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  Books: Recommended  
  These are books I recommend. They may not be essential for every developer, but they do a good job of covering their material.  
 
Algorithms Cryptography Numerical Algorithms
Software Engineering Graphics Fractals and Chaos
Programming Languages World Wide Web User Interface Design
Writing Science
 
 
 
Algorithms
Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Algorithms
$59.95, 416 pages, paperback with CD.

The only book on algorithms in Visual Basic. Provides a library of important algorithms ready-to-run in Visual Basic. Updated and expanded for VB 5/VB6.
Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Algorithms
[Learn more - Wiley]

Introduction to Algorithms
Introduction to Algorithms
$69.95, 1028 pages, hardcover.

An encyclopedic book that includes most of the non-specialized algorithms I have ever seen. An excellent reference book.

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The Art of Computer Programming: Fundamental Algorithms (Vol 1)
$49.95, 700 pages, hardcover.

Donald Knuth's seminal work on algorithms. Many consider these volumes to be essential to any complete algorithms library.

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The Art of Computer Programming: Seminumerical Algorithms (Vol 2)
$49.95, 762 pages, hardcover.

Volume 2 of Donald Knuth's algorithms series.

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The Art of Computer Programming: Sorting and Searching (Vol 3)
$49.95, 780 pages, hardcover.

Volume 3 of Donald Knuth's algorithms series.

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The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-3 Boxed Set
$149.99, 2100+ pages, hardcover.

Knuth's whole three-volumes in a boxed set. More than 2100 pages for less than each volume separately.
The Art of Computer Programming, Volumes 1-3 Boxed Set

[]

Data Structure Techniques
(Out of print but you may be able to buy it used), 447 pages, paperback.

This algorithm book takes a data-oriented approach. It explains algorithms by analyzing the data structures they use and the code that manipulates those data structures. It covers many of the concepts described in Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Algorithms.

[]

Classical Algorithms in C++
(Out of print but you may be able to buy it used), 350 pages, paperback.

Covers many of the standard algorithms found in Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Algorithms written in C++.

[Wiley]

Blondie24, Playing at the Edge of AI
$17.47, 424 pages, paperback.

This book describes the author's quest to build a self-teaching checkers playing program. It provides a reasonably simple and interesting introduction to genetic algorithms and neural networks. If you're unfamiliar with them, this will give you a feel for what they are. If you are an experienced programmer, the book provides just enough guidance to try to build your own checkers program. At times the author made some naive mistakes. (Suppose you wrote a program that was going to perform 100 trials over a 1 week period. Would you just start it running and hope it finishes? Or would you have it save intermediate results in case the computer crashed? I guess some lessons you have to learn the hard way!) It still makes an interesting story and shows some of the author's miscues.

[]

Problem Solving Through Recreational Mathematics
$10.47, 480 pages, paperback.

Shows how to solve a wide assortment of puzzles and games using interesting mathematical techniques. For example, it shows how to use simple graph theory to figure out how to help 3 missionaries and 3 cannibals cross a river in canoe that can hold only 2 people (you've probably seen this sort of problem). Topics include logic puzzles, integer equations (Diaphantine equations, number theory), cryptarithmetic (SEND + MORE = MONEY), graph theory, simple strategy games, solitaire games, and more. Presented at a fairly basic level so no great background is required. (When you're reading, if you get bogged down in a section press on to something more interesting. There's lots of material!)

[]

Cryptography
Applied Cryptography
Applied Cryptography
$54.99, 784 pages, paperback.

A cryptographic tour de force. This book is packed with useful algorithms and fascinating history covering all of modern cryptography. One-way hash functions, digital signatures, pseudo-random sequence generation, fair coin flips, digital cash, anonymous broadcasting, key management, public-key encryption, and many more. The appendices include complete source code for 9 algorithms including DES and BLOWFISH. In my library, this book has more pages flagged with sticky notes than all my other books combined.

[Wiley]

Applied Cryptography
$84.99, 784 pages, hardcover.

Same as the previous book but in hardcover.
Applied Cryptography

[Wiley]

Cryptonomicon
$16.00, 918 pages, paperback.

A remarkable novel centered around cryptography in the present and during World War II. A compelling work about code breakers, adventure, and gold.

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Numerical Algorithms
Numerical Recipes in Fortran
$64.95, 963 pages, hardcover.

Serious scientific and numeric algorithms with ready-to-run code in Fortran. Algorithms include linear algebra, interpolation, extrapolation, integration, random numbers, minimization, eigensystems, FFT, statistical analysis, partial differential equations, etc. Visual Basic programmers will find this version easiest to translate.

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Numerical Recipes in Pascal
$59.95, 784 pages, hardcover.

Similar to above except the source code is in Pascal. Delphi programmers will find this version easiest to translate.

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Numerical Recipes in C
$64.95, 784 pages, hardcover.

Similar to above except the source code is in C.

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Mathematical Algorithms in Visual Basic for Scientists and Engineers
Mathematical Algorithms in Visual Basic for Scientists and Engineers
(Out of print but you may be able to buy it used), 784 pages, hardcover.

Numerical algorithms in BASIC. Linear equations, non-linear equations, interpolation, differentiation, integration, differential equations, etc. Note: This is the only book on this page that I have not personally reviewed. The review I saw said the algorithms are written in BASIC not Visual Basic. You may need to do some translation to take advantage of the latest language features.

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Software Engineering
Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Code Library
$49.99, 424 pages, paperback with CD.

This book presents 173 detailed example programs demonstrating basic, intermediate, and advanced techniques for solving real-world programming problems. Learn to work with numbers, manipulate databases, handle text, format output, get the most out of ListBox, ComboBox, TabStrip, and other controls, use menus, etc.
Ready-to-Run Visual Basic Code Library

[Learn more - Wiley]

Bug Proofing Visual Basic
Bug Proofing Visual Basic
$39.99, 397 pages, paperback.

Bug prevention, detection, and eradication! This book teaches programming skills that every Visual Basic developer should have. It explains ways to minimize the number of errors in your programs, methods for exposing errors so they are easy to fix, and techniques for correctly handling unexpected errors that do occur.

[Learn more - Wiley]

Beginning VB6 Database Programming
$39.99, 880 pages, paperback.

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. Beginning VB6 Database Programming is exactly what its title implies. The author uses a careful deliberate pace to introduce beginners to many different aspects of database programming.

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Custom Controls Library
$49.99, 576 pages, paperback with CD.

101 custom controls ready to plug into any program. Everything you need to build custom controls for use in Visual Basic, Visual C++, C++ Builder, VBScript, JavaScript, Visual J++, Java, and Delphi. Includes a working copy of Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Control Creation Edition (CCE).
Custom Controls Library

[Learn more - Wiley]

Advanced Visual Basic Techniques
Advanced Visual Basic Techniques
$39.99, 440 pages, paperback with CD.

Explains how you can add advanced capabilities to your programs. About dialogs, splash screens, recent file lists, and print previewing, database programming, client/server, ActiveX controls, etc. Written for earlier versions of Visual Basic but much of the material is still useful.

[Learn more - Wiley]

The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition
$29.95, 336 pages, paperback.

This software engineering classic explains such things as why adding more programmers to a project makes it later, why schedules slip, and why the Tower of Babel fell. It explains good and bad ways to organize large projects. Required reading for all computer professionals including project managers and supervisors.
The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition

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Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
$49.95, 395 pages, hardcover.

This book describes advanced object-oriented paradigms for performing common tasks such as enumerating the items in a data structure. The examples are in C++ and Smalltalk, but the concepts translate easily into Visual Basic. A thought provoking book that will stretch your object-oriented programming skills.

[]

Debugging The Development Process
(Out of print but may be available used), 183 pages, paperback.

This book explains how to keep a software team on track, focused, meeting dealines, and producing a quality product. An excellent discussion of what makes teams work and what make them fail. Required reading for team leaders, managers, and anyone who wants to build an interesting and rewarding work environment.
Debugging The Development Process

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Code Complete
Code Complete
$35.00, 857 pages, paperback.

A seminal work in software construction techniques. Explains real-world considerations for writing maintainable programs. Every programmer and technical manager should read it.

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Writing Solid Code
$24.95, 256 pages, paperback.

As its title implies, this book explains techniques used by Microsoft to build applications with as few bugs as possible. The author makes a very strong argument that zero defect code is possible and he details the methods you need to follow to achieve this goal. The examples are in C but the techniques apply to all languages.
Writing Solid Code

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201 Principles of Software Development
201 Principles of Software Development
(Out of print but may be available used), 240 pages, hardcover.

Gives 201 maxims covering all phases of software development. The maxims are short and easy to understand for programmers and managers alike.

[]

Graphics
Visual Basic Graphics Programming
$49.99, 677 pages, paperback with CD.

The definitive guide to graphics programming in Visual Basic. This book combines theory with more than 100 example programs to show how you can add powerful graphics to your Visual Basic applications.
Visual Basic Graphics Programming

[Learn more - Wiley]

3D Computer Graphics
3D Computer Graphics
$59.95, 608 pages, paperback.

This book starts off fast with three-dimensional computer graphics. It covers many of the more advanced topics covered by Visual Basic Graphics Programming such as lighting models and ray tracing. It also covers shadows, texture mapping, three-dimensional animation, and radiosity. A fantastic book for the advanced graphics programmer.

[]

Digital Image Processing
$59.99, 452 pages, paperback.

Explains image processing techniques. Most are powerful yet simple. Covers many of the techniques described in Visual Basic Graphics Programming plus others such as image compression, tomographic imaging, and Fourier transforms. A must for those serious about image processing.
Digital Image Processing

[Wiley]

Fractals and Chaos
Fractal Programming in C
(Out of print but you may be able to buy it used), 583 pages, paperback.

A nice introduction to drawing fractals. The book covers most of the fractals described in Visual Basic Graphics Programming and more.

[]

Chaos: Making a New Science
Chaos: Making a New Science
$18.95, 352 pages, paperback.

Introduction to chaos theory. This book concentrates more on the history and mathematics of chaos, though it also has a few interesting pictures. It does not include source code or pseudocode.

[]

Programming Languages
C: A Software Engineering Approach
$54.95, 497 pages, paperback.

An excellent introduction to C programming. Includes a chapter on software design: specification, estimating costs, project management, debugging, testing, performance analysis, and documentation.
C: A Software Engineering Approach

[]

World Wide Web
The Web Design Cookbook
$49.99, 672 pages, paperback.

A useful introduction to Web programming covering all the basics. This book describes "recipes" you can use as templates for common Web page tasks like tables of contents and indexes.

[Wiley]

Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Web Development
$34.99, 460 pages, paperback.

A more programmatic introduction to Web programming describing HTML, ActiveX, ASP, VBScript, etc.

[Wiley]

User Interface Design
Art of Human-Computer Interface Design
Art of Human-Computer Interface Design
$39.95, 523 pages, paperback.

A collection of papers by the people at Apple. The papers cover some very interesting topics not covered by other books including techniques for observing users, lessons from kids, learning from computer game design, and interface agents.

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The Design of Everyday Things
$39.95, 257 pages, paperback.

This fascinating book describes user interface issues that arise in every day objects like doorknobs and microwave ovens. Thought provoking reading that will give you new insights in how users percieve your applications.
The Design of Everyday Things

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Writing
How to Write for the World of Work
How to Write for the World of Work
$71.00 (used), 240 pages, paperback.

A no nonsense guide to how to write clearly and effectively. It covers specific formats like inquiry and response letters, employment letters, custom relation letters, reports, memos, descriptive documentation, etc. This should be required reading for every white-collar worker, especially programmers!

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Dare to Be a Great Writer
$15.99, 319 pages, paperback.

A list of 329 tips for aspiring fiction writers. Each tip is separate so you can skip throughout the book at will. It is also easy to put down and pick up later without losing your train of thought.

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How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
$14.99, 176 pages, paperback.

By the award-winning author Orson Scott Card, this book contains useful tips on writing science fiction and fantasy. Also important tips on the mechanics of writing: submitting proposals, workshops, not going crazy, etc.

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How to Write & Sell Your First Novel
$16.99, 256 pages, paperback.

General instruction on how to write different kinds of novels. It has a good section on submissions and a checklist of dos and don'ts.

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Science
Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life
$17.65, 440 pages, hardcover.

An overview of life, the universe, and everything. The author uses an active wittystyle to explain such topics as the formation of stars and planets, the origins of life on Earth, and the prospects of life on other planets both within and outside of our solar system. The book is packed with fascinating facts and anecdotes. For example, did you know that:
  • Kepler thought his laws of planetary motion were of secondary importance to his mystical studies into the geometric alignment of the planets using the Platonic solids?
  • The world's largest radio telescope, the 1,000-foot Arecibo dish, was built due to a math error? It should have been 100 feet across!
  • On Europa, one of Jupiter's moons and a place where scientists hope to find signs of life, a space suited astronaut would receive a lethal dose of radiation in 12 minutes?
  • William Herschel's discovery of Uranus won him a 200 pound pension from George III that allowed him to quit his day job and focus on his serious life's work: describing lunar civilization.
  • Bacteria have been found living a mile underground eating only basalt and water?
  • The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans (D. rad) can survive extremes of radiation, temperature, dehydration, and exposure to genotoxic chemicals? They can even repair their own DNA!
Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life

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