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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows with C# (Core Reference)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Charles Petzold
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good for what it covers...

I have been using C# for some time now but almost exclusively for web applications. I am now exploring Windows Forms programs using .net, so I began shopping for some books. I have always enjoyed Petzold books on Windows going back to the early days when we only had the Windows API. So I thought this would be THE book to have, i.e., the one book that will guide me through this period of getting up to speed on writing Forms programs. Sadly, it isn't that book, though it still is very worthwhile.
I was very surprised at what wasn't in the book- specifically, no mention of database access. You won't find database, SQL, Access, anywhere, even in the index. That was a major disappointment, because all of my Windows apps are doing just that - accessing a database. While the ASP.NET data access material more or less applies, there are differences in how it is done and I was hoping to have a text to help sort that out. This text does not do that.
Also omitted - anything to do with XML.
What this book does is the normal, core-Windows stuff such as drawing/painting, keyboard control, mouse, timers, fonts, images, bitmaps, menus, brushes, pens, etc. There is a very good chapter on printing. Also covered well is file input/output, drag and drop, various controls and so on.
It's a good library addition but I just wish there was some data access material in it to make it a great book.
I have found this book to be a good one to keep on the shelf

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Andre Lamothe
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
great book for the beginner

I loved this book from the start, some people might not like LaMothe's very personal writing style, but to me it felt like he was talking to ME which makes the book very pleasant to read. Tons of examples, both for the beginner and more experienced programmers about the most common gaming problems. However this book is for 2d, the 3d stuff is on the CD and who likes to try to read 100+ pages of word documents? Also I miss DirectPlay, network games are almost the standard these days.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Non-Designer's Design Book, Second Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Robin Williams
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Keeps your interest while teaching the fundamentals

This is a great basics book, for the beginner or for the designer who needs to get back to basics. It gets right to the meat of designing and is interesting to read and easy to follow. There are samples and explanations, and the book isn't long enough to get boring. I'll be keeping this quick-reference guide for the duration of my career. (Also, it's a great book for teachers to use in their high school or college graphic design classes.)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Systems Architecture, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Course Technology
Authors: Stephen D. Burd
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Good kindling.

This book is horrible. It is unfocused, out of date and often simply wrong. The entire book reads almost as if it were written by a student who doesn't actually understand the subject and is simply making it up. There is a section in the beginning that discusses the disadvantages of making mechanical computers (like, ones that use pieces of wood instead of electrons). He tells us how reaching the limits of that technology forced the U.S. during WWII to find the electrical solution to the problem. I don't think so. I'm fairly certain Eisenhower wasn't pounding his fist on the desk yelling "Damn it men, these steam-powered computers just aren't good enough to beat the Nazis!!" Or, did you know for instance that "optical drives are gradually replacing electrical and magnetic storage devices"? Look for that 300GB CDR from Maxtor any day now. People like Mr. Burd should switch from teaching IT to PE.