Books I am reviewing for my CS188 class at UCLA

Reviewing heck, I am using them to prepare the class.  So if you are thinking about taking the class and want to get up to speed please take a look at the following books that I have purchased, I did not receive these as a reviewer or a professor.  Not for any ethical reason but I just don’t have time to wait for the usual slow approval process.  (Note the links may not be the least expensive price, if you use the Kindle Amazon is often the least expensive, the links are not recommendations.)

Title: Beginning Visual C++ 2012

  • Author: Ivor Horton
  • Publisher: Wrox publishing

Pricey, no discounts for eBook but worth the price.


Title: HLSL Development Cookbook

  • Author: Doron Feinstein
  • Publisher: Pakt Publishing

As with most Pakt books, has issues, but the book is up to date technically and organized which is all you can really ask for right?  Make sure to get a discount code and buy the PDF if you don’t want the Kindle version. 

Pro: Lot’s and Lot’s of HLSL

Con: The code examples don't seem to work correctly and there other issues.

Recommend that if you can get this book on deep discount it is not worth it otherwise, better to  use the DirectX samples at MSDN.


Title: Microsoft Visual C++/CLI Step by Step

Lightweight, but if you are not comfortable with the knowledge you got out of your beginning C++ class, this is a good review.  Little discussion about critical C++/11 items, but can get you back up to speed with respect to C++.  Zero discussion about DirectX.  Admits that it is a lightweight book, and it is.  This is the same book upgraded to 2012 that has been slightly modified over the years, not that this is a bad thing.

Safari has the best price AND if you call Safari customer service and the Safari Customer Service will likely give you a 50% discount, if the Safari Customer service agent asks you if it is the 40% discount, say no it’s the 50% one, and sometimes they will give it to you.  I tried for 60% and she didn’t give it to me, but was nice about it.

Pro: Good introduction text, do the all of the examples and you are an expert!  Just kidding, but you can move on to more expert books.

Con: Mostly about using managed code from C++, if that is the case, then just use C#

Recommendation: Buy if you have a deep discount, it is useful, but to get to a place where it is useful takes a bit.

Title: Build Windows 8 Apps with Microsoft Visual C++ Step by Step

Authors: Luca Regnicoli Paolo Pialorsi Roberto Brunetti

Publisher: Microsoft Press (for purchase recommendations see the title above)

Excellent Good introduction to XAML, almost as good as Jerry Nixon’s work, and designed to be used with a parallel book using C# and Visual Basic.  I would buy this one over the Microsoft Visual C++/CLI Step by Step if you have any experience. 

Good: Async, Lambda discussed with examples.

Not so good: NO DirectX, NO HLSL, No Test management, but seriously this is ok as this is a pretty big book, which on page cost if you get a discount is a good deal.

Recommendation: Buy, of course get a discount.  This is sort of a good guide if you are not using directX.  Nothing awful about the book

Comments (2)

  1. You didn't write your own textbook? 🙂

  2. Surf4Fun says:

    Hey Alfred,

    Not yet, but I am taking medication to get over the desire to write one. 🙂

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