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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: OpenGL(R) Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 1.2 (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Mason Woo, Jackie Neider, Tom Davis, Dave Shreiner, OpenGL Architecture Review Board
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very good Book


Te book was put together very well in a logical and coherent order. The only problem I had with the book was doing some of the lighting calculations, a bit thougher then i expected, but i was able to figure it out with-out much trouble. Other then a few headaches (from math), the book was written and put together very well, and covers exactly what it is supposed to cover.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Types and Programming Languages
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Benjamin C. Pierce
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Good Book


Especially helpful for those who have practical experience but don't have strong theoretical background (like Lambda Calculus, Typing Theory ... etc.)



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Visual C++ 6
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Ivor Horton
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Must have in your library


You have to know that the material presented in this book is complicated and sometimes confusing, but I have to admit that Ivor Horton did a great job to simplify it as much as possible and made the book a very nice journey. If you like challenge, and don't mind working hard then this book is for you. Remember that this is the real programming world. With VC++ you can build any software you like form operating system to 3D games to web browsers to database applications, the list never ends!! I'm an expert VB developer but I got to the point now that felt that VB is so limited to my needs and my skills. The key to master VC++ is to become a proficient in pointers and classes. Understand all examples in the book and even create your own. When you reach the end of the book you'll find you're on top of the world :)



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Peter Szor
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
One of the best technical books I've ever read


Peter Szor's 'The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense' (TAOCVRAD) is one of the best technical books I've ever read, and I've reviewed over 150 security and networking books during the past 5 years. This book so thoroughly owns the subject of computer viruses that I recommend any authors seeking to write their own virus book find a new topic. Every technical computing professional needs to read this book, fast.

I read this book from cover to cover. The author does not lie when he says acquiring the same amount of information requires digging in obscure virus journals and analyzing malicious code. TAOCVRAD's single most powerful aspect is the author's persistence in naming one or more sample viruses that exemplify whatever concept he is discussing. In other words, all of his theory is backed by, or builds on, real-life examples. Each chapter contains moderate end-notes that provide pointers for additional research.

A truly great book has the power to change deeply-entrenched opinions, or make readers look at old problems in a new light. In my case, I altered my perception of the virus problem and ways to fight it. First, I changed my concept of viruses and worms. Peter builds on Fred Cohen's virus definition to say 'a computer virus is a program that recursively and explicitly copies a possibly evolved version of itself.' He calls worms a 'subclass of computer viruses.' I used to disagree with Peter; I believed a virus infects files and requires user interaction, and a worm spreads by itself via the network. Now I agree with Peter's viewpoint: 'worms are network viruses, primarily replicating on networks... If the primary vector of the virus is the network, it should be classified as a worm.' The distinction is subtle, but it makes sense to consider worms a subclass of viruses given Peter's extensive analysis of both types of malware.

Second, I recognized I held an opinion Peter considers unfortunate: 'some computer security people do not seem to consider computer viruses as a serious aspect of security, or they ignore the relationship between computer security and computer viruses.' I was guilty as charged. I used to positively detest viruses because they seemed like mindless automated code that did little but replicate. After reading about scores of real viruses, I have a profound appreciation for virus technology. Viruses introduced techniques for obfuscation, stealth, and exploitation a decade earlier, in some cases, than the single-shot exploit code we see today.

Third, Peter put a human face on the problems associated with closed-source operating systems like Microsoft Windows. Many so-called Native API calls are undocumented, and as such make life difficult for anti-virus developers. (Virus writers tend to know them.) With Microsoft entering the anti-virus market, will it leverage these secrets to outperform competitors lacking this internal knowledge?

Readers of Ed Skoudis' 'Malware' or Jose Nazario's 'Defense and Detection Strategies against Internet Worms' will find this new book greatly complements those two works. Those wishing to get the most value from TAOCVRAD should have Intel assembly coding skills and several years of hands-on security experience.

I had almost no issues with this book, which is striking given it is nearly 700 pages long. In a few places I found the language a little rough, but not enough to bother me. I believe a code listing on p. 372 should show a '<=' instead of '=', but I may be wrong. Although the author works for Symantec, I did not see an undue amount of Symantec-centric material. Chapter 13 is somewhat of an exception, but I do not fault the author. I felt the network section (ch 14) could have been stronger, since advice to block all IP fragments or ICMP at border routers isn't necessarily wise. I can't personally vouch for all of the author's virus analysis as his skill level exceeds mine by an order of magnitude.

TAOCVRAD is the must-buy security book of 2005. You could spend weeks learning from this book. Readers should be thankful Peter decided to share so much of his knowledge with us in an accessible and educational format.