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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Applied Microsoft .NET Framework Programming
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Jeffrey Richter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
All you need to know about the .Net Framework.

Don't go here if you are trying to find a good book on VB.Net or C#.net. Before reading about the Languages around the .Net Framework one should gain an understanding of the framework as a whole. I have bought many books (50+) and this book is the best book that I have read so far about the .Net framework. It is very comprehensive and describes in detail about the types and classes that make up the framework. If your a .Net programmer have fun with it. A MUST BUY!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface, Third Edition
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: David A. Patterson, John L. Hennessy, Peter J. Ashenden, James R. Larus, Daniel J. Sorin
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Positioned right between hardware and software

This has become one of the standard text books, and now that it's been updated to the third edition it is even more impressive than before. It's updated to cover the Pentium 4 and has a little bit on the AMD Opteron which is making very strong inroads in the high performance clustered supercomputer business. There's also a fair amount on the MIPS processor. (One of the authors was a cofounder of MIPS.)

This book is aimed at the intersection of the true hardware types and the low level software types. As such, it's guaranteed not to be deep enough in either area to satisfy all. But to the hardware type thinking in bits and discrete logic the programming aspects will be a good help. Likewise to the software type, learning what registers really do, and what's pipelining, will be a great help.

Chapter 9, potentially the most interesting, is on clusters. This chapter is on the CD, not in the book itself.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Information Theory, Inference & Learning Algorithms
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Authors: David J. C. MacKay
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good value text on a spread of interesting and useful topics

I am a PhD student in computer science. Over the last year and a half this book has been invaluable (and parts of it a fun diversion).

For a course I help teach, the intoductions to probability theory and information theory save a lot of work. They are accessible to students with a variety of backgrounds (they understand them and can read them online). They also lead directly into interesting problems.

While I am not directly studying data compression or error correcting codes, I found these sections compelling. Incredibly clear exposition; exciting challenges. How can we ever be certain of our data after bouncing it across the world and storing it on error-prone media (things I do every day)? How can we do it without >60 hard-disks sitting in our computer? The mathematics uses very clear notation --- functions are sketched when introduced, theorems are presented alongside pictures and explanations of what's really going on.

I should note that a small number (roughly 4 or 5 out of 50) of the chapters on advanced topics are much more terse than the majority of the book. They might not be of interest to all readers, but if they are, they are probably more friendly than finding a journal paper on the same topic.

Most importantly for me, the book is a valuable reference for Bayesian methods, on which MacKay is an authority. Sections IV and V brought me up to speed with several advanced topics I need for my research.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company
Publisher: No Starch Press
Authors: Owen Linzmayer, Owen W. Linzmayer
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The best book I've ever read

This book is amazing. Every page has a new fact, a crazy quote, or insane story of how one hugely successful computer company could screw it all up, but still be around today. It is so interesting to see how Microsoft really got away with copying the Mac OS, and to find out what Steve Jobs is really like. It sheds a new light on the company from Cupertino, and I will never look at them in the same way, without remembering their humble beginnings and their troubled past. This book was money well spent!