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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Moving to VB .NET: Strategies, Concepts, and Code
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Daniel Appleman, Dan Appleman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The *Best* .NET book for Visual Basic Developers!


Dan's take on the new .NET strategy from Microsoft is right on target. His style is a refreshing exploration of what these technologies mean to professional developers, the design choices involved and his frank opinion on the best approach. A big change from the oft-repeated vendor documentation found today in so many technical books. If you've been around VB programming a while you've may have read his "Programmer's Guide to the Win32 API"--the VB programmer's bible on this topic.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Simply the best book on user interaction design


If you find yourself bemused by the current woeful state of software usability, Alan's entertaining mix of invective, insight, and good advice will leave you practically ready to shout "Hallelujah, Brother!"



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Authors: Richard Phillips Feynman
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Feynman the entertainer


I should say from the outset that I am biased due to the fact that I'm a physics student - I've come across a lot of the material Feynman covers in these lecturers before. However never have I heard QED described in such an engaging and simply entertaining style. Feynman was truly one of the greatest communicators of physics this century, and he's extraordinarily funny. The lectures are aimed at people with a very rudimentary knowledge of physics and maths (they were public lectures in New Zealand after all!) and if you're willing to suspend disbelief for some of the more unusual aspects of QED it will all make sense.
The biggest flaw with the videos, however, is the poor quality of the video and audio. Sometimes Feynman's mic drops out completely (dealt with humerously by Feyman of course) and the picture is rather poor. This is why I think the videos only receive four stars (while Feynman himself would receive about ten). Nevertheless, I'd put up with a lot more to see Feynman lecture on QED. I just hope that in the future these videos will be cleaned up and re-released as DVDs!



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Rules of Play : Game Design Fundamentals
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Katie Salen, Eric Zimmerman
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Little insight from an inexperienced pair.


When I received a copy of this book I didn't have any solid expectations. I had never heard of Zimmerman or Salen before and so I wasn't overly surprised when the text turned to disappoint. If you look into the authors credentials you'll find that neither have any experience in game design beyond a beginner/hobbyist level. I felt mislead by the bravado the authors put forth in assuming authority on a subject they are blatantly unqualified to comment on. Overall the book delves into game design on only a very shallow level.
On the brighter side, if you're a game player with a passing interest in old school design, or just want to know the opinions of some retro-gamers, you might care to check this book out. For anyone else, I'd suggest alternatives: "Game Design: Theory and Practice" and especially "Chris Crawford on Game Design". Both contain intelligent analysis from truly experienced designers with much more relevance to modern game design.
The bottom line is that there are just too many good alternatives to be interested in this instantly forgettable material.