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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Absolute Beginner's Guide to C (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Greg Perry
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Absolute Best Book To Learn C!

I bought this book because I wanted to learn programming. I read all the rave reviews and it sounded good. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. To me, it made programming fun and easy. The final couple of chapters you may want to read twice so you really understand it. He is really good at explaining things in real world English, not programmers garble. I would highly recommend this book. If you read this and enjoy it, I recommend you read C++ Programming 101, also by Perry.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very Informative

It's great: informative, well laid out, great examples, and it didn't cost me half my paycheck.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Java(TM) Tutorial: A Short Course on the Basics (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Mary Campione, Kathy Walrath, Alison Huml
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This Book Deserves It!

dont you get sick of all these 5-star reviews ...? i sure do. but this time, i liked this book so much, i am sending one in anyway.
i don't mean to overstate things, and no, i am not related to Sun OR any of the authors, but this is simply one of the best 'computer books' i've ever read, even though it came from a vendor, and even though it's title (not to mention its topic) is rather pedestrian. here's why:
1) unlike many of the 'teach yourself Java' books, it finds just the right level of metaphor. am i the only one tired of the use of fruit, etc. when explaining objects? this book does that a little, but it also relates everything back to real-world problems that are complex enough to matter but simple enough to be graspable.
2) no irritating humour. I'm sorry, but i have had enough of computer-book authors who can't restrain their wit (like Bill Vaughan, so is otherwise a great writer).
3) a great explanation of threading. in all the other java books, i gave up after a few pages. i read the threading chapter in this book while driving home, and it made complete sense the first time round!
4) NO TYPOS. actually, i found one this morning. page 372, line 4, there is an extra hyphen. but that's it! it is almost unheard of, in my experience, anyway, to find such high quality in a 'computer book'. and personally, i find it insulting to spend $... on a book only to find the author didn't even proof their work.
5) after reading an explanation of interfaces in at least 4 other places, i THINK i finally get it, thanks to this book!
ONE BIG BEEF: having the answers to the exercises available only on the web is a major irritation. what were they thinking? for one thing, sun.com always seems to be the slowest site on the web. and that's assuming you have a networked PC handy, which i did not when i read this book.
i also agree that the space taken up by references to sample code was distracting and useless. on the other hand, there were 1 or 2 places (in the Swing chapter in particular) where the book did NOT include a printout of the complete source, which it should have.
notwithstanding the preceding comment, i believe this book was about right. it wisely omitted JDBC and stopped at a fairly skimpy coverage of Swing, which is correct, IMHO, in a book at this level. i also don't need another 4" thick book full of screen prints and fluff, which is what many of the competing books have.
all in all, i found that despite my interest in Java being modest at best, i literally could not put this book down. i read it almost nonstop cover to cover. no, i am not a freak, normally i fall asleep after two chapters. solid writing, well scoped, and near-perfect execution earn this a *****.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Experience XSI 4: The Official SOFTIMAGE XSI 4 Guide to Character Creation
Publisher: Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade
Authors: Michael Isner, Aaron Sims
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Truely and inspiring book.

This is truely an inspiring book. It contains a great mixture of learning materials, from character creation, to scripting, and final renderings. A must have.