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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming ASP.NET, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jesse Liberty, Dan Hurwitz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
It doesn't get any better than Jesse Liberty


As a new programmer, and even newer to .NET and ASP.NET this book is a must have for anyone serious about learning ASP.NET. The book covers every aspect of using ASP.NET, and the examples can be used in real world situtations. You can also find Jesse Liberty featured on http://www.appdev.com courses. What are you waiting for, go get this book!!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Digital Compositing In Depth: The Only Guide to Post Production for Visual Effects in Film
Publisher: Coriolis Group Books
Authors: Doug Kelly
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good Coverage & Basic Tutorials


For someone who is new to compositing, this book could give you a new perspective on the 2D half of the visual effects industry. Most of the information in this book is embedded in the tutorials and projects, so it is sometimes hard to read and study the book unless you have the same software installed and are following tutorial steps.
Although it was not focused on just one compositing program, a proponderance of the tutorials seemed to be centered around Digital Fusion, which is appropriate because a demo version of Digital Fusion is included on the book's CD-ROMs (the demo is full functional except that it adds a company logo to random places on your composited frames), giving you everything you need to start learning to composite.
If you are interested in compositing, also consider the Ron Brinkman's wonderful new book "The Art and Science of Digital Compositing" - Brinkman's insightful book is not tutorial-based, but is very comprehensive and contains more film-industry-oriented examples (as opposed to Kelly's book, which seems slightly more geared towards video work.)



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Authors: Roger Penrose
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Brilliant but Limited


Penrose is following the pathway started in THE EMPEROR'S NEW MIND - an exploration of the brain, consciousness, humanity and machine "thinking". I think Penrose would rather say machine "Computation" since he does not think of the human mind as an entity that can be explained in formula, alogrithms, or programs.
Rather our consciouness, our "knowing" that we are who we are is an evolutionary process made possible through quantum effects. That is Roger Penrose's argument and while it is an interesting one it is by no means definitive. What Penrose has done, though, is relentlessly investigate questions usually left unanswered and in most cases, unasked.
For example, how did consciousness happen? How did it evolve? Is it still evolving and can it be replicated? Once again, as in the EMPEROR, replication of an activity does not mean the same thing except to the outsider. If a computer plays chess and defeats the world champion, it is an astounding feat - not of chess playing but of computer building. Big Blue did nothing that it had not been programmed to do and that is our quandry - at what point would a machine ever begin to do what it wants and for what reason.
We developed psychologically and emotionally as we tried to adapt to our changing environment. Our uniqueness is due to many things, one of them being a left-right brain. To what conditions could a computer respond that would suddenly bring forth awareness? How would it grow and evolve outside of organic matter?



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Signal Integrity Issues and Printed Circuit Board Design
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Douglas Brooks
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A chasm has been bridged...


As an educator, lecturer and practicing designer I am given many books to read and make comment on. I find very few books that are able to bridge the chasm between the needs of a beginner learning about signal integrity and the needs of a professional desperate to solve design problems. This book is an excellent primer and reference for understanding the interrelationship between the board layout and the signal integrity problem. This book details design solutions to classic signal integrity problems and educates the novice in understanding the reasoning behind the solutions. There is a lot of nonsense being written about signal integrity and few people have the resources to filter out the chaff from hay. This book proves every principle presented with tested board layouts, demonstrated engineering principles, or documented laboratory results. Some people can see the world in formulas and some see the world pictorially. This book is rich in both forms of expressionism and its presentation will not exasperate the PCB designer who sees the world visually, or frustrate the engineer seeking equations for design representation. This book has been added to the required reading list for our PCB layout designers and product development engineering teams.