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Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Numerical Recipes in Fortran
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Authors: William H. Press, Brian P. Flannery, Saul A. Teukolsky, William T. Vetterling
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Fortran companion

This book was extremely helpful when I was in school. The source codes are reliable. The content of this book is more comprehensive than any other book on numerical computing I've ever read. NAG Fortran library may have more subroutines, but I find NR easier to use. As to their performances, unfortunately I did not have a chance to compare. I will be glad to find further reviews on this matter.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective Java Programming Language Guide
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Joshua Bloch
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Amazing book!!!

Here it's a book that should always be near from you. The tips and warrings about finally blocks and serialization are precious! In my opinion it's a great book to Developer exam from Sun too!

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Programming Windows with C# (Core Reference)
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Charles Petzold
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Destined to become a classic

This is one of the most carefully constructed books on programming that I've ever read. The book builds a doggedly focused exposition of .NET Windows Forms from the ground up, and within that subject, there is very little missing here. Further, any diversions are relegated to three superbly organized appendices on Files and Streams, math functions, and string handling, three areas which rich client windows programmers have to have good mastery of anyhow. When I say that Petzold builds his subject from the ground up, I mean that the book can and should be read like "War and Peace, " from beginning to end without skipping anything. Even if you think you understand the basics, I'd be very surprised if you didn't gain important insights you might have missed before, even from the early and elementary chapters. Virtually nothing is presupposed and your knowledge is build up, block by block. After studying this book, you will understand exactly what is happening in a .NET Windows Forms application. Other books take a shotgun approach, throwing stuff at you that may work, but without providing the background to understand what is happening beneath the sheets. Petzold does not let Visual C# generate code automatically. Visual Studio provides a lot of visual tools and wizards for quickly designing dialog box layouts and generating code frameworks, but Petzold wants you to understand what is really going on, so everything is hand-coded in this book. This can either be a warning to you, or an invitation to those who want a deep understanding of how a Windows Form is really put together. I'd say, do it Petzold's way first, and after you've mastered the foundations of Windows Forms, use the visual tools to save time when your now superior perspective can do so without running the risk of not understanding something the visual tools did that isn't quite working right and you don't have the depth of understanding to quickly zero in on the cause.
There is virtually nothing in this book that is not focused on .NET Windows Forms using C#. Mercifully, VB.NET isn't even mentioned. Also, you won't find diversionary chapters on ADO.NET or ASP.NET. The book treats Windows Forms basics (from the classic "Hello, World", through essential data structures and basic text output), and then alternates the chapters between topics on graphics (GDI+) and user interface elements (mouse, keyboard, timers, buttons, menus, toolbars, etc.). GDI+ is an enhancement to the old GDI and the book contains uncompromising chapters on such graphical topics as Bezier curves and other splines, including all the necessary mathematical background. In the chapter on Pages and Transforms, he presents* all the mathematical background necessary to perform the linear transformations needed to utilize the GDI+ graphical transforms. This is what I mean about uncompromising. He doesn't avoid topics in the .NET Windows Forms classes because they might require a little college algebra that most of us have probably forgotten. He just dives right in and presents everything necessary to come to grips with the deepest .NET classes in Windows Forms. About the only subject he doesn't treat is Image Color Management, a topic so vast it really deserves a book of its own (although "Windows 2000 Graphics API Black Book" has an excellent chapter on the Win32 API).
With such an exhaustive treatment of his subject matter, you might think this book might be pretty dry reading. Not true. Petzold writes with supreme confidence and wry wit, never cloying, always with just the right touch. This book is fun reading, his enthusiasm for his subject matter always in evidence, even when he's exhaustively presenting the methods of a class or an enumeration. You can tell he is having a ball.
There are lots of tables and code in the book. The code is available on an included CD. A minor problem I had is that sometimes the Beta 2 produced a bunch of "System.Byte not defined in the workspace" errors. If this happens to you, just choose Yes when it asks if you want to go ahead anyhow. The applications still work.
His examples are short and are easily typed in by hand, something Petzold recommends anyhow. The way I worked with this book was to embellish little programs of my own anyhow, trying out the facilities he was expositing within my own framework. I probably learned even more taking this approach rather than using his examples literally.
So overall, it is hard to imagine that this book could ever be surpassed. This book deservers an extra rosette, beyond the five stars for those extremely rare computer books that are destined to become a classic teaching a whole generation of programmers.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Backup Book: Disaster Recovery from Desktop to Data Center
Publisher: Schaser-Vartan Books
Authors: E. L. Heiberger, Karsten Koop
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Holy Cow

Can't believe how in depth this book is. If you have anything to do with backups you need to read this book. It's like the holy grail of backup.