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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, Jon Orwant
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Well-written, but tries too hard to disguise Perl's flaws

To be very short about it: Perl is a great language for some things (small scripts), but a bad language for other things (systems programming). In this book, Larry Wall tries very hard to convince you that Perl is the programming language for everyone -- that it does everything. It doesn't.
If you read this book with the knowledge that Perl is Larry Wall's baby, you won't be fooled into thinking it's the uber-language. In particular, Wall's description of how Perl does OOP is laughable; he lambastes other languages for taking a paranoid view of data-hiding, which is a smokescreen so that you won't realize how badly Perl does OOP.
It's best to read this book if you're in the middle of a programming project involving Perl. That way you'll KNOW what it does well and what it does badly. It does regular expressions exceedingly well. Its lack of data typing slows down the programmer. Larry Wall will not tell you these things; he will attack C and C++ for their deficits, but will carefully ignore Perl's.
So in short, it teaches Perl very well, but the fact that it lies to the reader at a fundamental level makes me remove one star. When Larry puts out an honest fourth edition, the fifth star will return.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: User Interface Design for Programmers
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Joel Spolsky
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
insightful and hillarious

My family kept asking me how I could possibly be laughing so much at a book on programming. The anecdotes in this book are fantastic at conveying fundamental UI principles, but they're also so entertaining that I finished the entire book the day I got it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Step by Step--Version 2003 (Step By Step (Microsoft))
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Michael Halvorson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

Finally I found a book where they not only lead you through the code but actually explain what the code is doing. Definitely a beginner book, but thats exactly what I needed since I have no VB background. This book gives you the option to type in all the code yourself, or the finished programs are all included on the CD. Thanks for making it possible for me to understand the subject.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Numerical Recipes in C : The Art of Scientific Computing
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Authors: William H. Press, Brian P. Flannery, Saul A. Teukolsky, William T. Vetterling
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great compilation of numerical routines for C programmers

I found this book indispensible in my effort to develop profitable trading systems for futures and options and in my research in factor analysis and, more recently, in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Anyone who programs in C or C++ and works with mathematics must have this book. It covers a surprisingly wide range of algorithms: routines are included for everything from handling Julian dates and solving systems of linear equations to determining eigenvectors and singular value decompositions, solving differential equations, doing numerical integration (quadrature), not to mention calculating fast fourier transforms, lomb periodograms and maximum entropy spectral analyses. While not always state-of-the-art, the routines are quite reliable (when used correctly), clearly-written, and easy to understand and use. I would strongly recommend this book (and the companion software) to anyone who programs in C and is literate in mathematics. I always keep a copy nearby.

Jeffrey Owen Katz, Ph.D.
Author: "The Encyclopedia of Trading Strategies" (McGraw Hill, 2000)