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Game Programming Gems 5, Kim Pallister, editor. This fifth volume in a series provides a roadmap through the vast array of development challenges facing today's game programmers. The book's 62 newly unearthed gems offer practical insights and techniques that can solve current problems and help inspire future games.
The academic and industry contributors cover general programming topics such as parsing text data in games, using templates for reflection in C++, and a generic pager. The mathematics topics include geometric algebra for computer graphics, minimal acceleration hermite curves, and minimal numerical approximation. Other topics covered in the book include artificial intelligence, physics, and graphics. Network and multiplayer topics such as keeping a massively multiplayer online game live and persistent and audio topics such as multithreaded audio and using 3D surfaces as audio emitters are also discussed.
Charles River Media; www.charlesriver.com; 1-58450-352-1; 791 pp.; $69.95.
Fuzzy Database Modeling with XML, Zongmin Ma. Research into fuzzy conceptual models and object-oriented databases, in addition to fuzzy relational database models, has focused on applying the databases to the distributed information systems environment. Because developers commonly employ databases to store and manipulate XML data, they need additional requirements to model fuzzy information with XML.
The outgrowth of the author's recently conducted research, this book introduces state-of-the-art database research information, while at the same time providing a useful tool for the information technology professional faced with a nontraditional application that defeats conventional approaches.
Springer; www.springeronline.com; 0-327-24248-1; 216 pp.; $89.95.
Debugging by Thinking: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Robert Charles Metzger. This book applies the wisdom of six disciplines—logic, mathematics, psychology, safety analysis, computer science, and engineering—to the problem of debugging. It uses the methods of literary detectives, mathematical problem-solving techniques, the results of research into cognitive psychology, the root-cause analyses of safety experts, the compiler analyses of computer science, and modern engineering processes to define a systematic approach to identifying and correcting software errors.
The author also provides examples in Java and C++; complete source code that show actual bugs, rather than contrived examples; and a thought-process diary that shows how he resolved problems as they occurred.
Elsevier Academic Press; http://books.elsevier.com/; 1-55558-307-5; 600 pp.; $49.95.
Game Coding Complete, 2nd ed., Mike McShaffry. This substantially expanded edition provides new material on game interface design, 3D programming, network and multiplayer gaming, sound effects and music, programming event handlers and scripts, and game physics and AI. The author uses his experience as a lead programmer for Origin Systems, Microsoft, Ion Storm, and Breakaway Games to illustrate real-world game programming insight and solutions.
Second edition highlights include using C++ and DirectX 9 to present specific programming concepts, a comprehensive discussion of game code architecture, programming insights for both console and PC developers, and expanded 3D programming coverage.
Paraglyph Press/O'Reilly; www.oreilly.com; 1-932111-91-3; 936 pp.; $44.99.
Hardening Windows Systems, Roberta Bragg. The author urges a proactive approach to network security that involves hardening Windows systems against attacks before they occur. This hands-on resource provides concrete steps that can be taken immediately as well as ongoing actions to ensure long-term security.
The book provides complete details on how to systematically harden a network from the ground up, whether it consists of a single Windows server or a hundred. It also provides strategies for getting company-wide support for the security plan and covers Windows 95/98/NT 4.0/2000/XP and Windows Server 2003.
The four-part hardening methodology starts with a checklist of immediate steps to take to lock down a system from further attack; a systematic approach to hardening the enterprise from the top down that focuses on authentication, access controls, borders, logical security boundaries, communications, storage, and administrative authority; an ongoing monitoring and assessment plan to keep the network secure, including patch management and auditing; and strategies for getting budget approval, management buy-in, and employee cooperation for security programs.
McGraw-Hill Osborne; www.osborne.com; 0-07-225354-1; 544 pp.; $39.99.