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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Design Patterns
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A great book to be nibbled at

The first time I picked up this book, I found it dry, and tough to read. I bravely worked my way through almost two hundred pages because I thought these were things I should know, but had to put it away because I was falling asleep. I realized when I put the book down, that I had remembered only maybe half a dozen things, and those only in an abstract sense.
There were a couple things wrong about my approach. First, although I fancied I was a reasonably seasoned programmer, I was not a seasoned OO programmer even in my own imagination. Second, I read and read and read without coding, or even looking at any code. This is really much more useful as reference work than a textbook. Don't expect to pick it up, and learn good OOD without writing a lot of code along the way.
Do go back to this book repeatedly as you are developing as an OO programmer. First, it gives you a vocabulary for common patterns as you encounter them, which helps you not only communicate with team members (by virtue of being canon, the book's vocabulary is widely understood), but also think about the problems yourself. Second, it gives some very good advice on the use of these patterns and their use together, which means that as well as being canon, it's <gasp> darn useful.
I won't say that it's a must for every shelf... if you're not working in an OO language, even if the concepts are nice, many will not have reasonable, automatic translations into your language. However, if you are an OO programmer, you'd be missing out if you didn't have the ability to flip this book open at odd intervals when considering your design.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Developer's Workshop to COM and ATL 3.0
Publisher: Wordware Publishing, Inc.
Authors: Andrew Troelsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great for Beginners to ATL or COM

I never read a book by Andrew Troelsen before , now that I have, I wish he had authored a lot of the other books in the library too.Explanation of the subject matter is very simple yet detailed, very focused and in a way that would stick for a long time.The good things that my co-reviewers have mentioned about this book prior to this review are all true. In a nutshell, if you are waiting to learn COM/DCOM/ATL inside out, all the nuts and bolts of it, then your wait is over.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Andre Lamothe
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book isn't just good... it's DAMN good!

I've been looking to develop my programming skills for over a year and this book has really helped me move beyond the basic MS MFC style books into a new realm of programming. The coverage of Direct X is great. I'm a newbie to DX and this book has given me the knowledge to get the ball rolling on my own. Thanks.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Practical C Programming, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Steve Oualline
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Excellent Explainations of Key C Concepts

This book provides excellent and clear explanations of three key C programming concepts: pointers, bit manipulation, and structures. If you are new to C programming, and do not know anything about these three concepts, you will after reading this book. Or if, as in my case, you are knowledgeable in C programming, this book is an excellent reference when you forget some of the syntax and constructs of pointers, bits, and structures.
If you are an expert programmer and already know everything there is to know about pointers etc., this book will show you nothing new. On the same token, if you are starting from the very beginning and know nothing about C, you would probably be better served with a beginning book.
If you have been through the "Hello, World" programs, are starting to deal with functions and variables, then this book will round you out and turn you into a skilled programmer.