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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects (With CD-ROM)
Publisher: CMP Books
Authors: Trish Meyer, Chris Meyer
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
I Get It Now!

Okay, it took me a full semester in an After Effects only class to be able to open this book and do ANYTHING, but now I appreciate it.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good, but I need the complete sample code.

I am the guy who learns by RUNning sample code, not just by READing the sample code. I've already got the source code from the authors, however I could not make it work. The extensions of files are .c. In code, one line is "typedef int bool;"... My VC++ compiler complained a lot.
Is there anyone who knows where I can get the whole sample code and run it? Please let me know, at zhining@dptechnology.com. Thanks!
I still gave 5 stars to this book, because it is a good pattern book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows XP Inside Out, Second Edition (Inside Out)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, Craig Stinson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Safe, sound, useful tips that make your XP shine

After reading through titles like "Hacking XP" and "XP Hacks" and "XP for Power Users" and finding no satisfaction in any of them, I came across this thick volume which I had initally ignored because it was thick and it was published by Microsoft. I was skeptical what an official MS book would say about Windows XP.

I'm glad I overcame my suspicion and picked up this book, which I ended up buying. It's worth every penny, let me tell ya. It's packed with information both beginners and advanced users can use anytime, any place, in any mood. From wi-fi setup to taking full advantage of Windows Firewall to finetuning performance to interface customization, this book has it all. Best of all, the tips are 1) extremely useful and practical, 2) totally safe (unlike those in some other books which can really wreak havoc on your PC -- probably a conspiracy by some to make unwary users hate XP?), and 3) easily accessible and understandable. The three authors, veterans of the computer press, write very well and I, not a computer geek by trade or nature, actually felt happy reading through this book.

The only downside is this is a very thick book at over 1300 pages. It's packed with step-by-step guides and clear screenshots, so be prepared to spend a lot of time. Also, because it's big, a lot of real gems are buried, so be prepared to highlight a lot, too.

I agree with other reviewers: this is the best XP power user's guide, bar none. Be sure to get this "2nd edition" which was published just recently.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Robert Bruce Thompson, Barbara Fritchman Thompson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Names names, takes no prisoners

I'm getting ready to do a major upgrade of my home system. It's been a few years since I'd done much work inside a PC so I ordered this book to catch up on what I'd forgotten about. I'm glad I took the time to read it. This book recommends stuff by name, and that advice turns out to be on target every time. I was planning to buy an HP CD burner. Not the best choice says this book. It recommends buying a Plextor, which I'd never heard of. So I searched the Internet for hours reading about Plextor and HP CD burners and it turns out the authors are right. Plextor makes the best burners on the market and lots of people have problems with HP burners particularly with Win2000. And to top it off the Plextors are cheaper than the HPs. If you're planning to buy, build, or upgrade a system, buy this book. It'll save you its price many times over.