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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming .NET Components
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Juval Lowy
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Worth every cent!


I have been developing software for 20+ years and am very particular about programming books. This book is my premier C# reference. Juval Lowy covers the topic thoroughly and offers best practices and many well written useful classes.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Game Programming Gems 4 (Game Programming Gems Series)
Publisher: Charles River Media
Authors:
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Great Resource to add to your collection


The latest in this series of highly successful books delivers 60 new articles covering diverse game development topics. Once again, the articles are written by an impressive group of people that collectively represent a substantial amount of game industry experience. The writing style and editing is very good, as usual, with a professional but casual tone, making the articles easy to read.
Although all of the topics are relevant to game development, because they are typically very narrow in scope, your mileage will vary depending on what exactly you're working on. This is true for the entire series. It's likely that you won't be reading the book cover to cover, but rather a handful of chapters here and there as you need them. This fourth volume is particularly useful in that respect because it includes a comprehensive index of the first 4 volumes
Another noteworthy change is the addition of a physics section. Given how important physics has become in game development, this is a welcome addition. It's also interesting to see a couple of chapters that use Python and Java (though only one for each) for the sample code, rather than the C++ used for most of the chapters. DirectX is used for much of the sample code, with OpenGL being used in a few of the graphics chapters.
This volume does have a few shortcomings, which again are typical for the series. Due to the length of the articles (about 5 to 15 pages each), some of them were a bit too short to cover the topic with sufficient depth. This is pretty subjective, since many people may be satisfied with a more high-level explanation, but it seems to me that the series would be better served with a smaller number of slightly longer articles that go into greater depth.
I also think that the price of the book is rather high. True, it's hardbound, but similar books have been published (notably, GPU Gems, which is hardbound, the same length, and printed in full-color) with notably lower prices. Since the book covers such a broad range of topic areas - only a handful of which will be of interest to you - the value of this book is diminished somewhat.
Despite the price, this book is still an important part of any complete game programming library. If you have the previous volumes, you'll want to pick it up for the index if nothing else.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
This is semi-good book.


If you have never made a web page, this book is good for you. But for the advanced user, you may want something else. Also the book is more Mac oriented, a major problem. No one uses's Mac's anymore.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: TCP/IP Network Administration (3rd Edition; O'Reilly Networking)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Craig Hunt
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Cannot Live Without


Though this book is oriented to UNIX, I find it tremendously useful as a Windows administrator. Core concepts gleamed from this book has catapulted me greatly into my career, and allowed me to solve complex networking problems and avert major disasters.

I was introduced to this book for a UNIX Network Administration course, and from this I was able to really flesh out core TCP/IP concepts as well as play with services like DHCP and DNS, which are essential pieces for a Windows Active Directory environment. Using this book I was able to dabble with other services like NFS and SAMBA from a variety of systems ranging from Mac OS X to Solaris x86 to Linux to Windows XP...

I don't have any complaints, but rather some requests for future editions. I wish there was some coverage of IPSec and Kerberos in Chapter 12 "Network Security". I think Chapter 9 "Local Netowrk Services" could be expanded, as some topics are sparsely covered and there is no mention of printing technologies like IPP or CUPS. I do wish there was more coverage of the raw SMTP protocol and related technologies of POP, IMAP, and LDAP and maybe even mail servers like Exim and Postfix. However, don't touch that sendmail chapter (Chapter 10), as this coverage is so very excellent; other books go off on the deep end are far way too complex to get started.