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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Hacker's Delight
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Henry S. Warren Jr.
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Computer arithmetic at its best


No where will you find such a detailed study on the inner working of computer arithmetic.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Basic 6 How to Program
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Tem Nieto, T.R. Nieto
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
D & D should have stuck to C++


This book is a classic case of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. The authors took their very good C++ book and tried to make an equivalent Visual Basic book. This is a mistake. VB is very different from C++. Example 1: the authors attempt to teach the built-in string functions as useful tools for writing a word processor. Example 2: the authors try to explain arrays in a context of sorting and AI problems. Those are reasonable things to do in C++, they are not in VB. Example 3: the authors spend 30 pages explaining date functions in more detail than I can imagine anyone needing to know before explaining basic things like menus and windows. VB is a GUI tool and it needs to be taught as such. It's hard to imagine anyone staying with this book long enough to get to the useful parts.
The book also has hundreds of annoying little bug icons attached to meaningless statements. First the book will tell you the rules for naming variables, i.e. begin with a letter. Then you get a Common Programming Errors bug that proclaims that "Attempting to declare a variable name that does not begin with a letter is a syntax error." Duh. To make matters worse some of them are flat wrong. Page 191 announces that "Using the ByVal or ByRef keywords outside of a procedure header is a syntax error." At first glance, I went, "Of course it is why tell me that again?" Then I remembered that you can use ByVal on a call to override the function declaration on a procedure. Apparently the authors don't know the language as well as they know C++.
The book is also full of meaningless little comments like "MDI applications are often large and complex." Lastly, the code does not follow good style. There are hundred of good style points in the book, but the code does not follow them.
I teach VB and bought this book planning to use it in my classes. Now I just hope I don't get any students that have tried to read it.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Operating System Concepts
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Abraham Silberschatz, Greg Gagne, Peter Baer Galvin
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great book for CS courses!


After reading a portion of this book from a friend in a 300 level CS course, I found that this book explains everything in a way that I can understand it within a reasonable amount of time. Silberschatz and Gavin did a great job with this book. I understand the concepts fully.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself ASP.NET in 21 Days (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Chris Payne
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Code doesn't work in some cases


I'm a big fan of Sams Teach Yourself in 21 days series, but I have to admit that this book isn't worth it. It skips around and doesn't explain in detail what the code is trying to do. Having bought Sams Tech Yourself ASP 3.0 in 21 days, I was very pleased with this book. But when I purchased Sams Teach Yourself ASP.NET in 21 Days (2nd Edition), I left, very disappointed. I wanted to learn both VB.Net and C#.Net. The book advised it would explain both, but this is not true at all. While it has sample code in both languages, a lot of the time, it used VB.net. And when it covers C#.Net, the code doesn't work half of the time. I only wish Sams looked more closely before they allowed this book to be published.