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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Practical C Programming, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steve Oualline
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
A mediocre book from a great publishing house


I felt this book is structured in an awkward manner and very tough to use as a reference. It certainly does not live up to the high standard of other Nutshell books I've read. I would barely recommend it for beginners who want a tutorial-based introduction. For anyone else, it's not worth the price.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Digital Photography Hacks
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Derrick Story
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Stuff you really oughtta know about digital photography


This book could have been titled 'Stuff you really really ought to know about digital photography'. Heck, many of the tricks could be applied to point-n-shoot, disposable, even some pro equipment both in digital and film arenas. While most pros are keenly aware of most of the hacks in this book, many things only come after years of goofing up and asking others how they did something.

For example, we've all seen soft-focus portraits, but would you have thought to stretch nylons over the lens to get that effect? Or maybe you'd tear tiny holes in the nylons to get a more mottled appearance. Need a well-lit portrait but don't have a studio? Buy two flashes that can be fired by remote control, or consider using a mirror to bounce one flash around.

In the digital side, learn some tips about sorting an filing, backing up, and creating working copies so you don't lose your originals. Take your images into the 4th dimension by creating movies and slide shows - free! And learn to use the unique benefits of digital cameras to shoot many more exposures than you normally would with film, then combine the best parts of each.

The hacks in this book range from boring to quite imaginitive, and cover not only shooting techniques, but lighting setups, Photoshop tricks, archiving, weekend projects, and stuff you can do with a camera phone. Not all the hacks will be useful to everyone, but there is enough variety that most novice and intermediate photogs will be kept busy for quite a while.

The only drawback to this book is that many of the hacks rely on purchasing or building additional equipment. While this is not the fault of the author, it is a bit disappointing to open a book and be told to buy something else. However, Story does give plenty of information on do-it-yourself solutions, and generally provides alternates. Some things, like additional flashes, or more advanced digital cameras just can't be substituted.

Digital Photography Hacks really isn't meant for the shooter looking to solve very specific problems. Instead, the goal seems to be to get people thinking more creatively about their cameras and shooting. It might make a serious hobbiest of some, while give some inspiration to others. I've been shooting for a little while, and found lots of unique approaches to techniques I've already learned, and a few new tricks here and there.

This is a great book for anyone with a point-n-shoot digital camera who wants to do something more interesting than the typical travel or kid snaps.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Computer Systems Organization and Architecture
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: John D. Carpinelli
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
This book is a failure


I was forced to buy this book for my Architecture class. I really regret wasting my money on it. In short, the book [stinks]. It assumes too many things. It does not do a very good job explaining some important pieces of information. For the most part, the student will spend the whole time trying to make sense out of what the author is saying. It is one of these "should've..could've" books!If you are looking for an architecture book, I wouldn't recommend this one.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming ASP.NET, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jesse Liberty, Dan Hurwitz
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Absolute crappiest book I ever bought


Talk about padding the pages! Hey O'Reilly - we don't need to re-print the whole dang piece of code to show a snippet. And have you guys ever heard of drag and drop on the page? Nah - couldn't do that either - let's just reprint the source code instead. It's more impressive that way - a thicker book *must* be better, we can price accordingly *and* it fills the "library".

Utter nonsense.