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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Moving to VB .NET: Strategies, Concepts, and Code
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Daniel Appleman, Dan Appleman
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Don't let this man scare you

Kudos to Dan Appleman for trying something different with this book - great to see an author writing about a technology without falling into the trap of believing it's the solution to all the world's troubles. But it's a shame to see him devote so much time to trying to scare VB developers. Yes, .NET's a big change, and the inheritance and multi-threading capabilities of .NET offer VB developers something they've never seen before. But Dan seems determined to warn you off using these features at all. He commits the worst sin of logic by showing an example of the inappropriate use of inheritance (a linked list - who would ever implement a linked list through inheritance?), then concluding that since inheritance is wrong here, it is wrong everywhere else too.
Dan's a competent author, but he's not got high opinions of his readers' ability to deal with change. He's afraid that VB programmers will misuse .NET's power, so he wants to scare them off trying. Go elsewhere, learn about inheritance and concurrency, and then make up your own mind about whether they're going to warp your tiny little mind, as Mr Appleman seems convinced they will.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Final Fantasy XI Official Strategy Guide for PS2 & PC
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: Michael Lummis, Elizabeth M. Hollinger, Edwin Kern, Kathleen Pleet
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Strictly for beginners only

As many MMORPG guides are, this guide lacks a lot of detail in the lists (equip/craft/quest/mission/bestiary etc). Since stuff get added all the time.

It's only useful for a new playing, just entering MMORPG world, who might find the info at early sections of the guide interesting, the very basics.

Job descriptions are only partly correct, and job abilities, spells lists are out of date.

Equipment list was decent for its time of publishing, since then the number of equips probably doubled or tripled.

Guild recipes is one of the worst parts, it only tells you which rank the recipe is in (eg recruit, novice), but not the recipe cap, making it useless for someone skilling up a craft. Also it only covers up to Artisan rank (lvl80max). All the newly added recipes are not there of course.

Only a handful of quests are given for each realm, far less then the actual amount even at its time of publishing. Quest descriptions/guidance are insufficient for many quests.

Missions only go up to Magicite (Rank 5) for each nation. No rank 6-10, no Zilart, no Promathia.

Beastiery is fairly good, for the areas that it covers. I find the Lvl min-max range info useful. Some Zilart and all promathia areas are not covered.

A very basic skillchain chart is given, only covers up to the 150 skill WSs, and of course no lvl3 chains. There is a list saying which mob-family is weak to which elements, which I found useful. The new mob families introduced since zilart are not covered.

Magic and food effects tables were sufficient for its time, but now much has changed.

Overall it makes a pretty poor reference book, but the MMORPG world is ever-changing, so you can't really expect too much.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development
Publisher: Wordware Publishing, Inc.
Authors: Fletcher Dunn
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Great Coverage in Some Areas Fail Miserably in Others

The book is meant for Introductory to Intermediate audiences, but some of the chapters makes too many assumptions that you have background in the topic. Take the chapter on Vector, for example, it dives right into vectors without telling you how vectors are derived. Moreover, I believe the author takes a very lazy approach to his examples. He offers very little illustrations and explanations to demonstrate the problem. When he does offer it, he tends to skip a number steps before arriving at the answer. I do not recommend this book for Beginners; perhaps Intermediate users may find it more informative. Too bad Amazon does not reimburse for shipping returns; otherwise, it will be awaiting at their front door.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Modern Operating Systems (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Andrew Tanenbaum
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Not an easy read

This books is a tough read, Mr. Tanenbaums explanations of concepts is very loopy and confusing at best. I have a fairly strong foundation in Operating Systems but still this book leaves me dazed. In addition to this book I have Operating Systems by Deitel and Stallings and I find that they manage to convey the concepts of OS much more clearly than Mr. Tanenbaum. I would strongly recommend against this book, even keeping it as a reference is a no-go especially considering the cost.