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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Ken Henderson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Perfect, just perfect


What a wonderful book! I have been looking for one like this for a long time. I started with Ben-Gan and Moreau's book and quickly discovered that I knew more about T-SQL than they do! I wanted and advanced book, a *really* advanced book. Well, I finally found it. The code in this book is invaluable. I don't care who you are, it will teach you a thing or two about T-SQL. Medians, statistical functions, Automation, triggers and stored procedures, sets, arrays, cursors, fulltext search - these are just some of the many excellent chapters. Get this book if you want to become a T-SQL guru yourself.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Thinking in Java (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
gREAT! But...


This book is great, especially for someone moving from C++ to Java. This book should have had the title THINKING IN JAVA WITH THE MIND OF A C++ PROGRAMMER, or something similar. If you are a C++ programmer, you will LOVE it! Before you buy this book, check out the electronic version of the book, available as a free download at http://www.mindview.net/Books. See if the writing style suits you, and the frequent references to C++. You will get frustrated with this book if you have no programming experience at all. The only thing I don't like about this book is its poor organisation of topics. But, you might ask, why I gave it 5 stars. It's becuse of its EXCELLENT content.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification: A Comprehesive Primer, Second Edition
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Khalid Mughal, Rolf Rasmussen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great reference, learning guide, and prep tool


This is an excellent text to learn Java from. I have studied Java in my spare time for years and come from a Visual Basic background and I don't know C or C++. I hope to write the exam early next year. Notice the many charts and diagrams in this book. For example, the charts for the collection classes, which show how each collection and their interfaces relate to one another, along with their differences. The same goes for the section on inner/outer public/private classes. Without these charts I would find the different combinations very difficult to keep track of. The examples are very uncluttered relative to many I see in books, and I can't find any errors either. The only thing I found is the large amount of text describing the concepts is initially very difficult to follow. However, if you jump ahead a bit and practice many hours with the examples you find yourself later reading the text and slowly comprehending all of it. I am very happy with this book as a reference, a learning guide, and an exam preparation tool.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mastering Unreal Technology : The Art of Level Design
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Jason Busby, Zak Parrish, Joel VanEenwyk
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Incredibly detailed and helpful - 2 books in one!


I was a little skeptical before purchasing this book because I already own and watched the Unreal Tournament 2004 Special Edition training videos produced by the same authors as this book. I was afraid that the 60+ hours of content in those videos would cover all the same material as the book. Boy was I wrong.

Not only does the Mastering Unreal Technology: The Art of Level Design go into detail far surpassing the training videos, including a surprisingly enlightening (and helpful) section on the theory behind how the Unreal Technology works, but Mr. Busby, Parrish, and Van Eenwyk guide you step-by-step through designing a level. As they begin introducing new, more advanced, features they'll explain - option by option - how the feature works and provide numerous examples of where it would be useful. For a level designer, having a single clear guide of what each of thousands of settings do is an invaluable resource.

This book serves as an excellent introduction to Maya reference as well. As I said earlier, having watched through the video tutorials, I was already somewhat familiar with the Maya package. But even for complete novices, the book will quickly bring you upto speed with the basics of the package, and help you learn how to use it to import your own creations (such as static meshes) into your Unreal levels. The Maya content in the book alone, is worth the price of admission.

The previous reviewer mentioned that he uses 3DS Max instead of Maya. While I have no doubt that Max is an awesome package, it should not be overlooked that Maya has a free personal learning edition - that ships with Unreal Tournament 2003/4. Consequently, I am very pleased that this package was used instead of Max, because in doing so no initial investment beyond a copy of this book is needed. Heck, they even ship a copy of the Unreal Engine Runtime with the book! This means that people who don't own Unreal Tournament 2004, but wish to learn about level editing, can do so. Overall, I was extremely impressed. :) Way to go.