Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Building the Data Warehouse (3rd Edition)
Authors: W. H. Inmon, W. H. Inmon
Bill's books are good conceptual books aimed at explaining the Business Benefits and Overall Technical concepts that are fundamental to data warehousing. This book is a classic that people serious about Business Intelligence should read. HOWEVER - Inmon's technical details are light and sometimes generalized, whereas Kimball's books tend to be more nuts-n-bolts and include usable examples. I RECOMMEND (a) read Inmon for how BI environments should be built under ideal situations, (b) read Kimball (warehouse toolkit) for how to do an actual project. For Project Management and Infrastucture issues, read Kimball's "Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit". (c) Read Inmon's Corp Information Factory to understand the BI architecture most companies try to build (whether they know it or not!), and (d) STOP wasting time comparing Inmon to Kimball - their paradigms are complimentary, not contradictory.CHECK OUT "Data Warehousing Fundamentals" by Paulraj Ponniah - it covers concepts by Inmon, Kimball and other leading thinkers and is very useful when -planning projects, -working with management to explaing BI environments.
Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Revised Core Rulebook (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Authors: Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins, J.D. Wiker, Steve Sansweet
This book is so much prettier than all the weg books. The art is great, the photo's cool. Everything on that side of things looks really professional. It is great to see Wizards doing the game as it looks like they are going to do a really good job of it.
My only complaint is that there isn't enough in the book to play. Forget playing in the rebellion or new republic era. They are not covered at all in any detail.
Episode 1 is the only era covered in any detail. Which is a big disappointment. I will be running games in that era but there isn't stats on the standard stormtrooper in the book.
There is a very high level of favortism to Phantom menace in the game. In time I hope it will balance out so we can play in all 3 eras.
Some of the stats are very weird for movie character stats. They have Maul stronger than Vader. Not a hope in hell of that being the case. Episode 1 is the in thing and the game reflects that.
But overall this is a good book and the game looks like it will grow in some interesting directions. if they continue to do things at this standard then it should do well.
Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Photoshop and Painter Artist Tablet Book: Creative Techniques in Digital Painting
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Cher Threinen-Pendarvis
Books on Photoshop and Painter are usually written to teach you to use all of the program's features. Learning to actually draw and paint with a graphics tablet has barely been covered. If you've been a traditional artist for years, you still need basic exercises to learn how to handle the "digital brush." If you're a beginner, you need not only the basics of using a graphics tablet, but an understanding of how art is created. Cher's book provides you with both. Software instruction is kept to the minimum you need to complete the lessons.
Through each lesson, Cher carefully explains how the pen makes different marks depending upon how we hold it, how much pressure we use, and how we modify the "brushes" we use. After a couple of frustrating starts, I found myself fighting the pen less and less, and reading more carefully about tilt, angle, pressure and the speed with which I made my strokes. My traditional `pencil and paper' style needed to change, and the lessons helped me concentrate on making those changes.
Strategies for getting from your first stroke to your last are explained in detail. Media can be mixed in ways that are very difficult, if not impossible, with traditional media, and a good portion of the book discusses your digital options. But this is real drawing and painting, no faking it, and the lessons will take some time to finish. The shortcuts and advantages of digital media aren't ignored. Scanning sketches, tracing, using photographic reference, and even direct cloning are covered thoroughly. Whatever digital tricks you use, though, you'll be the one painting the entire image, stroke by stroke, keeping the painting fresh and original.
There are two features of Cher's book that I found made the book easy to learn from. The pictures of her work in progress are so clear you can easily follow along with her methods. I would have preferred expensive spiral binding, but the book is bound well enough to stay open fairly easily while you refer to it. My second favorite feature is that all of the lessons are so timeless and useful, you can repeat them with different subjects, choosing different brushes, and never make the same painting twice. This is one computer book that won't be obsolete a year from now. Even as the software, Painter and/or Photoshop, changes with new versions, the lessons in this book remain the backbone of digital painting.
Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCAD Developing and Implementing Windows-based Applications with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Exam Cram 2 (Exam Cram 70-316)
Authors: Kalani Kirk Hausman, Amit Kalani, Priti Kalani, Ed Tittel
This book is just like other Kalani's books!
By reading it a couple of times during 2 months, I passed the exam easily!
Would like to recommend to those who are preparing for the 70-316 test!