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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java 2: The Complete Reference, Fifth Edition
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Herbert Schildt
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A Good Reference Book

I got this book as a prize at a Java User Group meeting. Overall, it's a good reference book to keep. One thing I wish it had covered is the JSPs, since it does cover the Servlets.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Modeling Derivatives in C++ (Wiley Finance)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Justin London
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Book Whose Time Has Come

Derivative modeling is at the heart of quantitative research and development on Wall Street. The development of these models, on the street and by academics alike have been at the heart of the big changes in financial money management over the last couple of decades.

This book is positioned in an interesting place discussing derivative models in between the heavy theoretical approached used by the "pure" mathematicians and the "our analyst said" used by the sales reps.

Here are the derivative models used in practice and focuses on their implementation using standard everyday C++ code. The models themselves are the most important derivative models used in practice today including pricing equity derivatives, options (standard and exotics including barrier, lookback, and Asian options), futures, and interest rate derivatives including caps, bond options, swaptions, swaps and credit derivatives.

In most cases the mathematical underpinnings and derivation of the models are covered in a detailed and reasonably clear manner. This is illustrated with many example and numerical data as well as real market data being used for illustration. I say reasonably clear manner, because the book isn't written for the college graduate who picked his major on the basis of not having to take algebra.

This is a book whose time has come.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Unified Modeling Language User Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh, Ivar Jacobson
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not for beginners

Though authored by the authority and inventors of the subject, UML user guide lacks the literary elegance and simplicity that professional technical authors are able to bring in their work. The user guide is very comprehensive in its treatment of topics in UML - but the style does not aid novice with understanding the concepts. For example, examples used are very trivial and does not reflect the practical application of the concept. The book looks more like an attempt to make the technical specification sound more casual, but is not lucid, illustrative and easy. "UML distilled" by Martin Fowler scores high above this book. A PDF chapter from the "UML Distilled" on the sequence diagram is available on the net and it can be used to grasp the writing style of Mr. Fowler to aid in the pre-purchase decision.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Charles Petzold
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
New to Windows Programming!

I'm a C/C++/Java programmer, but never have programmed in a Windows environment or used the Windows API (other than the extent of Visual Basic).
This book IS IT. If you want to learn everything there is to know about Windows API programming, look no further. This book uses basic C programming and has easy to follow text as well as plenty of examples with full code! It's hard to find a book these days that give you the "body" code, but tell you to access the CD-ROM for the headers. This book doesn't do that, it actually prints out the entire program, headers and all. (I hate accessing the CD-ROMs for my books!) :)
This book is 1479 pages of pure Windows API goodness!