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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-3 Boxed Set
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Donald Knuth, Donald E. Knuth
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Not what I expected!

For anyone who is new to computer programming and wants to get a indepth background of its history and evolution, I DO NOT recommend this book. When I received it I was very excited because it came in three nicely bound hard cover volumes. But, when I looked inside, all I saw was massive amounts of mathematical equations. I felt like I was reading a mathematics book and it was completely unreadable, overwhelming, & intimidating. I guess, being a novice, I expected something much more readable. So, I blame myself but for anyone like me who thinks the title of the book will give them an enjoyable "read" on computer programming...forget it.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition
Publisher: Pogue Press
Authors: David Pogue
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Top Notch Writing

This is the third iteration of "Mac OSX: The Missing Manual", by David Pogue. It updates the contents to cover the new features and elements of OS 10.3, known as "Panther" which is touted as having 150 new features. I've already described the previous editions as representing the best of software manual writing and this edition continues that excellence.
The format, structure, and graphical features are the same as the earlier editions, although this volume is a bit larger, at 763 pages, including index. All the important and most popular features of Panther are covered comprehensively, including the new Sidebar navigation feature, the Exposť application "launcher", FileVault encryption, the return of the Labels feature, and fast-user switching. The new applications are covered here also, like the built-in fax program, iChat AV, and the Font Book font manager.
Pogue is best when he provides power-user tips and discloses hidden or little-known features of Panther. The nearly-obscure ColorSync control panel now illustrates gamut spaces in color profiles, for example, and he describes "Pixlet", a new video codec which is a lossless highly efficient video compression tool (supposedly designed for use by Pixar employees and associates only).
Other little-known tidbits include descriptions and insights to some of the Developer tools on the XCode Tools CD . There is an OSX version of Simple Text which includes a sound-record feature, not available anywhere else in Panther or in OSX applications, with the exception of iMovie. A special feature is the addition of mini-manuals on Safari and the iLife applications - iMovie, iPhoto, iChat, and iTunes.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Linux Programming (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Richard Stones, Neil Matthew, Alan Cox
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Not for beginners, but definitely recommended

I just finished this book after about 4 months of off and on reading and working (most of) the examples. I've already been able to put the knowledge I gained from it to work at my job at Travelocity.com - my biggest frustration was that I had to wait until I came home to continue reading it. This book will play a prominent part in my work bookshelf.One caveat - it says it's for beginners, but almost all of the examples are in C, using some pretty advanced constructs. If you're still rusty with pointer syntax (for example), brush up on your C programming first. Also, like most Linux source, the examples are in straight-C rather than C++, but this is probably a Good Thing.
Also, there's a chapter at the end on writing device drivers - I couldn't get any of the examples to compile on my Redhat system running kernel version 2.4.9; I guess they're due for another edition of this book.
All in all, one of the best computer books I've ever read!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Basic 6 Complete
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5

First off, being an IT graduate w/out any knowledge of VB6 but with C++/Java knowledge, I wanted to learn VB6 with little fuss. Secondly, when I saw this book, I was very amazed at the book's thickness at a very affordable price. I immediately got it with minimal page flipping. Btw, its also my first VB6 book.
I went back to have a read. It starts off pretty well with basic intro of the IDE, explainations of the toolbox and so on. The code examples presented were good and easy to understand from a intermediate's point of view. Now, being a complete book, I read it halfway thru, and you would've assume they'd explain some code they used in later chapters.
This isn't the case. HOWEVER it does provide a COMPLETE language reference at the back, so some exploring is required though it shouldn't be hard. Also, this book doesn't exactly flow in the way you would want it to, mainly because its a compilation of different VB6 books of varying difficulty levels.
At times, it skips to different topics too fast, leaving many holes in between.... so be careful. On the plus side, this book does cover many topics, including the Win API, VBSCript, VBA and DB programming. So, it's definitely complete in that sense, but they're NOT completely explained.
So what's the conclusion? JUST GET IT! Regardless of your VB level, you will benefit in some form or another from this book, considering the ridiculous price it offers.