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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
Move over Petzold, Sells is here.

This book rocks! Its just under 700 pages and I haven't touched my Petzold (1200+ pages) after laying my hands on this. As clear and consise as it can get.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Hands-On Training (Hands on Training (H.O.T))
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Rosanna Yeung
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Well written, organized, logical progression of concepts

The author has demonstrated great skill in presenting the general concepts for using Flash MX 2004. This book is excellent for the person who needs to know both how and why to do things in Flash. When you finish the book, you should have no trouble understanding how to use Flash at an intermediate level.

In regard to the writing style, very rarely did I encounter explanations that made assumptions about the reader's understanding of the hands-on process. The author knows how to use English well enough so that technical concepts are understood. Usually, many authors of most technical manuals are generally incapable of explaining a topic without utterly confusing the reader, which seems to come mostly from making assumptions. You will not encounter that in this book.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The Dark Side Sourcebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Authors: Bill Slavicsek, J.D. Wiker
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

The Star Wars RPG, even in the hands of West End Games, never ventured to the Dark Side. As far as we can tell, Lucasfilm never wanted to detail material on playing the darker side of the Force in campaigns since they feel Star Wars is a story about good overcoming evil.
Of course, if you are an avid Star Wars roleplayer, you've probably just ventured out onto your own. Now, you have official material that draws together quite a bit of EU books and comics and gives you a solid reference on the history and power of the Dark Side. As a book that summarizes the history of the Sith and the what we know about the villains of the books and movies (so far), it succeeds.
So why not five stars? This book is a double edged sword. The rewrite of Darth Vader's stats continues to illustrate the problems with the armor rules (see my review of the Core Rules for more info here). Dark Side character concepts are presented as Prestige Classes. However, some of the prestige classes have so little requirements that they are practically base classes.
Where else does the book succeed? There is an excellent chapter that is written as an antithesis to the chapter on The Force in the Core Rules. Written in identical style and format, the book intriduces you to the Dark Side's seductive and controlling power. It's a good read for GM's who need to portray this to PCs in their group that are wobbling on the edge.
Depending on your taste for EU, you may appreciate or not appreciate the powerful Dark Side equipment that is more than a match for the game mechanics of the Jedi. Sure, some GM's were looking for a game mechanic based challenge for their Jedi, but others (like myself) felt the constant challenge of tempering the Force with the Jedi Code was difficult enough to roleplay.
Nearly every Star Wars GM will love some parts of this book, and dislike others. That's because covering the Dark Side fully, by necessity, means covering the EU as well. Your own personal taste will come into play when deciding what rules to adopt, and what to leave out. But that's okay, it's a normal part of roleplaying. This one is a good buy.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Visual C++ 6
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Ivor Horton
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Way To Get Started.

This book is written quite well for some one who wants to learn C++ from the ground up. It starts with a good No Nonsense procedural approach to C/C++ and then on to an Object Oriented view then works into windows programming and even a bit on database access with C++. Very nice way to start.
Bottom Line absolute a ton of Info Presented in a easy to read and understand way. No Extra words like you would get from a college textbook so they could charge more for the text and a ton of info because the author is trying to teach you completely instead of teach you programming 101 and 102.
Obviously as one progresses with C++ more books would be required. After you get through the procedural and Object Oriented part of this book I would plan on buying a book which teaches you other important aspects of programming such as Data structures, and Parsing. Read that while moving on to the windows part of the book. Not that it's at all needed to understand the "windows" half of the books but it stuff that all programmers should know.