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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Adobe Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter)
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Scott Kelby
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent Book - Shows Better ways for Important Tasks

I've been using photoshop for 4 years or so - and I thought I was doing ok with image sharpening, correcting exposure, etc. This book however quickly illustrates better techniques for sharpening, exposure, enlarging and dodging an burning. The techniques are simply explained - with some humor mixed throughout.
This is a fantastic Photoshop book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Windows Forms Programming in C#
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Chris Sells
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Really understanding WinForms with Chris Sells

Chris Sells has used his knowledge and writing talents to provide a clear picture of the WinForm world, browsing each notion in the right order and explaining one complicated notion at a time when needed.

After digesting the WinForms basis in the chapters 2 and 3, you'll understand how the pieces are working all together, from the Application class to the WndProc method, last frontier with the old Win32 world without forgetting features not often detailed such as the HTML help system or the MDI layout.

The Chapters 4 to 6 are dedicated to GDI+ and give you a complete reference of color, brush, pen, shape, path, images, font and text. You'll see the basic stuff but also how to handle transparency, animation and optimized drawing, advanced string formatting and Transforms.

If you have to send your rendering code to a printer, chapter 7 is for you: you'll learn how to use the common dialogs and how to put your code in the right place during the printing workflow. Maybe a complete document printing example would have been better for code reuse than the different smaller examples.

From here, the chapters dig deeper in complicated notions and this is where its value shines. With the chapters 8, 9 and 10, you'll see how to use the existing controls and how to build your own controls that smoothly integrate the Visual Studio IDE and enhance code reuse. The localisation and resource usage in the managed world are clearly described and you won't loose hours trying to access resources in your code anymore!

The chapter 11 focuses on your program execution through the Application, Registry/RegistryKey and Environment classes. The section related to the application settings and Isolated Storage itself is worth the price of the book!

The mecanisms behind data access, dataset and data binding are detailed in Chapter 12 and 13.

If you want to check that this book is really for you, look for Chris Sells articles on MSDN and MSDN Magazine web sites. The last two chapters about Web based deployment and multi-threaded GUI treat how to solve the same kind of problems. As you'll see, the rest of the book offers the same level of quality, with details and solutions you'll find nowhere else.

I have a tiny regret: I would have expected more "under the cover" journeys based on decompiled views of .NET assemblies for an even better understanding of the relationship between classes of the Framework. I'll have to keep on playing with Anakrino and Reflector, waiting for your next "Inside/Undocumented WinForms" book Chris :^)

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, Dennis M. Ritchie
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Kernighan and Ritchie

This is the only book on C I ever owned. Enough said?

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++: The Complete Reference, 4th Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Herbert Schildt
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Simply the best C++ reference there is

I am a professional developer and learned C++ with the 2nd edition of this book. The 4th edition is even better because it covers the international standardized version of C++ and the STL (standard template library).

If you want to learn C++ (either from scratch or if you already know "C"), then this is the book you want. The organization of the material is excellent, and is subdivided into chapters on plain "C" programming and then chapters on "C++" specific programming. It gives clear explanations and simple examples of every concept, starting from your first "C" program all the way to the most sophisticated features of C++.

There is no better C++ tutorial or reference on the market.