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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Planning Extreme Programming
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Kent Beck, Martin Fowler
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
Not for every project

I found this book to be a quick and easy read, even for a project planning book. While I was already familiar with the concepts of XP Planning from reading various articles, it was good to get the authors' complete message from start to finish.
While the XP process sounds great, and I would love to try it, I do not think it is realistic for most projects. For one, it requires the dream client, who is knowledgeable of the problem domain, patient, decisive, documentation-averse, and trusting. A second precondition is a project of small to moderate size and complexity. (The authors speculate on how the process may be extended to teams greater than 10 in size.) The third precondition is that the team should be staffed with the most motivated, creative, team-oriented, and skilled developers. (At least that is what I deduce from what the developers must do.)
With all these preconditions satisfied, then of course a stripped down process will work!! Unfortunately, most of us live in a different world.
That said, I did find the book worth a couple of hours, as it reinforces some concepts, provides a few new ideas, and gives you a complete overview of this latest fad.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Introduction to Algorithms, Second Edition
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors: Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This is the bible on algorithms.

I feel the only reason why this book gets any bad reviews is because the title "Introduction to Algorithms" is kind of misleading. The text is extremely technical, requires a pretty serious mathematical background, and is geared towards computer scientists, not programmers (yes, there is a huge difference).

If you are a self taught programmer with no formal background in the field of computer science, this book is probably going to be way over you head.

Regarding the pseudocode, it is pseudocode! It is not a real language. If you do not understand what pseudocode is, you need to go back to CS 101.

About the book not providing answers to the exercises, I think this book is mainly used as a university text. Your professor should choose which exercises you should attempt and then go over the answers in class. It would be nice if maybe a seperate answer book was available.

Now I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I understand even half of the book, but I do understand what the book is. It is a pretty standard text that very technically examines many computer algorithms.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Visual Basic.NET How to Program, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Tem R. Nieto
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Too example driven for my liking but has ALOT of content

I like examples, but I feel this book goes a little overboard. I find the layout of the pages hard a little on the difficult side as well. I'm not quite sure what it is, but the combination of SO many examples and the layout just made me have to put this book down and look elsewhere initially.Sometimes I'm just looking for a textual summary of a topic, and not have to plough through the example to figure out what could have been said as text on the page (in addition to the example).
That being said I keep coming back to this book as a reference because it contains SO much information...it's just not that easy to read from cover to cover like osme others.Still, it does contain ALOT of information...if you can handle the format and like LOTS of example code then you'll probably be in heaven.
For me "Coding techniques for MS Visual Basic .NET" was alot more concise and easier to read, albeit not hitting quite the ammount of detail that this book goes into in topics such as threading etc.
So in summary, not a BAD book, The layout is not brilliant but it is very information rich.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Plan Graphics for the Landscape Designer with Section-Elevation and Computer Graphics
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Tony Bertauski
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
I too only wish I had gotten book sooner

This book is great. I am a junior landscape architecture major, and my introductory classes skipped over the important basic details. Even though I've caught onto the basic skills over time, this book is a great reference and I'm still finding new things. This book is very easy to follow and a has a few pages of colored pages so that you can see his marker and colored pencil examples. I would most definitely recommend this book!!