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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Flash MX ActionScript for Fun and Games (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: Que
Authors: Gary Rosenzweig
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
What better way to learn than through fun and games?


I just picked up this book, and would definitely recommend it. Why? Because not only does it teach via projects, which means you learn by DOING - by actually creating, instead of by simply reading lengthy explanations of discrete pieces of code. Most importantly, however, you learn by creating FUN PROJECTS! It's one thing to write the code for a simple calculator, which, while good for teaching certain concepts, is quite BORING - it's another to write the code for a game or fun little flash "toy", which you can really enjoy. In the end, you learn the syntax and algorithm either way, but if you do it by creating games, it is that much more fun of a learning process.
For beginners, this book dedicates its first few chapters to the basics of ActionScript. For intermediate scripters, it then jumps into fun applications of more intricate scripting methods - you learn new concepts by applying them to fun projects as you learn. Rock on.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How Computers Work, Seventh Edition
Publisher: Que
Authors: Ron White, Timothy Edward Downs
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Overall, the best computer book I've ever read.


Ron White's best-selling and award-winning book How Computers Work Millennium Edition is nothing short of brilliant. He explains how all of this "pokerfaced" hardware works clearly and often even humorously. The book falls into the category of when something is great, or when someone is really talented, they make it look easy. It conveys how computers work in an extremely effective way with both its illustrations and text. The illustrations make one feel that they can practically understand how the component in question works at a glance, and the text seamlessly and lucidly ensures that the reader knows what's going on in the illustration. One of the best parts of the book, however, are the sections at the beginning of each chapter where Ron White introduces the next part of the computer he is going to cover. In these pages White's writings are not the sidebar explanations that accompany the illustrations -- although, as mentioned, those explanations are very good, too, and left me feeling I really did know what was going on in the illustration -- rather, at the beginning of each chapter, Ron White shows his immense talent as a writer/essayist/humorist. Not only are these sections very enjoyable to read, they also reveal how the illustrations and explanations to follow fit into the big picture of how it all works. The Millennium Edition also has a really interesting part following each section of the book where he predicts how a particular type of computer component might work in the future -- i.e., how printers, multimedia, the Internet, software, storage, microchips, input/output devices, and computers in general will work. Don't know if the predictions will be right, but they're still interesting to think about. There are also timelines in the Millennium Edition which show the evolution of the computer and many of its essential parts, such as the transistor, and there is also a good amount devoted to how software, networks, the Internet, and MP3 works in this 400+ page book, which also comes with an equally absorbing, interactive CD-ROM. After reading the book, I found that knowing how computers work has helped me in my everyday use of computers, too. Somehow, knowing how they work seems to help when dealing with them in general -- there's more of an insidious power in knowing how something works than I thought... How Computers Work has also come in handy -- too many times to recount -- as a good reference book for randomly looking up computer related items and topics in the index, so not only can I find it and know how it works, but I can find out what it is in the first place, and get a sense of how it all fits together. With all of this useful and educational information presented so well and effectively, I would even say that this book is an important contribution to society!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How Computers Work, Seventh Edition
Publisher: Que
Authors: Ron White, Timothy Edward Downs
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Overall, the best computer book I've ever read.


Ron White's best-selling and award-winning book How Computers Work Millennium Edition is nothing short of brilliant. He explains how all of this "pokerfaced" hardware works clearly and often even humorously. The book falls into the category of when something is great, or when someone is really talented, they make it look easy. It conveys how computers work in an extremely effective way with both its illustrations and text. The illustrations make one feel that they can practically understand how the component in question works at a glance, and the text seamlessly and lucidly ensures that the reader knows what's going on in the illustration. One of the best parts of the book, however, are the sections at the beginning of each chapter where Ron White introduces the next part of the computer he is going to cover. In these pages White's writings are not the sidebar explanations that accompany the illustrations -- although, as mentioned, those explanations are very good, too, and left me feeling I really did know what was going on in the illustration -- rather, at the beginning of each chapter, Ron White shows his immense talent as a writer/essayist/humorist. Not only are these sections very enjoyable to read, they also reveal how the illustrations and explanations to follow fit into the big picture of how it all works. The Millennium Edition also has a really interesting part following each section of the book where he predicts how a particular type of computer component might work in the future -- i.e., how printers, multimedia, the Internet, software, storage, microchips, input/output devices, and computers in general will work. Don't know if the predictions will be right, but they're still interesting to think about. There are also timelines in the Millennium Edition which show the evolution of the computer and many of its essential parts, such as the transistor, and there is also a good amount devoted to how software, networks, the Internet, and MP3 works in this 400+ page book, which also comes with an equally absorbing, interactive CD-ROM. After reading the book, I found that knowing how computers work has helped me in my everyday use of computers, too. Somehow, knowing how they work seems to help when dealing with them in general -- there's more of an insidious power in knowing how something works than I thought... How Computers Work has also come in handy -- too many times to recount -- as a good reference book for randomly looking up computer related items and topics in the index, so not only can I find it and know how it works, but I can find out what it is in the first place, and get a sense of how it all fits together. With all of this useful and educational information presented so well and effectively, I would even say that this book is an important contribution to society!



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization, and Machine Learning
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: David E. Goldberg
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I wish all books were like this !!


I was looking for an automated approach to finding an optimum run sequence through a changeover matrix. The programming examples gave me the elements I needed to experiment and then fine tune the approach for a working search algorithm. I found the book a good companion in my "voyage of discovery".
For me, the book works two levels, the basic pieces to "play with" are presented clearly in chapters 1 and 3, and practical implementation suggestions are spread throughout the text.
By developing programs in Visual Basic, experimenting with search parameters and re-reading sections of this book - I learned something new!