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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide, Second Edition
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Authors: Dave Thomas, Chad Fowler, Andy Hunt
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great introduction to the next big dynamic language


As much as I liked the first edition of this book, I like this one even more. Dave has written a wonderful introduction to programming with the Ruby language which will stand up to use as a reference even after you've got a handle on the language.

The sections on unit testing and profiling are great, and the library reference at the end is worth the price of the book alone.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Bad book. Excellent reference.


This book is poorly organized and arrogantly written. But does it matter to the aspiring guru? No. This book will serve as a gauge on how knowledgeable you are in C++. If you can follow Bjarne on this one, go tell your boss how good you are. If not, well, allow Herb Schildt's excellent array of C++ books to teach you the basics. Still, at the end of the day, you need this book as your ultimate reference because of the sheer volume of technical information you can get from it.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Authors: Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, J.D. Wiker, Steve Sansweet
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Well done, TSR!


TSR's Star Wars Roleplaying Game is very well-organized and beautifully put together. Bill Slavicsek, who has had his share of high-profile Star Wars projects, doesn't disappoint here.
The rules for the game are described clearly and as succinctly as possible. There are a great selection of character classes and alien races to play as well as a plethora of technology for the players to use.
The introductory adventure is slanted more toward beginning roleplayers, but that's to be expected in the main rulebook. You don't want to go scaring off new players!
Graphically, the book is very nicely done. Highly professional illustrations share the pages with well chosen photos from all of the Star Wars films. They've done a particularly fine job of pairing the graphics appropriately with the text. It's obvious that no stone was left unturned in the attempt to make this game as good as it can be.
I wholeheartedly recommend this game to both experienced roleplayers and newcomers looking to get into the hobby.
My only criticisms of the game are a) the material is often a bit slanted toward Episode I. Not that I mind; I was one of the fans who fully enjoyed the Phantom Menace. But many fans will want a more Classic Trilogy-related slant. They'll have to wait for The Secrets of Tatooine (a future product for this game), from what I hear. And b) the D20 system is great, but sometimes a bit too reminiscent of AD&D. AD&D's a great game, but I almost wish they would have done away with the character levels and experience system for a more unique approach.
The final verdict: A great product and a great game. Highly professional as you'd expect from TSR and well organized. Don't miss it!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Windows Forms Programming in C#
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Chris Sells
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Additional Kudos for This Book


I've said good things about this book before, but I have to do it again. Just yesterday, I needed some help with doing a custom control. I pulled out WinForm Programming in C# and was able to practically open the book to the information I needed.
Within fifteen minutes, I was able to accomplish my goal by following the simple example given in the book. To put my feelings into words:
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
This is the book to start with!