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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Creative Projects with LEGO Mindstorms
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Benjamin Erwin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Best Lego Mindstorms Book I've Read


I am a teacher in the Midwest and I run an after school robotics team for around 20 5th & 6th graders. We use the Lego Mindstorm RIS kits in our club. After using the ideas from the Constructopedia that comes with each Mindstorm kit, I started looking to other areas for inspiration and ideas. What Ben Erwin's book offers is more than just a "How to" synopsis of each creation. Instead, he includes introductions, inspirations, building designs, programming [in multiple languages], and extension ideas for each project. I've bought a few of the other available Mindstorm robotic books in the past and most were either 'way over my head' or 'very simplistic'. This is definitely the perfect book for any teacher or professor who uses the Mindstorms kits in their class instruction. It is also perfect for any parent or family who creates using the Mindstorm kit in their home! As a bonus, I also believe that it is the first Mindstorm book that is printed in full color!



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
The Best and the Worst C++ Book


This book needs two ratings, one for C++ experts (a 10) and one for beginners (1). If you are starting with C++, get another book. If you know C++, this IS the reference. I find that the book has everything, but it is not organized for beginners. The examples are mostely code snippets and are not complete. The index is poor and not extensive enough.



Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Introduction to Algorithms, Second Edition
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good Survey of Algorithms and Data Structures


The CLR book is a good source of information about commonly used algorithms and data structures. It's not the be all end all in that regard, but for most purposes, it will probably have an efficient solution for your problem. By and large the material is presented in a clear and concise way, and their psuedocode is easily translated into whatever language you happen to be using.
Note that this book is not for novices - it's fairly complex and assumes a good background both in programming and mathematics. Also, while the text makes a very good reference, it is also a text book, so it does pose some questions that it doesn't answer completely, or at all. It's quite a task to read through this book cover to cover, but doing so is well worth the effort.



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
Very Good!!


This book is a very good guide for programmers who want to learn shader programming.

It helps me learning a lot of things about shaders. The explanations are very clear and the difficulty is very gradual. First, it introduces DirectX High-Level Shading Language and the most basic lighting models. Next, it goes through a lot of more advanced algorithms. (Advanced Rendering, anisotropic Reflection, Shadow Mapping, Environmental Mapping and so on ...). And, at last, it finishes with some of the latest rendering techniques such as High Dynamic Range Lighting and vertex texturing.

It also includes the first coverage of vs_3_0 and ps_3_0. It explains how to use the latest graphic hardware. Moreover, this chapter helps to understand the relationships between High Level Language and assembly language.

In fact, this is an excellent resource that presents how next generation games will be made.