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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy IX Official Strategy Guide
Publisher: Brady Games
Authors: Dan Birlew
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5

This is absolutely the worst strategy guide ever made for a game. I view guides as tools for people who want to cheat their way through a game and also for those who seem to require help during certain parts. This book aides neither. The book is nothing more than an advertisement pamphlet for playonline.com. The game itself is actually not that bad; probably not the best in the series, but ok. This book, though, probably helps to ruin the entire gaming experience. Every tiny piece of information that might have offered a morsel of useful "guiding of strategy" is absent. Every single item that the player might want to view is barely there; instead the player is directed to playonline.com to gain a little more information about the subject. And there, the player must put in a password from the book guide to access that which they want to read about and then the playonline information isn't even that great either. Don't waste your money; download a guide off of the internet or something but don't buy this book!!!!!!!!!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in C++, Volume 1: Introduction to Standard C++ (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

Very well written for someone moving from C, or with limited exposure to C++. Having the full text of the books available from his web site is great, but for that 6 hour flight, the book is better. Everything is explained in easy to digest pieces, with lots of clear code examples.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A superior book that could have been so much better.

It is like the writer knows all the questions in reader's head. After describing something, he will soon make a question like "Why we do not do it this way?", and then will explain the reasons. All the examples are very clear and show the best usage of OOP. And if you don't have any experience in C or C++, you can spend some time to learn about them first from the CD-ROM included in this book. It has some lectures (including the sound file) about basic C which I found very useful. ...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Better, Faster, Lighter Java
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Bruce A. Tate, Justin Gehtland
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Better, Faster, Simpler Java

Better, Faster, Lighter Java is the best technical book I have read all year. I like Bruce's five core principles and how he applies it to the software you are building and the software/frameworks you are using. I also think the book should have been called Better, Faster, Simpler Java, since most of the goal of the book is to explain how developing enterprise Java applications can and should be simpler. But instead of taking the approach of creating tools to simplify Java like the vendors do, Bruce and Justin explain how to use existing open source frameworks and good development practices. Finally, at a mere 233 pages it is a quick read but full of valuable information. For example, I had been using hibernate for about three weeks when I started reading the book. I happened to be having a hibernate mapping problem while reading the hibernate chapter. Fortunately I found the answer I was looking for explained in a clear manner in this book. I wish I had read the chapter before I had spent several days searching online materials.