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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Digital Lighting & Rendering
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Jeremy Birn
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book is good to eat.


I served this book with a little cream chowder and it simply made our evening. Splendid.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Authors: Katie Hafner
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
An exceptional recording


A visual record, and a very similar book, is the documentary: Nerds 2.0.1 by Stephen Segaller who credits Katie's book. Both of these books give an excellent, if a tiny bit incomplete feel for what the ARPAnet was like. Minor typographic errors make me want to rate it 4.5, but I'm not allowed a fraction, and giving Katie the benefit of rounding, and I am a tough editor, she gets 5 stars.
If you do not have a chance to thumb through this book in a store or a library, this book is not a technical book; there are no really technical observations. This book will not tell you how to send email but will tell the story of the @-sign (not easily available on some foreign keyboards). There are no photos or maps (see Segaller's book for those but buy both). The value of Katie's book is the perspective of the computer communications community. I was there as a college freshman, and Katie has really captured much of the sense (as it can be written); specifically the frustration, but also the excitement of the early net. I really think the world needs a working ARPAnet (running NCP, not TCP/IP) to give a feel for what this was all like. The Net changed my perspective on life (I was one of those who pulled all nighters), and this book will give some of the sense of why all those on the early net did those.
The treatment on the Usenet and on the Bitnet are a tiny bit thin. I can think of 1-2 people who really deserved mention in the book [Frank Kuo @SRI and U. of HI being one], these are minor slights which are the limitations of paper. The chronology and the resources are as I remember them from my time during that period (1973-1975) of exposure.
My biases: I know Katie and he ex-, and helped promote by posting to Usenet the announcement for this book and her earlier Cyberpunks book. When this book came out, I was stunned how her writing captured the experience from a person on the sideline. I find myself now working with many of people in this book. The ARPAnet was precisely the kind of experience people send their children to college to experience. It's too bad that more people could not have similar exposures.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes, Third Edition
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Ben Forta
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Absolutely Fabulous Lesson in SQL


If you are new to Database Application Design/Web Based Application Design, as I am, you will find this title most helpful in getting you off the ground. I bought this book in hopes that it would help me build SQL statements into my ASP pages, and it has done that and more. This book is an easy read and very clearly explains the basic concepts of the SQL language, techniques, capabilities, etc. It also offers a concise look into the way databases are designed and how they function. The book does a wonderful job of remaining non-proprietary, and is quick to point out when you are learning something that is specific to one Database Management System or another. This is a wonderful little book to add to your reference library if you wish to spend little and learn tons.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Planning Using Primavera Project Planner P3 Ver 3.0
Publisher: Eastwood Harris
Authors: Paul E. Harris, Paul Harris
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Enlightening


Approximately 300 pages of instruction on how best to set up and configure P3. As an experienced user of P3, I found the many tips on "pitfalls to avoid" and "best practice" very useful. It is a step by step guide including some 24 workshops that ensured I had understood the material before moving onto the next topic. User access to the software is essential for these workshops. I liked the "New features in Version 3.0" chapter, as it consolidated all that is new into a single handy reference.
Comprehensive, accurate and informative. Great value.