substr(first, number of characters). This caused me a good half hour of confusion and head scratching. I simply did not expect the book to get this wrong, and especially not with substr examples given right after.
Apart from bugs, typos and related logistic errors, this book suffers from poor integration of material. The chapters on Style and Programming Adages are pretty good, but the rest of the chapters (30 chapters in total) really need some serious conlidation. It's easy reading, true, but for me, it's hard to acquire a good understanding of C++ out of it.
The title of the book is somewhat misleading. A more appropriate title would be "Introductory C++ Programming". You cannot turn to this book when writing practical code.
So these days when I have C++ blues I turn to the other C++ books lying around in my lab, ruing at the same time for throwing away ~$30 getting this book. My enthusiasm and high praise for the O'Reilly series of programming books has taken a hit.