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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Effective C++: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Design (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Scott Meyers
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A great collection of tips

This book contains a list of no less that 50 pratical tips for the C++ programmer. These tips are basically just common sense, and the advanced C++ will already know the vast majority of them (he should buy the book anyway just for the ones he doesn't know). The beginning C++ programmer will feel overwhelmed by this book so for those it cannot be recommended. It is mainly targeted the intermediate C++ programmer that have learned the language but have not found experience in using it.
My favorite one is the one that tell how to reduce dependencies among files. It is common sense, but I just hadn't thought about it until I read this book. As a result the build time for our company project went down significantly. That was literally *very* valuable advice.
The book is extremely well written (even somewhat entertaining!) and both short and consise. I really liked this book, and I recommend any serious C++ programmer to buy it....

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Advanced Programming in the UNIX(R) Environment
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: W. Richard Stevens
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
It's out of date but GOOOOOD.

This book is really very out of date. Alas, Stevens is no longer with us so there won't be an updated edition that deals with pthreads and other Posix issues. There are other books for that but this book really helped ground 9/10 decent systems programmers. It's a good read, mostly for key concepts and historical perspective, however its use as a cookbook for for todays programmers is limited.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Very disappointing

When I sought to find a scripting language to further the development of a website I was working on I was told that Perl was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, you'd never know it by reading this dull and boring book. It reminds me of one of those horrible college texts we've all encountered (and paid way to much for) with page after page of small font examples.
To be fair, I did learn many of the basics of Perl by reading the book (although I never did figure out what the intro by Larry Wall was all about, his magical beads, etc. I thought maybe Weird Al Yankovic had written it instead). After plowing threw most of the book -- and many tears later, I found I could actually write a few simple Perl programs. But getting them to work on a real webserver was another story.
That's when someone introduced me to another scripting language called PHP. Bingo! I learned more PHP, and how to use it on webservers, in one weekend of studying the on-line user manual than I did in two months with the Perl book. In short, forget Perl, unless you really like studying long, pedantic, cryptic and utterly obscure syntax to get a simple task done. If you do, however, you will enjoy this Schwartz and Christiansen book.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Real-Time Rendering (2nd Edition)
Publisher: AK Peters, Ltd.
Authors: Tomas Akenine-Moller, Eric Haines
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Up-to-date survey-style book

This book replaces the "old school" stand-by Foley-Van Damn as the "bible" of computer graphics. It is a survey of computer graphics principles, focusing on real-time rendering, as indicated by the title.
Each subject is touched on in just enough detail to give the reasonably educated reader an understanding of the most important concepts, although sometimes tricky implementation details are left out. The style is academic and authoritative.
Some of the highlights of this book are:
- an excellent overview of the graphics pipeline- general optimization techniques based on maximizing usage of all the processor(s) involved in rendering- an excellent discussion of the standard lighting equation- survey of special effects "tricks"- many geometric tests such as intesection and culling- large list of references
This book is not for beginners. A firm understanding of linear algebra, and a prior understanding of elementary graphics concepts such as triangle meshes and texture mapping, are both highly recommended before reading this book.
Definately one to have on the shelf. Currently, the best survey of graphics techniques available.