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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning UNIX Operating System, Fifth Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jerry Peek, Grace Todino-Gonguet, John Strang
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Basic intro to the use of unix/linux

This book was written for the newbie who is using a unix terminal. He don't teach you the installation or config of unix, only gives you an overview of the fundamental commands and tasks (logging, windowing, managing files & directories, background processing and a little more). So if you are using a unix/linux preconfigured system and know nothing about unix, then buy this book or look the net (for there are very much like this and you don't need to pay), if not, forget!!!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Grok OOP

This book is fantastic. Anyone at all interested in Object Oriented Programming should pick it up and read it. Design Patterns are not just some Computer Science gimmik, or far-fetched theory. Rather, they are a simple, but strikingly effective way of looking at a problem, breaking it down, and finding a solution. If you've ever wanted to get the big "Aha!" behind OOP and all of its related buzzwords, this is the way to do it. Every computer programmer should read this book

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Inside Out
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jim Boyce
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Detailed treatment of Outlook 2003 for power users

"Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Inside Out" from Microsoft Press is geared toward intermediate and advanced users of the latest version of Outlook, which has become a bloatware office tool that surpasses Lotus Notes in functions and complexity. If you want to become a true expert at using Outlook, or plan to deploy and manage Outlook at your enterprise, or have to take some MS Office certification exams in order to advance your career, you'll find this book immensely useful. In fact, this is simply the best advanced treatment of Outlook 2003, bar none.

Ok, I say this partly because I'm a fan of the Inside Out series, which is not only informative and helpful for those who want to master Microsoft's increasingly monstrously complicated software, but also highly accurate and authoritative. These latter features are very important and beneficial to the reader. "Inside Out" books don't claim to give you "inside secrets" or "Easter eggs" or "undocumented tweaks" -- even though they do offer such gems here and there -- instead they focus in giving you every iota of detail you'll need in order to power-use and troubleshoot each program.

"Outlook 2003 Inside Out" continues this well-written, well-edited tradition of the series. It's thick and heavy at over 1,000 pages -- with another 100 "bonus" pages on Visual Basic and other topics on the accompanying CD-ROM, in addition to the complete e-book itself -- but it's quite easy to navigate thanks to a well thought-out organization. Almost no stone is left unturned in the coverage of Outlook 2003's vast amount of features (but I'm sure there are minute details that even a book this size and scope has left out), and each feature is treated in great detail, sometimes to the point of overwhelming. Thankfully, lots of screenshots grace the pages to illustrate various dialog boxes. Throughout the book you'll also find lots of genuinely useful tips, set apart from the main text in boxes and a different font.

I don't meant to sound pretentious, but this book is not a good one for newcomers to Outlook. Its coverage and content will simply overwhelm someone not already familiar with the basics of Outlook 2003. A better guide for beginners is the excellent "Microsoft Office 2003 Inside Out" which introduces all the programs in the Office 2003 suite. While that book is by no means a prerequisite for reading the present volume -- many other books will do, or just explore Outlook on your own the way genuine geeks do without reading a manual -- it gives the reader enough grounding in Outlook fundamentals that he'll find migrating to this present book a joy in his journey to conquering the beast of Outlook 2003.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Andre Lamothe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent book, but badly advertised.

As a book on 3D games programming, I'd give this book one star, because it doesn't teach you anything about the fundamentals of 3D programming, with the exception of the two mini-books on the CD--but those are definitely not enough to warrant the title of this book.
As a book that has nothing to do with 3D programming, however, Lamothe's latest work is a wonderful foray into the fundamentals (and actually a lot of seemingly cutting-edge concepts) of 2D game programming. Just don't let the "2D" part take your attention away from this book... Anyone can blit a sprite and make it move across the screen using double buffering, but few can weld together disparate components like AI, physics, game logic, and system & graphics programming into the complex whole that is a computer game. That's what this book teaches, and you'll probably want to know how to do it before you try making that 3D engine with volumetric lighting, bump mapping, and realtime reflections. Lamothe decided to split his work into two volumes for this reason; instead of scrambling to squeeze information about game programming and cutting-edge 3D graphics programming into a mere 1000 pages, he decided to make one book on game programming and the other on 3D programming.
So my only real gripe about this book is its advertising. Instead of titling it "Fundamentals of 2D and 3D Game Programming," they should have called it "Volume I: Fundamentals of 2D Game Programming," because that's what it is. Amazon.com also needs to put the actual title of the book in here--currently they think it's called "Tricks of the 3D Windows Game Programming Gurus," which is even more misleading than the book's actual title. This is probably because Lamothe's decision to split the book into two volumes was made at the last minute; but still, SAMS could've at least taken the time to change the title of the book before sending it to press.