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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Basic 6 for Dummies (for Windows)
Publisher: For Dummies
Authors: Wallace Wang
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
the best book for beginning

this is the excellent, the excellent book for a person who have never touched programming, although after reading it you can not design a perfect program, but it provides strong basis for you, this book may be of little help to those who are already familiar with programming

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ How to Program (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

I've read a few c++ books in past year but usually came to be dissapointed with the book by the end of first few chapters. Most books spend much time telling you how well others learn using their book, how they've been doing this a long time, and all kinds of stuff that has to do with nothing. However, Deitel & Deitel books seem to be made of something different. For a beginner that is willing to spend time in order to learn the material this book is "PERFECT". It includes many examples and each example is then reviewed line by line explaining nearly every single piece of code. Granted that for those already experienced in other programming languages learning from this book might require some skimming, but this book will probobly even have something for those already in knowledge of the language. This book is based on the Visual Studio C++ Version 6.0. A trial version of the software is included with the book on CD and will be very helpful to those that don't have or can't afford Visual Studio 6.0 Currently the newest version is Visual Studio .NET which i assume is covered in the newer editions of this book. As a final recommendation: "BUY THIS BOOK" it WILL help you learn if you are WILLING to read it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Classical Electrodynamics
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: John David Jackson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Nice Text but the Problems SUCK!

This is what I wrote a year or so agao:
"What a throughly wretched text! Absolutely without clairity, the essentials of the subject buried in a muck of detail, most of which have limited jusification and application anyway. For a book called "Classical Electrodynamics", there is no coherent treatment of classical field theory at all. No illustrative examples, minimal physical motivation. The whole text seems a covoluted exercise in Green's Functions and vector calculus. It is possibly useful as a reference, but I doubt it. Try Walter Greiner's text, or on a higher level, the two texts by Landau and Liftsitz. Otherwise the sooner Jackson is gotten rid of, the better."
Nowadays I have to admit the book is quite handy as a reference, as Jackson is just so [...] thorough in his coverage of the subject -- if it has anything to do with E&M, it is probably in the book. If you are a physicist, sooner or later you are going to have look up something or other in it.
Nevertheless the original complaints remain. The book is simply wretched pedagogically. Its expositions are simply to bogged down in detail that the essantial physics is obscured. With Greiner or Landau, everything is so clearly exposited, one feels like a fool for not seeing how obvious everything is. With Jackson, one just feels like a fool -- unless you already know your E&M. The absence of examples or physical motivation is inexplicable for a textbook (though if you think the book as a reference, then it's really not so bad). And the lack of treatment of classical field theory is a grave omission in a book about the classical example of classical field theories.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Advanced PHP Programming
Publisher: Sams
Authors: George Schlossnagle
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Very Good Concept Book

This book preaches very good concepts that are good guidelines to follow if you plan on conducting a multi-developer PHP project. It touches on many things such as coding standards, revision control with cvs, seperation of business and display logic using a template engine (smarty used as example), a brief discussion on object-oriented methodologies, and other useful development areas. He cites many "futher readings" in context which I found extremely helpful. All the examples in the book are very easy to understand and somewhat pertain to "real-world" situations (I found this a big plus since I don't like real abstract examples).

I have two complaints with the book (these are not THAT important and you should not buy this book just because of these two reasons. The book is VERY good for most PHP developers).

1 - I don't consider this that "advanced" of a book. I have been using this type of stuff for years now at my current work place -- although this would advanced for most "non-enterprise" developers (where teams are more than 5 or so).

2 - The lack of coding standard being used in the examples (something that he preaches about in one of the first chapters).

Other than those two complaints, this is great book for PHP developers looking to do stuff in a more "enterprise" way.