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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective Java Programming Language Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Joshua Bloch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Nuggets of wisdom

This book is a collection of nuggets of wisdom. They can actually be read in any order but they do make a lot of sense end-to-end. The author really knows his stuff; he demonstrates his mastery of the Java language and depth of understanding of programming in general on every page. I would recommend that any Java programmer buy this book and *read it* thoroughly. It will change the way you program. Remember God is in the details: the things that separate good code from bad code are very subtle, but you need to know them or you'll be just another contributor to the vast sea of garbage code out there.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Rules of Play : Game Design Fundamentals
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Katie Salen, Eric Zimmerman
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Many words, little content

This book shows how to analyze games, rather than design them. As such, it easily covers its bases. It is not light reading, and it is a textbook of sorts, but it is a very fun read.
It takes adequate time to define and present abstract concepts and qualities that games have. It looks at games from many different angles. It presents three distict levels (or "schemas") in describing games: as collections of rules, as systems of play, and as cultural systems. I find it refreshing that the authors did not take a "one size fits all" approach.
Those who would like to design their own games would find this book very useful. Those who want a tutorial that explains how to design certain types of games would probably be disappointed.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PostfixThe Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Kyle D. Dent
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Not for the newbie

After getting my Postfix server running using online documentation I knew that I had been guessing, and that I would need help to go farther. I started reading the Blum book on the subject, and learned a few things, but I was no less confused.
With Dent's "Postfix: The Definitive Guide" I found what I needed. I have a much clearer understanding now, and I have been able to extend some of the sample code to things I want, such as accepting mail from certain domains on a per-user basis. Highly recommended.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Rise of the Network Society
Publisher: Blackwell Publishers
Authors: Manuel Castells
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Etudiante IUP IMS à Marne La Vallée France

Although the author of this volume has a reputation for ponderous prose I did not find his writing style as forbidding as I feared it would be. With determination, one can quickly adjust and fall into line with the epic tempo of the book. An extraordinary intellectual adventure awaits anyone who has the fortitude and time to negotiate these pages which, I believe, provide a clearer picture of the emergence of 21st century society and culture than anything else that I have encountered on the subject.