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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX, Second Edition (Game Development Series)
Publisher: Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade
Authors: Jim Adams
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Beginning to Intermediate, With Software


Need I point out that computer game playing has become big business. With the commercial market flat, or perhaps even slowing down (businesses find that for word processing you don't get any more performance out of the latest Pentium 4 than you get out of earlier machines and are upgrading much more slowly).

Game playing, on the other hand, needs all the computer power that can be had. With each increase in processing and especially in video processing power the realism of the game gets better. Now with the advent of Direct X Version 9.0 the programming of games has progressed far beyond where it was when I first got involved.

In this book, a master of the profession covers game programming from beginning to intermediate level. He also includes a lot of software that you will need to design state of the art games. This includes: DirectX 9/0, Paint Shop Pro, gameSpace, GoldWave.

With the growth of the business, the need for programmers has likewise increased. Reading this book won't guarantee you a job in the business, but without the knowledge it contains, you won't get one.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd Ed.
Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
Authors: Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Hits the Mark


I was asked to read this book for a Master's degree class. Like many textbooks, I approached it with caution, but was pleasantly surprised by what I found within. Though this book was written primarily for software developers who are often backed against the wall to produce, the content is really universal to most business situations. We usually have to work with people, and we usually have to produce in our various fields.
Peopleware is a book you should read if you desire your business team to reach its full potential regardless of the industry you are in. Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister cover a lot of territory that is totally missed by other leader/manager books. They cover topics such as the workplace environment, the value of fun, and developing a chemistry with your team that is highly productive.
While reading the book it was obvious that they had served in the trenches of American businesses. The universal mistakes that companies continue to make over and over have been catalogued and brought to light in this volume. But they not only highlight the common mistakes, they offer proven techniques to help you avoid these same mistakes.
If you are in the process of forming or leading individuals or a team of people, the ideas found in this book will help you take them the top. You will enjoy the writing style, the humor, and the information contained in this volume.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Anti-Hacker Tool Kit, Second Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Mike Shema, Bradley C. Johnson
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Somewhat [weak] "tool book"


While I admit that my low grade for this book stems from my prejudice against "tool books" (also known as "rephrase the man page"), the book indeed contains the biggest collection of command line options and screen shots gathered under one cover that ever saw the light of the day. The authors boast an impressive skill using (or, maybe, just describing) tools from Sub7 to snort and all the way to Outlook Express (by the way, featured as a forensic tool).
This book, as other "tool books" currently in publication, is a list of network and system softwares with short (from one to several pages) descriptions. The descriptions provide little insight on how to use the tool BEST and how it compares to other methods of doing the same job. Tool books also get old very fast, thus providing publishers with a steady stream of revenue from selling "new" editions.
The book also has minor problems with presentation style. While Windows email forensics can indeed be done with the help of Outlook, it probably does not earn make it title of a "Internet activity recovery tool". While snort (deemed to be "hard to use" by the authors) is indeed a sniffer, it most common use is for intrusion detection.
Case studies in the book are somewhat fun and strive to illustrate the tool usage. In fact, without them the book will suffer significantly. Another advantage is an amazing breadth of coverage: from wireless tools to phone scanners and web exploit to forensics kits, the book has it all. Be aware, that a large portion of the tools (such as X Window system, VMWare, Midnight Commander and QuickView) are not security tools, but can be used while doing security projects.
Overall, the book will save some time searching the web for the same information and might appeal to those with little or no security experience. It will also be useful for people too lazy to type "toolname -h" (for UNIX tools) or click "Help" (for Windows tools). The book seems to be written by knowledgeable people and the information contained therein is mostly accurate.
...



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Writing Effective Use Cases
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Alistair Cockburn
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This Book Will Help


I had never heard of Use Cases until taking a class in Systems Analysis and Development. So I went to Amazon and did a search for books on Use Cases and saw that this one was rated quite high. I believe I read all the customer reviews. I don't understand how most everyone can give a 5 star rating and one person gives it a 1 star rating.
I must say that this book could make even someone new like me, being new to Use Cases, look good. The Table of Contents makes it easy to find an overall view of Use Case topics and the Index breaks it down in great detail. The book is described by the author as a book that is, "predominately aimed at industry professionals who read and study alone, and is therefore organized as a self-study guide." I like that.
If you are looking for a book for a class, such as the one I took, or just want to look good at work to describe a process, behavioral requirements, or software development, surely this book could help you too.