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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Microsoft Windows 2000 Scripting Guide
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft Corporation
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent resource and reference

Windows 2000 automation goes beyond simple and limited BAT/CMD scripts. For total control of Windows you should definitely learn scripting. Although it has an intimidating look (1300+ pages) this book is actually a fast track resource for learning and putting scripts to work immediately. The included CD has an electronic version of the book (not PDF, but in MS Help file format); it also has a separate link with all the scripts organized by tasks for you to copy and paste on your favorite text editor.
My interest was focused on Services, I had an urgent need on my project to automate services to start and stop at specific times during the week. I went directly to Chapter 15 on Services and then back to Chapters 2,3 for VBS and WSH reference. In less than a day I was able to resolve my issue using a combination of scripting and Windows Scheduled Tasks. These scripts saved me from having to come in very early to work (before users came in) to restart services that were being shut down during the daily system maintenance window. Manually restarting the services took me around 40 minutes every morning, so this is also a notable consideration.
My only criticism, in the hopes that a future edition would improve an already excellent book:The author explains that this book was not intended to be read in sequence and you may just get directly to the area of interest, but if you are an experienced administrator without scripting experience you have to get all the way to chapter 3 to find out how to run a script. There should have been an introductory section on this subject since there are many working scripts already available on the CD for administrators to use.
I recommend this book to any system administrator who wants to ease their daily work load.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Managed DirectX 9 Kick Start : Graphics and Game Programming
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Tom Miller
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best in class!

A very good book to whoever wanna learn to use Directx with C#.net or VB.net , it contains excellent explanations of all basic concepts with a very good code samples.It's the best book on this subject.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Digital Photography Expert Techniques (O'Reilly Digital Studio)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Ken Milburn
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Beautiful book, and excellent techniques...

O'Reilly has a book out called Digital Photography Expert Techniques by Ken Milburn. If you're ready to take your digital photography to the next level (close to professional grade), this is a book you'll want to see.
First off, the chapter contents: The Digital Photographer; Be Prepared; Bringing Out The Best Picture; Panoramas; Photoshop Selections, Masks, and Paths; Basic Digital Photo Corrections; Converting Photos to Paintings; Special Photographic Effects; Retouching and Rescuing Photos; Creating Fictitious Photos; Color Printing; Use Pictures to Sell Yourself; Sell It on the Web
This book targets the professional, or serious, digital photographer who is using an SLR digital camera with at least six megapixels and plenty of memory. It also assumes the use of Photoshop as the base editing tool for manipulating the images. But rather than stick with Photoshop as the only tool, the author will also educate you on other tools or plug-ins that will give spectacular results beyond what you could get by sticking with the base software. Another target for this book is the film photographer who wants to move to the digital realm, but doesn't quite know how best to set up the workflow of processing images. Because a digital photograph can take many forms after image enhancement, there are a number of good ideas here to help you know what to save and what to delete.
Each chapter is made up of a series of "tips" on how to do something interesting with your images or with your camera. For instance, in the retouching chapter, you'll find tips with the following titles: Restore Youth; Remove Stains; Eliminate Junk from the Landscape; Cosmetic Emphasis; Focus the Light on Points of Interest; Punch Out the Paunch; Proboscis Pruning and Changing Expressions; and Clone Detail from Another Photo. Each tip or technique is well documented as to the steps necessary in the software to accomplish the effect. He also usually shows before and after full-color comparisons so that you can visually grasp how the effect works and how you can use it in your own work.
Now, if you're like me, puttering around in the consumer world of digital cameras, you can still get some great ideas from this book. The tips on composition, image correction, and other basic skills are valid regardless of what level you're at. Your final result may not be quite as good as his due to not having an original image of the same resolution, but you can still end up with some stunning shots that will wow your friends.
Bottom line... quality information, well written, beautiful book that should be considered by any serious digital photographer.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Cocoa(R) Programming for Mac(R) OS X (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Aaron Hillegass
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A Fantastic, Must-Get book

If you're wanting to ramp up quickly on Apple's OS X Cocoa technology, Hillegass' book should be the first one you get. It starts off assuming you know nothing about Cocoa and Objective-C, and ends up introducing and exploring all of the concepts you'll need to know when writing Real Applications. How to manage documents. Saving and loading your user's data. Managing preferences. Drawing on the Screen. Printing. Lots and lots of good stuff.
The pacing of the book is fantastic. The chapters aren't too short, and aren't too long. Many end with "Challenges", like little homework problems which encourage the reader to explore in more depth the topics desribed in the chapter.
In short, get this book.