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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: VB and VBA in a Nutshell: The Languages
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Paul Lomax
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Best book for experienced programmers to learn VB


I agree this is one of the best books on VB on the market... The O'Reilly books are perfect as reference and sharpening your skills.
For those who are "familiar" with VB this book provides concise coverage of the VB Language features and tips and "gottchas" on using them. He has information on what REALLY works in VB and little quirks that work in some cases, but not in others....
For those upgrading from VB5 to VB6 this is the perfect book. It covers VB5 and VB6 features in detail; and annotates which apply to each. You don't need to buy an expensive library... this book has it all (except VB components... which is in another O'Reilly book). I don't have to go through a thousand books to find the language feature I need. Mr. Lomax's discussion of error trapping is one of the best I've seen.
The appendix of Visual Basic Language Constants gathered together in one place is worth the price of the book alone.
This is the book to have.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Flash Hacks
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Sham Bhangal
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Homebrew ambience


Flash is to making web multimedia as Photoshop is to editing static graphics. And like Photoshop, Flash has a devoted coterie who swear by it. But even such fans may find new, nifty things in this book. One might even suggest that such a group is the audience that might benefit the most.

So I started thumbing through the book, to see what caught my eye. [Obviously, your needs will differ.] One method was the construction of a speech synthesiser. Bhangel gives a simple, ingenious way to make a poor man's synthesiser. The sound quality does not match that of commercial synthesisers, like IBM's or Dragon's. But there is a homebrew ambience to this hack that some will find attractive.

A related hack uses a recent improvement to Flash. Finally, there is a way for the end of the playing of a sound to invoke a callback. In other words, you can now synchronise another operation to start after the sound ends. The lack of this has greatly hampered the interactive use of sound in Flash. The author then gives a hack of a lip synching animation. Cute!



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Code Complete
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve McConnell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Should be mandatory reading


I've been working in the software industry for 12 years now. I believe that a lot of bad practices have been creeping into programming. A lot of code is poorly written, full of "quick and dirty" fixes, poorly structured, and hard to comprehend. The IT industry is not as rigorous as it once was.
This is what Code Complete addresses. It is not a programming primer, it is an discussion of methods that can be used to make code more legible, more maintainable, and less buggy.
If you don't or can't buy the book then absorb this idea from the book: Programming is not the art of communicating with the computer, it is the art of communicating with other programmers who will read your code.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Code Complete
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Authors: Steve McConnell
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Begining Programmers PLEASE Read this book


I just wish they required this book for CS Students in college. It could cut my frustrations in half in the average day of being a programmer. It helped me immensely improve my programming skills and gave me some practical advice on how to deal with the Non-programmer types in the office that keep trying to "help" me out. This is absolutely a must read for any programmer out there regardless of platform.