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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How the Internet Works, Seventh Edition
Publisher: Que
Authors: Preston Gralla
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
How the Internet Works

I was dissapointed. A lot of graphics but I did not learn much about the internet. Repeats itself over and over too.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Head First Design Patterns
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Elisabeth Freeman, Eric Freeman, Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Successfully engages the reader

Since design patterns are about ways of organizing code in order to make it easier to understand and to manage, it should not be all that strange that the authors are also intersted in how to organize a book along the same principles.

Still I was a bit skeptical. This is the first book that I have seen in the Head First series. I have seen other books with cute graphics and came away disappointed because I felt I was being talked down to or because I thought the authors were not very knowledgeable.

I am happy to report that my fears were not realized. As the authors make clear in the introduction, they put a lot of work into making this book accessible. They succeeded immensely. It is also clear that they know whereof they speak with regard to the material covered. I have had trouble getting through the dry material on design patterns in other books. This book was a real eye opener. I higly recommend it to others who are having trouble understanding patterns. I can now see what all the fuss has been about and why it is so important for programmers to understand this material.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Rules of Play : Game Design Fundamentals
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Katie Salen, Eric Zimmerman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Teaches the analysis of games

This book shows how to analyze games, rather than design them. As such, it easily covers its bases. It is not light reading, and it is a textbook of sorts, but it is a very fun read.
It takes adequate time to define and present abstract concepts and qualities that games have. It looks at games from many different angles. It presents three distict levels (or "schemas") in describing games: as collections of rules, as systems of play, and as cultural systems. I find it refreshing that the authors did not take a "one size fits all" approach.
Those who would like to design their own games would find this book very useful. Those who want a tutorial that explains how to design certain types of games would probably be disappointed.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Real-Time Rendering (2nd Edition)
Publisher: AK Peters, Ltd.
Authors: Tomas Akenine-Moller, Eric Haines
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Good exposure on the gfx pipeline and render technology

I like this book because it explains with detail howthe rendering process flows in order to provide theultimate image which started from gfx primitives. Atthe end of the book there are some valuable architecturalexplanations on different hardware. This is a good book tounderstand what is needed from the bottom to provide realtime gfx support.