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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: An Embedded Software Primer
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: David E. Simon
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The title says, "Embedded Software Primer"

The book provides very useful information for anyone that wishes to learn embedded software from the ground up. Great for entry level engineers, or professionals wishing to make a lateral move into embedded systems. The book has two clearly written chapters dedicated to hardware fundamentals; describing I/O .vs. memory mapping, how interrupts function, memory types including PROM's, and microprocessor basics. A chapter is dedicated to one of the single most inportant issues in embedded systems SHARED DATA and how to prevent corrupting it. Chapter 5 discusses four basic software methods to servicing interrupts. Chapters 6,7, and 8 clearly introduce the concept of an RTOS (Real Time Operating System). Chapter 9 is a must read for those new to embedded systems. It discusses development tools and the steps required to get your final code onto the target system. It explains what a cross-compiler is and why they are used in embedded systems. This is a very good book for engineers with C skills!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: 3D Game Engine Design : A Practical Approach to Real-Time Computer Graphics
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: David H. Eberly
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Wonderful description of the parts of a graphics engine!

Ever since I took a graphics programming class, I've been wanting to program my own major graphics program. As I did so, however, I ran into some problems with collision detection , and so I rushed to the library and checked out several books on the subject of game engine design.
Among those books, however, this one stood out for several reasons:
First, its general, non-language-specific nature made it ideal for someone working with Borland C++ 1.0 on DOS, and who plans to move to Linux eventually (and could find himself programming in a different language, like Java, in the future). The other books I found were dependent on platforms I had no interest in (like DirectX), and superficially covered the topics.
Second, as a mathematician (and undergraduate mathematician at that), I was completely at home with the math! and found it more clear than a lot of the other books I've seen. Admittedly, I skipped over most of the formulas and sometimes entire sections of the book as I read it, but it's also nice to know that the math is there when I feel like understanding it.
Third, while it didn't cover everything, and only provided a sketch of a few topics, everything that my little hobby engine needs (such as rendering matrices, rotation using quaternions, and collision detection) were covered in detail. This book is definitely a requirement for what I'm doing! While the book doesn't go into much detail of how to do certain things (like lighting techniques or fog), it gives a general idea of how to do them...and it's also nice to know that these topics exist (for when I need to look them up elsewhere).
While this book doesn't cover everything (I don't expect any single book to do so), it does a good job of describing the "basics" in a detail needed for anyone who has a good background in programming and math, and is serious in writing a game for fun. I definitely recommend this book to those who have the background, but don't need the latest techniques.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PHP Cookbook
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David Sklar, Adam Trachtenberg
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I am so lucky to have found this book

I have never written a review before, but I felt that I needed to put my 5-star vote in as my small token of thanks to the authors. So here it goes:

I have dabbled in PHP for a few months now, but am developing a php/mysql app for the first time. I refer to this book every single day. It's my favorite Oracle. I ask, it answers:

"How do I $MyDailyQuestion?"
"See page $MyDailyAnswer."

Sure puts a smile on my face!

This book does not make me read through pages and pages of code and explanation. Just enough code snippets and the most insightful reminders to help me solve my daily how-do-I's. It also tells you where to look up further info for each function/feature on-line.

I think you would love this book as much as I do if:
- you are somewhere between PHP super-newbie and super-master
- you have a pretty solid background in some other language
- you are using PHP now and have problems to solve everyday
- you learn well from small examples
- your vision starts to blur when presented with long chapters

My thanks to authors Sklar and Trachtenberg! Happy hunting.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Windows XP Professional
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Mark Minasi
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Things that don't belong.

Chapter 15 Windows XP Professional Networking and Network Design Primer does not belong in this book. Why? Because this book has the word "Mastering" in the title and if you need a Network Primer you are ways off from becoming an XP Master. Seriously the content of this chapter is very good for the TCP/IP Study Guides or Networking Essentials Books, but not in this book. Seems like the author had the chapter written and already on hand for those other books, and just decided to throw it in.