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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Modeling Derivatives in C++ (Wiley Finance)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Authors: Justin London
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Lots of badly-written C++ code for derivatives


Given the amount of material and the relatively low price, this book is a good buy for a financial derivatives "quant". Unfortunately, the author programs like a beginner in some respects. He does not seem to understand that sprinkling "magic numbers" throughout a code is very bad programming style. For example, on page 482, the code starts

void HullWhite::some_stuff
{
// some code
double pu[20] = {0.0}; // up probabilities
double pm[20] = {0.0}; // middle probabilities
double pd[20] = {0.0}; // down probabilities
// more code, with many more occurrences of "20"
}

The author should have written something like

const int num_prob = 20;

and then used num_prob to dimension the arrays. This is programming 101. Such programming blunders are strewn throughout his code -- he does not seem to know what he is doing.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Object Oriented Perl
Publisher: Manning Publications
Authors: Damian Conway
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best Perl Book I've ever Read!


This book truly is the best perl book I've ever read. The auther takes concepts that I previously vaguely understood, brings them out, and makes everything so easy to understand.
Reading this book brought me back to the days when I was learning perl for the first time. Every turn of the page will illustrate a new concept, and a new way of doing things.
There has never been a time when I was learning perl, that I learned more, faster, quicker, and easily than when I was reading this book.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Producing Great Sound for Digital Video
Publisher: CMP Books
Authors: Jay Rose
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
You will understand sound after this book


Audio is really important, and this book will make sure you get incredible sound at every shoot. I really recommend this book!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: C++ How to Program (4th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Thick and superficial


I was disappointed with this book. It's popular, and thicker than other C++ books. But it's very superficial. The text is very repetitive, making the book too large and (to some extent) boring.

As an example, let's see the chapter on the STL: it is too short, and all examples use containers of primitive types (int and double). One very nice thing about the STL is that you can have containers of objects of any classes. Also, while it is not possible to explain in details all STL containers and algorithms, it would certainly be nice to have a quick reference with the most important ones. The authors show very few of them. When presenting the STL algorithms and containers, the word "fast" is used, without making clear what it means. Stroustrup does a better job, for example, saying exactly how long it will take to run an algorithm on a container.

The chapter on templates has a similar problem, and only presents very simple examples of containers of "int".

The exercises are too easy. it would really be nice if they were more challenging. There are exercises that show you sentences and ask you to fill in the blanks. This kind of exercise shouldn't be used anymore -- not even for 10 year old kids at school.

The book is reasonably complete, but the text, examples and exercises made me feel like I was being treated like a child.
Anyway, I do know quite a few people who like it.