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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective C++: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Design (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Scott Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Reference for those new to C++/OOP


This book attacks all those ugly habits we pick up when learning to program in C... a must for writing re-usable code.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: File System Forensic Analysis
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Brian Carrier
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Doesn't get much more complete than this...


If you have a need to thoroughly understand computer file systems for whatever reason, you need this book... File System Forensic Analysis by Brian Carrier. It just doesn't get any more detailed than this.

Chapter List:
Part 1 - Foundations: Digital Investigation Foundations; Computer Foundations; Hard Disk Data Acquisition
Part 2 - Volume Analysis: Volume Analysis; PC-based Partitions; Server-based Partitions; Multiple Disk Volumes
Part 3 - File System Analysis: File System Analysis; FAT Concepts and Analysis; FAT Data Structures; NTFS Concepts; NTFS Analysis; NTFS Data Structures; Ext2 and Ext3 Concepts and Analysis; Ext2 and Ext3 Data Structures; UFS1 and UFS2 Concepts and Analysis; UFS1 and UFS2 Data Structures; The Sleuth Kit and Autopsy; Index

The working concept of the book is that the reader needs to understand file systems in order to do forensic analysis. For instance, they need to recover content that's been deleted or hidden on the drive. And while it's true that this information will definitely address that need, it's really a detailed reference work for anyone who has a need to deeply understand the disk structure of a computer. Developers working on disk utility software come to mind right away.

I was surprised that file systems such as FAT and NTFS really don't have published specifications that can be easily found. Carrier often talks about how few of the detailed parts of the system are documented, so this book is one of the few places you'll find all the information gathered in a single location. On top of that, there are copious diagrams and file dumps that help to take the information from theory to reality. Another part of the material talks about how forensic software tools are used to analyze the disk information. Carrier does primarily talk about forensic software that he helped develop, but it's not (in my opinion) a detriment to the book. I didn't get the impression I was reading a 550 page advertisement (which I've seen on occasion).

Very detailed and complete, and this is the first title you should look at if you need to understand disk structures.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming Vertex and Pixel Shaders (Programming Series)
Publisher: Charles River Media
Authors: Wolfgang Engel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent !!!


The book starts with short introduction and pipeline overview giving an overall picture of how vertex and pixel shaders interact, and how data flows between them and the hardware. Next, it introduces DirectX High-Level Shading Language (HLSL) and Microsoft's Effect Files Framework. Then author starts teaching you how to implement basic lightning models (Lambert, Phong, Blinn-Phong) and advanced ones (Cook-Torrance, Oren-Nayar, Ward, Ashikhmin-Shirley). The book also covers more advanced topics (Environment Cube Mapping, Reflection and Refraction, Projective Texture Mapping, Shadow Mapping, Shadow Volumes, Geometry Images) and cutting-edge techniques like Displacement Mapping, High Dynamic Range Lighting or Parallax Mapping. The author shows common problems arising during implementation of presented techniques and explains how to deal with them. Each chapter comes with a few example programs which are as simple as possible. You will also learn from this book how to optimize your shaders for different shader models.

This book is a must for those who want to learn vertex and pixel shader programming. Also advanced developers will find this book useful.

So, if you want to create cutting-edge shader effects do not hesitate to buy this book and learn how to do it.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Advanced Perl Programming
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Sriram Srinivasan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Must-have book if you like Perl and like to read.


Make sure you have a copy of the errata doc (available from the book's ftp site) while reading the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because it's a pleasure to read and makes easy what used to be too difficult. It's the perfect complement to the Camel book in matters of content, writing style and technical expertise of the author. The quotations are appropriate and the recommended reading lists are much appreciated. Well done.