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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Charles Petzold
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Tutorial and Reference

This book covers the major topics of windows programming well. Good as a tutorial and reference.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Authors: Michael Dell, Catherine Fredman
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Historical narrative of the growth of Dell

This book is essentially a superficial narrative of the rise of Dell computer from its start at the room of Michael Dell at University to its growth into the direct sales computer company. There are no real insights into the success of the company. Obviously, the direct sales approach has been very successful for the company and the book includes a valuable fold-out diagram which illustrates the way the direct sales approach works. It is even more interesting to actually order a computer from Dell and use the online tracking web-site to further see the actual stages (which are illustrated in the diagram) in actual operation. To get actual hands-on use of the Dell direct approach , after reading this book, gives a person a better idea of how the Dell system works. The crucial features of the system are firstly the logistics and secondly the build to order approach. Often the build to order system will create the computer of choice within a matter of hours/days where as the logistics takes the most amount of time. For example for the Dell I ordered it took around 10 working days for shipping from the factory to me. However, for someone with no previous knowledge of Dell or its direct sales approach and the way it operates, who needs a beginners guide then the paperback edition gives you an excellent introduction into the direct way of dealing with customers and the principle of mass-customisation at work through the web.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Applied Microsoft .NET Framework Programming
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jeffrey Richter
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
incredibly deceptive title

I was fascinated by some parts of the book(the chapters on delegates, exceptions & GC are really good), but some of it left me saying "duh". Richter does state the obvious at times, but all-in-all this book has a lot of info that you just can't find elsewhere. I think that the complaint of some reviewers dealing with the "trivial" nature of some of the info is valid, but some of the info is essential for writing tight code(the boxing info. for instance). Richter always brings good common sense to the table, and has a gift for explaning things clearly. I've read other .NET authors who don't.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java Swing, Second Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: James Elliott, Marc Loy, David Wood, Brian Cole
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5

After using this book for two weeks here is what I did NOT find: 1) when you create a JList of Vector[] objects, what is displayed in the list is what the toString method of the objects returns. I found this out for myself with no clue from the book. 2) in order to display a JProgressBar it is not enough to use the serValue method of the bar. You need to update the display with pbar.paint(pbar.getGraphics()). Again, no clue from the book. 3) to get the JProgressBar to not flicker all that is necessary is to enable the double buffering property of JProgressBar, a big code saver over the code needed to double buffer in the AWT. Again, no help from the book. The book DOES explain how to use the JProgressBar in a thread that makes the call to paint unnecessary. However, this is NOT what I wanted or needed to do.