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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Authors: Steven L. Kent
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Book by a Game Lover, for Game Lovers


If you've read the other reviews first, they say it all.This book is brilliant, well researched, and covers pretty much all you would want it to. It is written in a riveting fashion too- If you love video games and its history, you just won't want to put it down. It is without doubt the best book you can buy on video games, from a quality of how it's written, and information point of view.However, I put the book 'High Score!- The Illustrated guide' slightly higher, as I love the coffee table layout, and the many beautiful and rare photographs.Comparing the two is very hard; they are different styles of book really, one with depth, one with style. I personally found it impossible to pass up either once I knew they existed. Together, you have the best set of video game guides, and two of the four 'must own' books on video games available. (Ultimate guide, High Score Illustrated Guide, Phoenix: Fall and Rise of Video Games, Game Over: Nintendos History).If you are picking only one book on video games for your shelf however, it's definately down to the first two- Dependant on whether you need the full depth story or great photographs. I can't see any fan on gaming history passing up either. Just wonderful.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, Second Edition (All-in-One)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Shon Harris, Shon Harris
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is THE definative CISSP study guide


I've read most of the CISSP books out currently. The SRV books, Exam cram, prep guide, secured computing, and the first two infosecurity management handbooks. Out of all of them, this book is by far my favorite.
Shon Harris presents the information in very easy to understand terms and uses vivid analogies which helped me retain more of the information. With the other books I found the reading quite dry and often caught myself losing focus. The All-In-One book was much easier to digest. Those of you who have read Bruce Schneier's Secrets and Lies should have a good idea on the writers style.
Despite Amazon's information, this book comes in at 924 pages from the front to the glossary. While Chapter 12, Operations Security ends around page 840, there are almost 100 additionaly pages of interesting and relevant information. For the price I definately think this is the best buy around.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C: A Reference Manual (5th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Samuel P. Harbison, Guy L. Steele
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Benchmark of Reference Manual in any language


If you can only keep one books in C. This is it. One more? K & R. Let's pray to God that Harbison and Steele will write one in C++. We need a C++ book of this caliber badly.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum : Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Alan Cooper
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
pablum for management


The inmates are the programmers, who, as the author knows and says, are mostly good designers, but inasmuch as they have any input in the design process, plan for a user more logical than she (Cooper would be careful to say 'he') actually is. Enter the 'interaction designer,' to tilt the balance towards - well what: the cash customer's common sense?
Cooper's firm advocates designing with personae in mind - not a bad plan - so we might ask to who is that book is addressed. Well, management. Having in this culture no especial qualifications for their job (even Cooper has them slipping out for the pizza), they cover by hiring consultants, and read books written to their level, which is to say, replete with generalities true (design should precede, and take longer than programming) and false (shipping late does not matter), and leavened with anecdote that illustrates where it purports to prove.
Cooper has much good anecdote of bad design, all valid, some out of date; but his conclusions do not follow from the single case, and he wrestles idealistically and unconvincingly (once one raises one's head to observe the real world) with what determines success. This will not faze the manager, who rather than include in the design process his (yes, or her) inhouse, sadly overeducated team, will accede to these easy generalites (that programmers are nerds low on 'personal hygeine' - a stereotype repeated in this book), reassure himself this is a reputable voice (which it assuredly is), and confirm that this is what other managers are reading. But then, he'll also vote for George W Bush.