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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Deluxe Learning Edition--Version 2003 (Pro-Developer)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Missing MSDN Discs

I phoned Microsoft (here in the UK) and they admitted it was a mistake to omit the help files CD - they are posting mine. Still it took 30 minutes on the phone to find someone who knew what they were talking about ... The book is ok but I prefer the much larger Programming VB.NET.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0
Publisher: Wordware Publishing, Inc.
Authors: Frank D. Luna
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
THE beginner's Direc3D API book

If you're going to learn Direct3D, GET THIS BOOK.

I have other books (Beginning Direct3D Game Programming by Engel), and they don't hold a candle to this book.

Not only does he explain everything you NEED to know, he tells you to look up whatever he doesn't explain within DX's SDK.

Everything he does in this book has a plan. The organization is top notch, with the starting point being a primer on how to set up visual studio to compile and run directx programs. The next step is a math primer which should be mandatory for any book that is about 3D graphics, but apparently other authors would rather spend their time talking about higher level stuff in a beginner's book.

I have to say that without this book, I would have had a lot tougher time learning Direct3D.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jakob Nielsen, Marie Tahir
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Jakob Nielsen book - need more comment ?

Jakob Nielsen book - need more comment ? Must have it if you are pro.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cryptography Decrypted
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: H. X. Mel, Doris M. Baker, Steve Burnett
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fabulous Cryptography Introduction -- (almost) NO MATH

I am a masters student studying computer science.
This is absolutely the BEST introduction to cryptographic technology that I've seen. You do not need a math degree to read and understand this book! It explains complicated mathematical manipulations clearly and precisely in plain English. If you've looked at other texts and given up hope understanding how cryptography works because you weren't able to understand the math, this book is your salvation.
"Cryptography Decrypted" has only 1 chapter (# 11) where you are required to understand some mathematical concepts, but even those concepts are clearly explained. There is an additional 50+ page appendix that goes into more mathematical detail for those so inclined. If you read this book, you will understand how modern day cryptography works and how cryptanalysts (and hackers) attempt to break encrypted messages. (This is not an algorithms or programming book.)