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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Unix Power Tools, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Shelley Powers, Tim O'Reilly, Mike Loukides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I like this book so much I bought two


I work in two places and couldn't live without it. Unix Power Tools is everything I want in a reference book. Concise explanations (most topics are a page or two at most), lots of clear, commented examples (which are replicated on the CD), a very broad coverage of topics and excellent organization, indexing and cross referencing. Almost every time I've needed to figure out how to do something in Unix this book has come through with flying colors.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Operating System Concepts
Publisher: Wiley
Authors: Abraham Silberschatz, Greg Gagne, Peter Baer Galvin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A really good book for students


I selected this book for teaching the Operating Systems course to my undergrad class. The reason was simple, it was the only latest book available on the OS concepts.
But after going through the first 9 chapters, which are on intro to OS, process managment and memory management, the response I got from my students was that this book is very difficult to understand and I couldn't agree more.
I wouldn't say that all the chapters are like that but yes, there are few chapters in the process management section which I had to teach them from outside resources, the only help I took from the book is the topics that were covered. Infact when I first took this course, I had a difficult time understanding these chapters myself from the book, so I couldn't expect the students to do so.
One example is chapter 6, process synchronization, where they mention deadlock at many places, whereas the deadlock topic is discussed in the later chapter (chapter 7).
Good for experienced but don't expect the students to go through this book without additional resources.
By the way, can anyone explain the idea behind the dinasours on the cover?



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Game Coding Complete, Second Edition
Publisher: Paraglyph
Authors: Mike McShaffry
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
More words from the author...


The first thing I'll say about the book is that it is extremely genuine, everything from the stories to the source code has seen action in the computer game industry, on games that really shipped. Since this was the main motivation for writing the dang thing, I hope everyone enjoys what they read, and perhaps learns something at the same time.
Chapter 1, Game Programming is Wacky starts the book off really well, distinguishing game programming from any other kind of programming. The rest of Part I is a gentle introduction into the high level decisions a programmer has to make before they write their first line of code.
Part II is my favorite part of the book because no other game programming book I've ever read, and I've read a few, exposes important topics like multiprocessing, resource caching, or why the stock ANSI random number generator isn't your best choice.
Part III continues this trend, digging into architectural topics such as 3D worlds and logistical topics like debugging games. Most game programming books show you how to write code, this is the first one (that I know of) that shows programmers how to fix it when it is broken. The section on special considerations for Windows games is especially useful for any Windows programmer who writes games or real time simulations.
Part IV takes a break from programming and discusses some production topics like scheduling and testing. Programmers who know this stuff will always finish their work on time and enjoy their weekends away from the keyboard.
Enough niceties - here's some harsh commentary from the author about the author.
First and foremost, the source code in the book is completely broken and disorganized. If someone spent the hours of typing necessary to write each line of code into a single compiling project they'd be rewarded with hundreds of compiler and linker errors.
Thank heavens for the web site, and the ability to download code that actually works.
Next, there are some serious omissions in this book.
Game audio is an important subject, and tends to be ignored until the last minute in most games. There should be a chapter that discusses DirectSound, Miles Audio, and how to synchronize sounds and animations. Character speech would be a good topic to add as well. The fact that the debugging chapter makes such a big deal of audio bugs makes this missing chapter even more apparent.
Game physics and collision is also totally missing, except for a brief mention of Havok in the 3D engines chapter. Physics and collision are critical to every game project, even something as simple as breakout. The author should be drawn and quartered for this omission.
Finally, there's absolutely no mention of networking and multiplayer game technolgy. The fact that the author has worked on some of the most famous (or notorious) multiplayer and massively multiplayer games makes this omission even more bizarre. Any book from Mr.Mike should have addressed playing games over the internet.
Enough complaints - here are some excuses:
First, the book was supposed to be no more than 550 pages. You'll notice that the book weighs in at more than 580. What you don't know is how many chapters were cut completely, or cut for length. The user interface chapter could have been twice as long, continuing the discussion with implementing various kinds of controls for games. There were plans for a physics chapter, and a networking chapter - they were cut because the book was running long and the deadline was nigh.
My only solace is that some game programming books are 800+ pages long, and say a lot less than you could have found in the DirectX help. If this book does well, I promise to include more info on audio, collision, physics, and networking in the next revision.
All said, I'm very happy with this book - even some of my beta readers told me they learned things when they read the first drafts. If you learn something too, then I can feel satisfied.
One last comment - the cover rocks. Thanks, Paul!



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows With MFC
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jeff Prosise
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Very good book


After reading all the pages in the book (and others books about mfc). I can say now that it a really good book and worth the money and the time investing to use it to learn MFC.
This Book is more like the bible of MFC not just a typical vc++ book or MFC book , it teach you from the ground the MFC blocks and to understand what take happen inside. if you considering taking the MSCD exam i will say buy this book first .
c/c++ level : for reading this book you have to know the c and c++ language but not as an expert but more then the basic.
about the chapters : each of chapter(s) or subject(s) are very well organize is like you sitting in a private course and hearing the lecture from the pages and view the examples. you can find a lot of information about (not using the wizard!) : Drawing in windows,...,the MFC collection class ,File I/O Controls,Scroll view ,HTML View,Multiplie Documents and views,...,Toolbars Timers and idle processing,...,Thread and Thread synchronization... some ole and Active X,...,and alot more.
the English level : is very easy to understand , how ever there is a 1291 pages to read so find the time .