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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Big Red Fez: How To Make Any Web Site Better
Publisher: Free Press
Authors: Seth Godin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Increase ease of use and visitor satisfaction


This book will increase ease of use and visitor satisfaction to any web site. A lot of common sense, but also some great new tricks to increase sales. A fun read.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0
Publisher: Wordware Publishing, Inc.
Authors: Frank D. Luna
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book!!


Very nice book for a 3D beginner!! I thought everything (including the example code) was explained pretty clearly. Some things take awhile to digest of course. I think as long as you are buying this book to learn how to use Direct3D and do not already know it, that you will learn from it. A good number of topics were covered. So you know what's in the book, here's the chapter contents (taken from the book's website):
Introduction
Part I Mathematical Prerequisites
Vectors in 3-SpaceMatricesBasic TransformationsPlanes (Optional)Rays (Optional)Summary
Part II Direct3D Fundamentals
Chapter 1 Direct3D Initialization1.1 Direct3D Overview1.2 COM1.3 Some Preliminaries1.4 Initializing Direct3D1.5 Sample Application: Initializing Direct3D1.6 Summary
Chapter 2 The Rendering Pipeline2.1 Model Representation2.2 The Virtual Camera2.3 The Rendering Pipeline2.4 Summary
Chapter 3 Drawing in Direct3D3.1 Vertex/Index Buffers3.2 Render States3.3 Drawing Preparations3.4 Drawing with Vertex/Index Buffers3.5 D3DX Geometric Objects3.6 Sample Applications: Triangle, Cube, Teapot, D3DXCreate*3.7 Summary
Chapter 4 Color4.1 Color Representation4.2 Vertex Colors4.3 Shading4.4 Sample Application: Colored Triangle4.5 Summary
Chapter 5 Lighting5.1 Light Components5.2 Materials5.3 Vertex Normals5.4 Light Sources5.5 Sample Application: Lighting5.6 Additional Samples5.7 Summary
Chapter 6 Texturing
6.1 Texture Coordinates6.2 Creating and Enabling a Texture6.3 Filters6.4 Mipmaps6.5 Address Modes6.6 Sample Application: Textured Quad6.7 Summary
Chapter 7 Blending7.1 The Blending Equation7.2 Blend Factors7.3 Transparency7.4 Creating an Alpha Channel Using the DX Tex Tool7.5 Sample Application: Transparency7.6 Summary
Chapter 8 Stenciling8.1 Using the Stencil Buffer8.2 Sample Application: Mirrors8.3 Sample Application: Planar Shadows8.4 Summary
Part III Applied Direct3D
Chapter 9 Fonts9.1 ID3DXFont9.2 CD3DFont9.3 D3DXCreateText9.4 Summary
Chapter 10 Meshes Part I10.1 Geometry Info10.2 Subsets and the Attribute Buffer10.3 Drawing10.4 Optimizing10.5 The Attribute Table10.6 Adjacency Info10.7 Cloning10.8 Creating a Mesh (D3DXCreateMeshFVF)10.9 Sample Application: Creating and Rendering a Mesh10.10 Summary
Chapter 11 Meshes Part II11.1 ID3DXBuffer11.2 XFiles11.3 Progressive Meshes11.4 Bounding Volumes
11.5 Summary
Chapter 12 Building a Flexible Camera Class12.1 Camera Design12.2 Implementation Details12.3 Camera Sample12.4 Summary
Chapter 13 Basic Terrain Rendering13.1 Heightmaps13.2 Generating the Terrain Geometry13.3 Texturing13.4 Lighting13.5 "Walking" on the Terrain13.6 Terrain Sample13.7 Some Improvements13.8 Summary
Chapter 14 Particle Systems14.1 Particles and Point Sprites14.2 Particle System Components14.3 Concrete Particle Systems: Snow, Firework, Particle Gun14.4 Summary
Chapter 15 Picking15.1 Screen to Projection Window Transformation15.2 Computing the Picking Ray15.3 Transforming Rays15.4 Ray-Object Intersections15.5 Picking Sample15.6 Summary
Part IV Shaders and Effects
Chapter 16 Introduction to the High Level Shading Language16.1 Writing a HLSL Shader16.2 Compiling a HLSL Shader16.3 Variable Types16.4 Keywords, Statements, and Casting16.5 Operators16.6 User Defined Functions16.7 Built in Functions16.8 Summary
Chapter 17 Introduction to Vertex Shaders17.1 Vertex Declarations17.2 Vertex Data Usages17.3 Steps to Using a Vertex Shader17.4 Sample 1: Diffuse Lighting17.5 Sample 2: Cartoon Rendering17.6 Summary
Chapter 18 Introduction to Pixel Shaders18.1 Multitexturing Overview18.2 Pixel Shader Inputs and Outputs18.3 Steps to Using a Pixel Shader18.4 HLSL Sampler Objects18.5 Sample Application: Multitexturing in a Pixel Shader18.6 Summary
Chapter 19 The Effects Framework19.1 Techniques and Passes19.2 More HLSL Intrinsic Objects19.3 Device States in an Effect File19.4 Creating an Effect19.5 Setting Constants19.6 Using an Effect19.7 Sample 1: Lighting and Texturing in an Effect19.8 Sample 2: Fog Effect19.9 Sample 3: Cartoon Effect19.10 EffectEdit19.11 Summary
Appendices
Appendix A An Introduction To Windows ProgrammingA.1 OverviewA.2 Hello World Windows ApplicationA.3 Explaining Hello WorldA.4 A Better Message LoopA.5 Summary



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Oracle Developer Advanced Forms and Reports
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Peter Koletzke, Paul Dorsey
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good for Intermediates


I've found the book useful, though about 50% of it was not new for me. I realise that for another person not so deep in the topic, the book would be a real treasure.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
good for both beginners and experienced programmers


This book gave me a very good introduction to Perl. The book was, for the most part, very easy to read and understand.
Skip chapter 1 if you aren't already a pretty decent hacker. It will simply confuse you. I also wish they had yanked the chapters on databases out and beefed up the CGI section instead. Maybe even add something on Perl Sockets.