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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Windows System Programming (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Johnson M. Hart
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
clearly written

The author does a wonderful job in explaining the fundamentals of windows systems programming. His writing style is clear and concise. This doesn't mean that he glosses over the details however, he makes a good attempt at highlighting tricky or confusing areas in the API and makes sure the reader knows what to watch out for. I reccomend this book for those wanting a good overview of the Win32/64 API. It take to notice that this book does not cover GUI in anyway.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Digital Image Processing (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Rafael C. Gonzalez, Richard E. Woods
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A perfect book

After 9 years as a researcher in image analysis and pattern recognition, I still refer to this book on a regular basis. It give straightforward explainations of a broad range of algorithms. If I ever forget how to do something, I know I can look here and be reminded.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning Visual C++ 6
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: Ivor Horton
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Brevity doesn't mar this spectacular text

This text of nearly 1,200 pages attempts to do it all: take a neophyte with little or no knowledge of programming and 1) teach C++ programming - not just a quick once over, but the whole darned language, right from soup to nuts; and 2)teach Microsoft Windows programming in C++, including full coverage of Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) and ActiveX controls; and 3)oh yeah, just as a side note, also teach the use of the Visual C++ integrated development environment!
This is just not possible to do in 'merely' 1200 pages; 3,000 might be more appropriate, and 4,000 would certainly not be wasted. So it's not surprising that there's a slight sense of brevity in some of the topics covered.
What is truly amazing is just how well Horton manages to pull this off. A combination of skilled writing, careful editing and towering educational skill has resulted in what must truly rate as THE single best text out there on Visual C++ programming. No other book even comes close; no other book is even in the same ball park. This book sets a new standard of excellence that, sadly, most authors will never achieve.
The book starts with a quick 1 chapter 'once over' of the Microsoft Visual C++ Integrated Development Environment (IDE), explaining how to start a simple DOS window application and pointing out various useful features of the editor. At the end of this chapter you won't be an expert in the IDE, but you will be able to get a project created, a file started and start entering code.
From here to about the half way point Horton does a masterful job of teaching the practical basics of programming in C++. He not only teaches the language, syntax, and idiosyncrasies; he also teaches basic programming concepts, covering such topics as decision structures, loops, strings, sorting... basically everything you'd expect to learn in a full college 'programming fundamentals' course.
From the mid way point on through to the end of the book, Horton concentrates on teaching the practical aspects of programming in the Windows environment using Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). He pulls this off just as well as the first half of the text; although occasionally theory is a little bit terse or 'skimpy', the practical usage of MFC is well presented and thoroughly discussed.
Really, the only way to improve this text would be to double or triple it in size, and really let Mr. Horton take off. I considered - briefly - reducing my ranking of this book to 4 stars, simply because it attempts to do so much. But I just couldn't do it; this book is just too good, it achieves so much, it is so clearly written. It's an absolute masterpiece! To give this book less than 5 stars would be somewhat analogous to dismissing the Mona Lisa, simply because it was mounted in a rather indifferent frame.
For readers with absolutely no knowledge of computers at all, who don't know the difference between a bit and a byte and couldn't define either one, I might recommend Mr. Horton's "Beginning C++: The Complete Language". This text is approximately 950 pages of what amounts to DOS - style programming in C++. Because of the concentration on just C++ programming - there's no mention of windows in this text - there's much more room to delve into theory as well as practise. Mr. Horton puts the space to good use, with the result that every concept is extremely clear, and nothing is left unsaid.
I own both texts, and have found it very helpful to be able to cross reference between the two. While the C++ DOS programming covers much the same ground in both texts, it is covered somewhat differently; and this can help to clarify concepts that might have remained muddled otherwise.
If you have even the most basic grounding in programming, the Visual C++ text is probably all you need. With a concentration on practicality, this text starts with first concepts and gives you everything you need to start writing complex, windows based programs in C++ using Visual C++ from Microsoft.
If you're only planning on buying one text... this is it. If you want the BEST text... this is it. And if you don't RUN to the nearest bookstore and see what I (and others) are talking about, you're short changing yourself severely. Because this book can do a lot more then take up space on your bookshelf. This book can actually teach you C++. You can actually learn to write complex Windows based programs - even obtain employment as a competent C++ programmer - with nothing more then Visual C++, and this book.
Hear that soft tapping sound? That's opportunity, knocking. And if you give it a chance, this book can change your life.
Charles Worton, MCP, MCP+I, MCSE, A+

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: Michael Meyers, Scott Jernigan
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Fantastic Read

Great book! The 5th edition of Mike Meyers All-In-One A+ Certification Exam Guide book is what you need if you want to pass the 2003 A+ Comptia exam. I found the book to be excellent for review of the material necessary to prepare for both the Core and OS portions of the exam. The included CD comes with 3 practice exams and 3 Final exams, which helped me to get a clear idea of what would be expected of me on the actual tests. The 5th edition is also a superb reference guide that is a must for any technical library. I highly recommend it to anyone seriously studying for the A+ Certification tests.