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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

After Black Art of 3D Game programming and Windows Game Programming for Dummies, he updated his work in an amazing new book. If you need more about 3D Fundamentals, buy Black Art 3D too, and remember to read the ALL the book and the docs.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Modern Database Management (7th Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Jeffrey A. Hoffer, Mary Prescott, Fred McFadden
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Amazingly well written

I bought this book for a DBMS course in a university and I liked it. This is the best written book compared to any IT book on any subject I've read. Everything seems so easy and simple with this. And this covers a lot of ground, enough at least for any basic level DBMS course. It covers the basics, SQL, (E)ER-diagrams, O-O db's, warehousing, etc.
What this is NOT: this is not a hands-on guide for real work. This is the first introduction to what you should know before beginning any DB-related work.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content
Publisher: New Riders Press
Authors: Biz Stone
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5

The major problem I have with this book is that I haven't been responding to anyone else's blogs much lately or even doing much else productive. I've been reading, trying, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding beyond my expectations.
Stone talks about "finding your voice", group blogging and many things I had not even thought about when I started my own blog. But the best part for me, were the "blog toys". The sidebars of my Blog now feel much more professional and fun at the same time. The most intersting toys I found in the book were:
1. The News Feed from moreover.com. I set up a search for "anti-war and protest and Iraq" and the list is continually updated. It's not always the news I think I'm going to get, but it's almost always something I want to read about. I now go to my own page to read the news!
2. The Search feature from Atomz. Now that I have weeks worth of archives, I wondered how I was going to find my own past posts. Part of what I've find really good about blogging is that it gets my ideas "onto paper" even when they are not fully formed. I used to have a tendency to not write things down until I was read to "compose", and of course when I felt like writing, I couldn't remember any of it. Now, with the blog, most of the "essays" I've written are still half formed, but they are here, as reference, when I do get that "urge to write". And now I can even find them! And if anyone else should care to, the search is there!
3. Metalinker, which links to other people who link to the same things you do from ThinkBlank. This adds a tag everywhere you have a link and links that to a page that shows all the other bloggers who link to the same page. Actually, I did make this work, but not the way I want, because it tags all my comment links, and side column links too. I really only want it to tag links in the main part of the blog entry. So I took it back out of my code.
4. Bookwatch. Links to people who track books and music bloggers link to from Paul Bausch. This lists the top books, CDs and movies, as in number of links, mentioned by other bloggers.
5. Create and sell your own merchandise without having to invest a penny at Cafe Press. This is really cool and I can't wait to have a change to create some items for the writers' group I belong to. You can send them images, they tell you how much it will cost you per item, and then you set the selling price, making the difference for yourself.
6. Donations. I never thought to ask for donations. Okay, so no one's donated yet, but they might!
7. Wil Wheaton has a blog! I almost didn't go look because he sounds rather like a jerk in the interview in the book, but when I did look, it turns out to be a funny, interesting and very left wing politically blog! I was impressed and glad I visited. The interview must have been done tongue-in-cheek but it didn't come to me that way when I first read it.
There's still much more to the book, but it's time to take a break and return from cyberspace to the real world for a while.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: When Things Start to Think
Publisher: Owl Books
Authors: Gershenfeld Neil
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Readable view of the future - a true irony!

When things start to think is one of the better, if not best, future-of-the-industry books of the past 12 months. First, it lacks the ego-centric writing that is the commonplace of MIT texts, which is refreshing. All too often the books coming out of MIT seem to be a self proclamation of value - "Hey, I'm important and cool, and so is my work". Gersenfeld, on the other hand, let's his work do the talking. He openly questions the appropriateness of some of his projects, and shows a
real-world appreciation of what it means to bring product to market with his "1 dollar rule" for additive technology. With the exception of a few chapters at the end of the book, it is highly readable for all people of all professions, and is a refreshing new way of approaching old issues. It also reads at times like a collection of essays, so while you will want to read it in a linear fashion, it is easy to pick up, read, put down, and pick up again. You'll find yourself wanting to do that again and again, allowing your own ideas to digest and grow.