Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Apple Training Series : Desktop and Portable Systems (Apple Training)
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Peachpit Press
This book (along with books for Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist, Apple Certified Technical Coordinator, and Apple Certified Systems Administrator) has been sorely needed for the past few years. The book is a big one -- chock full of well written information and excellent illustrations.
I suggest purchasing the $299 technical training kit from Apple as well as this book (the web materials, available through the kit, are referrenced often and are helpful during many exercises). All in all, good book if you want to become ACDT and/or ACPT.
Peachpit is releasing a book for the ACHDS at the end of July... and hopefully books for the ACTC and ACSA as well.
Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: 3D Game Engine Design : A Practical Approach to Real-Time Computer Graphics
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: David H. Eberly
There are so many wonderful things, and I'll mention a few.
First, we have a great author. The man behind the book, David Eberly, is very respectable and is a perfectly suitable author for this book. He's got a Ph.D. in mathematics AND in computer science, and has published quite a few papers on graphics, image processing, etc. He was also one of the principle engineers behind the versatile NetImmerse engine from NDL.
CODE! You get source code to a veritably "complete" engine/library. Every bit of this huge glut of code is usable, easily understandable and modular enough to be easily pulled out and placed into your projects. The "WildMagic" code covers damned near any topic you could think of, including progressive meshes, terrain rendering, support for multiple graphics APIs, many forms of collision and bounding-volume techniques, visibility techniques, and more.
I don't agree that having a grasp of the mathematical concepts behind the scenes would mean you wouldn't gain anything from this book. There's a huge difference between math and the algorithmic application of math. Applying algorithms to real-world projects takes research and hard work, which this book carries you through. While there is a lot of math presented in the book, this should NOT be taken as a an attempt at an academic text - the math and algorithms presented were designed for, and WORKS in, real-time applications. Everything is quite understandable at the same time.
Also, this book is geared toward high-speed techniques - toward game development - hence the title of the book. Foley & Van Dam is, IMHO a heady general graphics text that pays no real heed to real-time applications. True, the book doesn't cover every possible technique or variation thereof (doing so would require a much larger book, mind you), but it does cover almost everything that games use these days.
I agree that the title is a SLIGHT misnomer - it does discuss pretty much every component of an engine, but there is less discussion on designing the infrastructure for these components - this isn't such a significant thing, as these topics are discussed largely in the context of the presented code-base. The appendix A does cover this, and quite dilligently - it's a very long appendix. It is not reasonable, however, to expect ANY book to have the huge graphics depth of Foley & Van Dam, the architectural discussion from, say, Large Scale C++, and other topics - you just can't expect a single book covering a range of topics to match the breadth of "a dozen other books", including books that specialize in one area. Lets make fair comparisons.
All in all I'm VERY happy with my purchase, and would be very inclined to buy any books that Eberly may write in the future.
Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Introducing Microsoft .Net, Third Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: David S. Platt
It seems that the author has a fear of not being able to deliver a satisfying content. Thus he comes arond many issues by writing to meny humorous bits that (in the long run) tends to get in the way of the actual information. -I prefer a natural mixture of both information and humour.-But, if the reader is able to look through (or like) the author's personal jitter, it can be a quite an informative book.
Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth
Publisher: Crown Business
Authors: JUAN ENRIQUEZ
Juan Enriquez's book covers a highly complex and hard to understand set of developments that has challenged the brightest minds of the planet. Yet, he has done this very skillfully so that the layman can understand the monumental implications of these accomplishments. He engages us in a conversation and in a very unconventional manner plays with font sizes and dazzles us with enticing and easy to understand graphics. To the casual observer this might seem to have been easily done, but this would be deceiving. Similar to dancing, things that seem to have been easily done actually took more skill rather than ease.I read this book after 9/11, and I find that it is just as valuable now if not more so since 9/11.