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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Official Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide
Publisher: Bradygames
Authors: David Cassady
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not the best FF7 book out there

This is a decent guide to Final Fantasy 7, but it misses quite a lot. In a game as big as FF7, there is a lot to potentially miss. This book also spoils a lot of the game with the pictures. If you want a book that doesn't spoil the game, and picks up a lot of what this one missed, hunt down the guide from Versus Books. That guide has things like the enemy skills, which are barely mentioned in the 'official' book.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Prolog Programming for Artificial Intelligence
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Authors: Ivan Bratko
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
I thought the book could be better

Having just read a book on automated reasoning which covered topics in logic, such as unification and resolution, I was very pleased with the prolog programming language, in that it takes concepts from logic, and uses them in ways that can be applied to a number of interesting areas of AI, such as NLP, planning, and expert systems. I thought Bratko succeeded in making this connection with logic, without burdening the reader with notation and concepts that are really not needed for writing or understanding prolog programs.
The book also worked for me on the level of providing a good introduction to the syntax and sematics of the language. The first 200 pages succeed to this end.
Finally, the last 13 chapters can be summarized as representing an introduction to AI from a prolog perspective. On the positive side, he shows how to apply prolog to all of the modern, main streams of AI study. However, on the negative, the slant towards prolog in these chapters tends to oversimplify these disciplines.
My impression of the language is that it seems good as a prototying language, since it is declarative in nature, but from my experimentation (using SWI Prolog) I think I could write better implementations using c or java.
In closing, Bratko's book represents a very good place to start learning prolog and the world of AI.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: After Effects in Production: A Companion for Creating Motion Graphics
Publisher: CMP Books
Authors: Trish Meyer, Chris Meyer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
What a Way To Learn!

I have been studying computer Graphics and editing for years with books, CD's, tapes and professional classes and within minutes of working with The Myers' "After Effects In Production" I knew I had stumbled upon a true find! I have not even completed the book and felt compelled to write this. The organization of their tutorials both logically and graphically are without peer. I have spent literally hundreds of dollars on video tapes and there is a method to their teaching style that is so much more powerful and intuitive that I found myself not only picking up important tips, but more importantly retaining them through repitition. The included CD comes with terrific extras and great articles that will truly advance your overall understanding of Motion Graphics. I am confidant that my expertise as an After Effects Artist will be beyond my wildest dreams by the time I finish their book. You must buy this book if you want to let your creative juices really go wild.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Resource Kit
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft Corporation
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A most impressive and handy reference

If you are a personal or small-business user installing Windows 2000 on your network or desktop computers, you really need to purchase this book. Clocking in at over 1700 pages, this book gives all of the information that Microsoft should include with a purchase of Windows 2000. There is a chapter for any possible question that you could have about Windows 2000, and detailed troubleshooting information is given. Especially helpful are the sections on networking. I recently set up a Windows 2000 network in my home office, and this book was essential to my getting it done correctly.
The CD included with the book contains over 200 add-ons and utilities. While I don't use many of the programs on the CD, I have found several of them quite helpful for monitoring network connections and diagnosing problems and solutions for network and general WIN2K problems.