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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Embedded C Programming and the Atmel AVR
Publisher: Thomson Delmar Learning
Authors: Richard H. Barnett, Sarah A. Cox, Larry D. O'Cull
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
The CD is Blank


If you know of the ATMEL AVRs, then you probably should own this book. If you are enw to the ATMEL, try this book or the "other" AVR book "Programming and Custominzing the AVR Microcontroller" ISBN 007134666X (by Dhananjay). This one is great for first timers learning microcontrollers. I picked up the Dhananjay book, never having done any microcontroller stuff, and was jamming in a week!!! This C-programming book starts out a little slower, as it has to teach some C-fundamentals....nevertheless, both are excellent books for one of the best 8-bit microcontrollers out there....a great starting point for students and engineers.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Andre Lamothe
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
good book, unrealistic expectations


Too many people are upset that this book does not hand hold them from no programming experience to making top quality games - please! Game programming is one of the hardest kinds of programming there is, and no one can jump from "Hello World" to Quake in the time it takes to read a book. That is like taking a high school class in physics and expecting to learn enough to debate Kip Thorne on the latest theories.
There is also criticism that the title is misleading. I agree it is, but that is probably not the fault of the writer. Computer book authors usually have little input on cover design or the writing on it. They may get lucky enough to see it before the book is printed. NEVER buy a computer book based on what the cover says. Look at the inside. That nice big book on Direct3D could just be 80% "Appendix A - List of All Functions".
But there are lots of small mistakes in the book - simply knowing there are will save a lot of trouble. The math derivations are particularly troublesome - there are a number of times that negative signs or reciprocals were not shown. McMillian should have sprung for a better tech editor (fat chance for that).
This is currently the best book on Windows Game Programming in existence, and I would not expect better ones anytime soon. Writing computer books of this quality is hard work and the money the writers get is not worth it for most qualified programmers. We are just lucky that LaMothe lives like he is constantly on speed (if you met him you know what I am talking about). To get anything out of this book you need to know C(C++), some basic ideas about graphics, algebra. And not to be afraid of coding on your own.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0: Deluxe Learning (Deluxe Learning)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors:
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An Excellent Resource for Those New to VB.


I found this book extremely helpful. I am a professor at Houghton College and purchased this book to write software for the genetics course that I teach. I had no prior experience in Visual Basic, although I have just taken a course in C++. The Step by Step guide is very helpful to orient users toward the visual basic environment, and has chapters on the syntax of the language itself, which is something I really needed. There are numerous helpful programs that come on the CDs, and I found the book extremely readable. In short, I highly recommend this book for its clarity and thoroughness.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Borland C++Builder 6 Developer's Guide
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Jarrod Hollingworth, Paul Gustavson, Bob Swart, Mark Cashman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book, in spite of the CD-ROM chapters.


This book is a very good one. Its biggest problem is the "CD-ROM-only" chapters. Another problem: I didn't like that the first five chapters are for beginners only, but anyway they're ok.
The chapters that I've found more useful to my daily job were those of Part III (Interfaces and Distributed Computing). For example, the COM chapter has a lot of useful information, in spite of its short length and its style -which I find abrupt and weird. The chapter about DCOM is very short too, but it is well structured and contains valuable tips and advises. Finally, the MIDAS chapter is one of the bests. It helped me to understand the new features this technology offers. Nice job, Bob!
But the chapter that was the most useful to me and my team was the chapter 18 (COM+). It deserves special attention. I can't understand why it goes in the CD-ROM, with the bunch of useful information about COM+ it has. Sure, it seems to have several typos -I think that its author was the same guy that wrote the COM chapter- but if you are a C++Builder developer and want to do COM+, you won't survive without it. This chapter has given me many elements that are missed from the most of the material I've read so far about the subject. Although it's too much low-level oriented, chapter 18 is a must-have for any COM+ developer. I'd say that this chapter would deserve the book's price, if printed.
The chapter about image processing, although not in my field, is very well written and interesting.
I would like to thank every author for this great job. Sure the book is not perfect, but it deserves its five stars!