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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Flash MX ActionScripting: Advanced Training from the Source
Publisher: Macromedia Press
Authors: Derek Franklin, Jobe Makar
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not sure what they are trying to pass off as advanced here


I'm just over halfway through this book and have yet to see anything "advanced"... reading the reviews and little blurbs about this book and how advanced it was supposed to be, I picked it up. Much to my dismay the first 100 pages or so are complete newbie review. You go over mouse events and movie events and such... on my very first movie I was doing this kind of stuff with ease.. this is not advanced material, and any "advanced" user does not need to be told this... we know what an on(rollOver) mouse event does. If you do NOT know what this is then you shouldn't be buying an advanced book anyway.
The examples in this book are great though.. great tutorals and such. I'm the type of person that has to read every page of a book I buy because I feel like I am ripping myself off if I don't. That, and maybe that one page I skip holds some new technique that has managed to elude me.
I realize that any advanced book has to be dumbed down a bit to include a broader portion of the flash knowledge spectrum and to increase the appeal of the book to more users to increase sales. However, this book that is supposed to be specifically for advanced users goes way beyond that. Going by this book's implied definition of an advanced user, I was an advanced user literally one week after I first started using flash.
Fully, the first 1/3 of the book is geared towards beginners or low intermediates (thats being generous to book and critisizing the skill of a low intermediate)... if you factor in a few more pages to include the first half of the book then you are looking at intermediate skill at best...
Upon buying this book I felt I was an upper intermediate level designer, and an intermediate level actionscripter. Unfortunatly, I can say I've learned nothing new in this first half of this "advanced" book. Now, as many times as this book has pegged itself as an "advanced" book, I shouldn't have to wait until the final 2-3 chapters of the book to get to the advanced material. Talking about mouse events is NOT an advanced topic. It is a newbie topic. Advanced users are the people who are out there doing sites, applications, and such... not the people struggling and saying to themselves, "if I could only figure out what the (onEnterFrame) means." Now, having said that, it is quite possible you might learn a trick or two about efficiency in this first half of the book, but I doubt and intermed. would learn anything new. [Money] is a pretty penny to spend on that trick you could have picked up from the internet for free...
The most advanced topic covered in the first half of this book is loading a movie into another movie.. which... as you know if your anything near intermediate, is not an advanced topic either..
However, I'm giving this book 2 stars on this HOPES that it will get better... I've thumbed through to the end of the book and sadly I haven't really seen anything that advanced in there yet either.. but my hope remains alive. This book WOULD get 1 star, (as I don't believe it is advanced by any stretch of the imagination) but the authors do an excellent job in presentation of the material (for whatever skill level), an excellent job in explanation of concepts, and they stick to the book being about actionscript... I have ran across no portion of the book dealing with design and thats good because the book is for actionscripting.
I'm giving this book 2 stars right now because anyone that has made a site or two, or jeez, anyone that has worked a tutorial in which you had to make a button, has fully 40-50% of this book under their belt. Like I said, I'm intermediate at actionscripting and over half of this book is stuff I went over in my first month's use of flash.
I will gladly augment this review should concepts change to an "advanced" level.. but with over half the book completed, I don't see how this book could garner over 3 stars from me.
Props to the author for excellent explanation and presentation. Boo to you for poor content selection.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Photoshop 7 Down & Dirty Tricks
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Tight Effects!


..
An outstanding book for digi-art!
I have used just about every effect you can think of in photoshop.This book shows you how to do some very creative work in CS and you can use them in 7 as well. Photo's take on a brand new creative world with these tools, some of which I never knew possible! I have worked in the publishing arena some 20 years now and have won online photography contests with the techniques found in this book.I would suggest Scott Kelby's new book for anyone with a photoshop skill set of 5 or better on a scale of 1 to 10.
No matter what books you now have on hand, Down & Dirty Tricks will be the 1st book you reach for when the going gets tough and the competition is rough!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: More Exceptional C++
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Herb Sutter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A reality check for those who know C++


This book, like the earlier one by Sutter, was a reality check for me. Before I read it, I blissfully believed that I knew C++ really well. After all, I have taught it at the college and corporate level for ten years and programmed commercial code for three. I have also written and published material about the language in several journals. However, these forty exercises really opened my eyes and exercised my brain. They are excellent teaching material, showing you aspects of the language that are subtle, yet critical to know. One topic that I experienced firsthand is when an exception is thrown out of a constructor. This happened to me many years ago, and I spent hours trying to correct the code so that it finally did something similar to what I wanted. Had I been able to read items 17 and 18 of this book, I could have cut that to about twenty minutes and kept more of my hair. The problems are all typical of those encountered in the "unusual average" day in the life of a C++ programmer. By that I mean that they may not necessarily reflect the day to day work, but are general enough to most likely crop up on some day for everyone who writes code in C++. The general categories are:
1) Generic programming and the C++ standard library2) Optimization and Performance3) Exception safety issues and techniques4) Inheritance and polymorphism5) Memory and resource management6) Free functions and macros7) Miscellaneous topics
There are many things going on behind the scenes in your C++ programs that most of the time you can ignore. However, when it is a time that you can't, then Sutter is one of the people to consult. His material is always well written and useful in the real world and I recommend this book to all my corporate clients.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Data Structures & Algorithms in Java (Mitchell Waite Signature Series)
Publisher: Waite Group Press
Authors: Mitchell Waite, Robert Lafore
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Introduction


This book presents an excellent introduction to Data Structures using Java.The workshop applets are really helpful to get quick understanding.