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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: .NET Framework Solutions: In Search of the Lost Win32 API
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: John Mueller, John Paul Mueller
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very useful book


I am in the process of writing code to communicate with a microcontroler chip via USB. This requires calling the Win32 DeviceIoControl function to pass the requests to the device driver. Each USB funtion requires different data structures to be passed and returned using DeviceIoControl. These data structures use many of the wierd data types that Microsoft has defined in the Win32 API, which makes it dificult to write code in C# using Platform Invoke.
This book dosn't cover DeviceIoControl, or USB, but it has all the techniques I need to solve this problem, and has saved many hours of my time. I was starting to think that I would have to write my USB code in C++ with a managed C++ wrapper, but I am now making progress writing it completly in C#.
This book also discusses how to use managed C++ to wrap API calls, when you need to do something which can't be done directly with Platform Invoke.
There are 4 chapters on using DirectX from .NET, which I havn't read yet.
A great book for C# & VB.NET programmers who need to use the Win32 API, or other DLLs. You need to know C#, VB.NET, or another .NET language before reading this book. It also helps if you have had some experience with the Win32 API using C++ or VB6.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java (tm) Certification
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
The best of the many certification books I read


The only reason I didn't give 5 stars was because the book is so long. It took forever to read through the whole thing and was very tedious at times. The code and questions at the end of chapters was very helpful & challenging. Also the test at the end was quite difficult - but thats a good thing.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Digital Image Processing (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Rafael C. Gonzalez, Richard E. Woods
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A good text book in image processing class


A good book, clear and easy to understand, and it is also easy to implement the algorithms mentioned in the book into a real world program. I used it as a text book in image processing class. Compared to other books in image processing, this book is a clear winner. The only drawback is the price. Other thing to remember is that this book is old enough in the ever-progressed image processing and computer graphic field.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Python in a Nutshell
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Alex Martelli
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good fast-paced intro to Python - also excellent reference


All told, I really liked Python In a Nutshell. I've programmed primarily in Java and C over the past 8 years, so that's my bias. I have wanted something a little more high level than Java. I got chills when I realized that I didn't have to write another "Iterator iter = list.iterator(); while (iter.hasNext()) { Item item = (Item) iter.next(); item.doThis(); }" loop! How about "for item in list: item.doThis()"?
This book took me about two weeks to digest while reading it on the bus before and after work. The information was presented clearly enough to allow me to write production scripts directly after finishing chapters 1-9.
The core of the Python language is described in chapters 4-9. This includes a discussion about basic types and syntax, object-oriented syntax, exceptions, Python modules, and strings (including basic regular expressions). I liked learning about Jython, but the chapter (chapter 25) that introduces Jython doesn't go as far as I would have liked. I would have expected at least a description of how types map between Java and Python.
The rest of the book is a general reference about the many modules that exist for use to do about anything you want. These API references are well-organized and very accessible. The index is excellent (esp. for the first chapters - helpful for people new to Python, like me).