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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: WCDMA for UMTS : Radio Access for Third Generation Mobile Communications
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors:
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good starting point to understand WCDMA


This book provides a good introduction to 3GPP Release '99 and helps you navigate the standard. The main focus is on the DS-CDMA radio interface. The book is useful for people with a knowledge of GSM wanting to know about WCDMA. If there is any weakness in the book it is the lack of coverage of Services & Applications.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Hugh E. Williams
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Great beginning to end, but still not The Bible


I have to agree with Dave Hilton's review. I love PHP, MySQL and ORA, but as good as this book was to give you a beginning to end HOW TO of creating a database backed web site with the two, it's far from a definitive guide. I'm still waiting for a Canonical PHP book and definitely for a decent MySQL book. There really isn't anything in this book you can't learn from PHP.net, MySQL.org and DevShed, but if you want a nice and compact "course" type book, this one will do. You'll still need to reference PHP.net.
Unfortunately, after taking a Database Design class in Oracle, I've become a lot more aware of MySQL's limitations. Yes, it's free, but postgreSQL may be a better choice if some of MySQL's lacking features aren't added in the next version.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Authors: Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, J.D. Wiker, Steve Sansweet
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The return of the Jedi


I played the old West End Games version of the Star Wars RPG for 12 years, and have been looking forward to this new version for some time. I'm happy to report that, in most respects, WotC has really delivered.
The d20 rules (similar, but not identical to the 3rd Edition D&D rules) are elegant in their simplicity. I think that this will help the new game overcome one of the few shortcomings of the excellent WEG system -- combat (and skill resolution as a whole) could be extremely slow with experienced characters, as the players would have to roll and then count up huge handfuls of d6s.
There are not a large number of character classes available in the new system, especially compared to the plethora of templates available under WEG. However, the multiclassing rules are very simple, and can help re-create many of the old templates.
I only have two complaints about this otherwise excellent new game. First of all, the starship combat system is extremely simplistic and abstract -- a little too much so for my tastes. Secondly, while the book contains statistics for many aliens and equipment, there are a lot of staples that are still missing (where are banthas, A-wings, or TIE Interceptors?).
One final note -- there isn't a lot of help for true novice role-players in this rulebook. If you love Star Wars, but have never tried a role-playing game before, you might want to try the introductory "Star Wars Adventure Game" first.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Physics for Game Developers
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: David M. Bourg
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not what I expected


I only give book a three because it's not exactly what I expected. I'm sure there is a group of consumers that need brushing up on their physics, but what I guess I really wanted was a book entitled, "Game Programming for Physicists".
This book does have some valubable and interesting ways of dealing with programming game physics, but to me, much of it seemed to be common sense.
If you didn't pay attention or can't remember your freshman level physics class and now want to brush up on basic mechanics for a computer game you're writing... this may be the book for you.
But you don't have to take my word for it... (buh-dah--bump)