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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cocoa(R) Programming for Mac(R) OS X (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Aaron Hillegass
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5

Simply the best book for learning OS X Cocoa programing on the market today. Written in a chatty, easy to read style with lots of pictures by a bloke that knows what he's talking about. Much easier to read than "Learning Cocoa" from Apple.
Working through the books chapters and accompanying programming challenges you actually learn and understand step-by-step. You will quickly have your own OS X programs up and running based on the examples in the book.
A great starting place for new Cocoa programmers.
Four stars not five because there are a few errors in the printing that I have - however the BigNerdRanch web site has all corrections online.

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
Fantastic! A real page turner.

This book is awesome! It reads like a novel and I have had a hard time putting it down. This isn't boring history. It is history that reads like a story. Sprinkled throughout are numerous quotes from everyone who was anyone (even their secretaries).
Did you know that Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, is also the creator of the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant/arcade!
This isn't just who did what when but who stabbed who in the back, stole ideas, who sued who for what. I'll give you a taste from the book here:
"Atari also became a notorious Mecca of drug abuse. The Martin Avenue roller-rink facility smelled of marijuana. One ex-employee quipped that "you could get stoned just breathing the air coming out of the building."
"...Roger Hector [a new employee] nervously took his place among the regulars. When he went to use the bathroom, he found empty syringes on the bathroom floor."
My favorite...
"The personnel lady came in with a young candidate who had shown up on our doorstep. He was this real scuzzy kid. She said, "What shall we do?" I think I said, "We should either call the cops or talk to him." So I talked to him.
The kid was a dropout and really grungy. He was 18 years old and he knew something.... He had a spark of brilliance. Don Lang, one of my engineers, was asking for a tech, so I said, "Great. I'll give you a job working for a real engineer."
The next day Don came to me and said, "What did I do to deserve this?" I said, "You wanted a tech, you got a tech." He said, "This guy's filthy. He's just obnoxious. And he dosen't know electronics."
The kid worked out in the end. His name was Steve Jobs"
-Al Acorn, former "sort of" vice president of engineering, Atari Corporation
The only problem I have with the book is the same problem I have with most books that cover graphics. The lack of graphics! There is not a single screen shot of a single video game anywhere. There is a 10 page insert in the center of the book with photo's of the people behind the stories, which is great! But I think sprinkling some screen shots of the games throughout the book would have been greater. But then, come to think of it, how do you get a screen shot of Pong, 30 years later!
I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that the author, Steven L. Kent, is from my home town of Bothell, Washington.
Buy this book!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle Database 10g New Features (Osborne ORACLE Press Series)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Robert G. Freeman, Robert G. Freeman, McGraw-Hill
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Only for a First Overview

This is the first book on Oracle 10g New Features that was out from Oracle Press. It only gives a condensed overview of the topic, so for OCP exam preparation or for a deeper coverage of the new features you should rather turn to Sam R. Alapati's book. I would recommend Freeman's book as a supplement to Alapati as it covers some features which are not part of the OCP exam. It also contains some very useful comments by Jonatan Lewis.

As usual for books like this the binding is so poor, that my copy started to fall apart after I read a few chapters.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent advise, samples lacking

I found the advise and guidance this book offers to be top-notch. Anyone and everyone developing for SQL Server should read this book. My only gripe is that the examples aren't as practical and applicable as I'd hoped. The author over uses temporary tables in sample code, and doesn't give good examples of how cursors could be used for complex calculations that aren't easily expressed with the Select statement. I think this is because he is so adiment about not using them.