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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: VHDL Starter's Guide
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Sudhakar Yalamanchili
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
good but lacking


This is one of the best sources to start learning VHDL. The concepts are covered and explained well. Examples are excellent. Covers most of the features in a few pages. Figures need some improvement in terms of placement.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Step by Step
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Curtis Frye
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Too many mistakes


I bought this to teach a class and there are so many mistakes that the students cannot do it on their own. We first need to do it together. Only after they know the problems, can they begin practicing on their own. BEWARE.
For example they ask you to replace X with Y but in fact it should be Y with X. Graphs are not where they should be. It is confusing for students.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Test-Driven Development in Microsoft .NET (Microsoft Professional)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: James W. Newkirk, Alexei A. Vorontsov
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great introduction to TDD on .NET


Obviously, the best way to learn TDD is by doing it, but a short tutorial like this helps immensely. I bought this book to fill in TDD and NUnit gaps after learning the ropes at work from an experienced TDD Java developer. The book covers the basic principals of TDD and provides a thorough NUnit tutorial. Other reviewers nitpicked the web unit testing section and the depth of coverage, but all neglected to mention that the book is mercifully short. What sort of depth do you want on a very complex and subjective topic like TDD in ~250 pages? In my opinion:
1) A good xUnit tutorial2) Coverage of the principals of TDD3) Basic examples of TDD principals and xUnit applied in the target language/platform
This book provides all three. After reading through just a few chapters, I embarked on a TDD-based project at work that now has several hundred tests. The info in the book directly contributed to a solid design for my tests, which has proven to be quite scalable across dozens of classes and an extreme amount of refactoring due to new requirements and bug fixing. I can't ask for more than that from such a short book.
In my opinion, it's not the author's responsibility to dictate the best tools to use for every single TDD situation--NUnit coverage is good enough to get any experienced programmer started, and it's really up to you to experience and discover the right tools for the job. TDD is a fairly new concept for .NETers (so new that MS won't have any tools of their own for TDD until Visual Studio 2005 is released), and tools are popping up almost monthly on SourceForge for testing ASP.NET, WinForms, and for integrating NUnit into Visual Studio.
Cheers to James and Alexei for putting forth such a great, short introduction to TDD for everyone on .NET.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Luke Hohmann
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
What you need to know to succeed as a software architect


I agree with other reviewers that this book delivers on the promise of its title and informs the aspiring software architect of the other critical business communication and thinking skills necessary for an architect to lead successfully, and the relationship between product management, the architect, and marketing. I don't know of any other book onthe market that conveys this important information to this audience.