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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Authors: James Paul Gee
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Also recommended

This is an excellent book; I learnt a great deal from it.

If this interests you, look at Raph Koster's "Theory of Fun for Game Design" as well...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: SQL/400 Developer's Guide
Publisher: 29th Street Press
Authors: Paul Conte, Mike Cravitz
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Good practical book to learn SQL on iSeries

This book was just what I needed. I'm an RPG programmer who has to learn SQL for a new application we're developing. Found most of what I needed here.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Secure Programming Cookbook for C and C++
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: John Viega, Matt Messier
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
a good reference if you've really got to be secure

If you are not sure that you need this book, then you probably don't. But if there is something it the table of contents that you've got to know, and you've got to get it right, then this would be a good book to have. Chapter 12 on Anti-Tampering was a really enjoyable read, though probably a futile task.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: High Performance Linux Clusters with OSCAR, Rocks, OpenMosix, and MPI (Nutshell Handbooks)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Joseph D. Sloan
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Cheap open source

The free open source nature of Linux has driven its growth in general purpose client and server side usages. Here, Sloan takes linux into the rarefied context of high performance computing. Atop linux, he explains the merits of open source packages like Oscar and Rocks, to run your cluster. The basic motivation for him describing all this is the relatively low cost of using the machines. This can be a significant issue if your budget is limited or if you plan to have many machines in the cluster.

The book is primarily about software. Though he also gives a chapter discussing mundane but important decisions regarding hardware. The software that is explained is mostly Oscar and Rocks, as explained above, and how these are to be run. Be aware that relatively little of the book is about linux, per se. Which is as it should be. The crucial starting assumption is that you are or will be using linux. But, roughly, linux on these machines is more or less the same as linux on a generic computer. The distinguishing feature is the next layer of software.

On the programming side, Sloan points out that C and Fortran dominate, with C++ usage rising. There is no significant effort in Java, because of its performance penalty. Maybe on the cluster's lead computer that interfaces with the rest of the world, you can have a nice Java GUI program that controls the cluster. But the heavy lifting is done in the other languages.