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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Managed DirectX 9 Kick Start : Graphics and Game Programming
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Tom Miller
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is my 5th DirectX book and the BEST!

Finally, a book for us C# types wanting to work with managed directX, I have bought 4 other directx books(3 specifically on DirectX9) and most of them were left wanting or next to useless for C# and managed Directx.I sat down with this book and basically read it from cover to cover, crying to myself over how much time I have wasted figuring out stuff that Tom Miller clearly points out. (Of course there is something wrong with the fact that Microsoft cannot put this level of documentation with the product but that is rant for another place and time.)It starts off and gets you going right away and explains devices, presentation parameters, and get a window going. By the time you get to Page 77 you have quickly gone through the basics of Devices, Cameras, Lighting, Device states, Transformations, Enumerating the hardware, Rendering with Vertex Buffers, Texturing an Object, Using Index Buffers, Using Depth Buffers, Meshes with Materials and Lighting. The pace is quick and again it does exactly what it bills itself as and kick starts you. It will not teach you C# or .Net so get Petzold's Programming Window with C# or some similar book first if you need it. It is billed as an intermediate level book but if you want to do anything with Managed DirectX and C# get this book.All the examples are C# but it says that they are also on the CD for Visual basic but I didn't check.This won't teach you how to write a complex game engine but it will give you plenty of help in kick starting one with Managed DirectX.Go see the Table of Contents and sample chapters [...].It cuts to to the chase with how things work and has plenty of tips. Of the 5 directx books I bought it is the best for getting you started!This is the first time I have rated a book 5 stars and may reflect my starvation for information on Managed DirectX but I know that this will be right beside Petzolds Programming Windows, David Sceppa's ADO.Net and Jeff Richters Applied .Net Framework ,as the most well thumbed books that I have. Way to go Tom!

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
Star Wars Roleplaying book a must!

I was really impressed with the quality of the book. Not only is the game great but the book itself is put together real well. If you are a first time Star Wars Role player, like me, it takes awhile to completly understand the rules. After you have it is really fun. I really enjoyed the chapter on the force. It's got a lot of interesting information. My only complaint is the section on vehicles and starships. Unlike the weapons and equipment, this section is very brief and has very few vehicles to choose from. Otherwise this book is great. A++

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Fundamentals of Database Systems, Fourth Edition
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Ramez Elmasri, Shamkant B. Navathe
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
For the mathematically inclined ONLY

This was our textbook for intro to databases (3rd year class). I don't think I learned a thing from it... If you have a really great mathematical mind and you think in terms of sets and relations then it might be your thing. I now have a decent practical understanding of databases but every time I go back to this text as a reference it still makes no sense at all. </p>

It is pretty complete... but it is highly unlikely you could actually learn anything from it.</p>

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Ableton Live 4 Power! (Power!)
Publisher: Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade
Authors: Chad Carrier, David Hill
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book really helped!

Although I had gotten my feet wet using Ableton Live 4, I didn't realize what I was missing until I read this book. I am now much faster and can do a lot of really cool stuff that I didn't even realize was possible with Live before reading this book. It's also much easier to read than other technical manuals I've read, written in an engaging, conversational style that is easy to understand while imparting some pretty deep knowledge. Actually inspired me to dig into Live and try what I was learning. I highly recommend this one!!