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Dan Appleman's Win32 API Puzzle Book and Tutorial for Visual Basic Programmers Paperback – March 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1893115019 ISBN-10: 1893115011 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (March 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893115011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893115019
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,959,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dan Appleman's Win32 API Puzzle Book and Tutorial for Visual Basic Programmers provides 32 challenging programming "puzzles" that will test the skills of any intermediate or advanced Visual Basic programmer.

The problems start simply enough, with puzzles that look at the basics of Win32 API C API calls, such as retrieving error messages and graphics. However, the book quickly approaches tougher terrain, offering a series of problems on the Windows Registry. Other problem topics include programming with Remote Access Services (RAS), networked drives, and the DEVMODE structure (for polling printers and other devices). Finally, the toughest problems involve ActiveX programming and cover how to work with Global Universal Identifiers (GUIDs) and drag-and-drop file operations.

The back of the book contains hints for each puzzle, as well as complete solutions and comments. The author provides a tutorial on various aspects of VB Win32 C API programming, including C to VB data types, parameter passing (by value and by pointer) and some excellent material on how the call stack works for Windows DLLs. Two final sections discuss the Win32 Service API (for starting and stopping Win32 services) and how to access the Windows NT Event Log.

In all, this book provides expert knowledge on getting the most out of VB Win32 C API calls in a format that is always challenging and often entertaining. --Richard Dragan

About the Author

Daniel Appleman is the president of Desaware Inc., a developer of add-on products and components for Microsoft Visual Studio, including SpyWorks, StateCoder, and the NT Service Toolkit for .NET languages and VB6. He is a cofounder of Apress, a publishing company specializing in high-quality professional level books for computer programmers and IT professionals. He is the author of numerous books, including Moving to VB .NET: Strategies, Concepts and Code, How Computer Programming Works, and Dan Appleman's Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to the Win32 API, and he is the author of a series of eBooks on .NET-related topics.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Asli Bilgin on March 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a VB programmer you should have at least 2 books on yourshelf: Dan Appleman's Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to the Win32 APIand this one. The former teaches by showing - serving as a reference book when you are trying enhance the functionality of your VB application. The latter teaches by doing - allowing your mind to actively grasp the concepts behind API calls, structures, and pointers, instead of mindlessly hacking through APIs, tossing in variables, hoping for success. The puzzles in this book allow you to learn from your mistakes. Mr. Appleman explains his own logic as he works through the problem. For me, this is more valuable than just being told the answer as many books in this genre do.
This book is vital to help train a VB programmer to become a designer, rather than a developer. It helps you understand the importance of visualizing the solution to the problem before writing a single line of code. In sports they say that you need to visualize the goal before you actually play the game. I think the same goes for coding. This book is the ideal companion for that exercise. If you are a technical team lead, go ahead and assign these puzzles to your developers so that they can not only hone their skills, but also sharpen their minds.
In addition, Mr. Appleman's writing style of light bantering and humor is a nice relief from the dry technical-journalistic writing of other Visual Basic authors.
...this book is not a cookbook...it can be better thought of as Ingredient Book. By understanding the fundamental ingredients towards cooking up a VB/WinAPI program, it helps you become a better chef. You need to understand what goes into a creation before you can anticipate what comes out.
...this book is not meant to serve as a comprehensive reference guide to the API. For that try Mr. Appleman's API book or Bock's Visual Basic 6 Win32 API Tutorial.. END
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Axelson on January 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I was researching how to access HID-class USB peripherals from VB applications, I learned from the Windows 98 docs that I needed to call a series of API functions to locate the device and learn about its capabilities. Many of the calls involved passing and returning complex structures. I could find no documentation on the calls for Visual-Basic programmers. Although I had some experience with API calls, my initial attempts at calling these functions didn't get far.
Then I bought this book. First I read it straight through (though I do admit to reading each solution after the puzzle, rather than waiting til the end). Then I went back to my code with the book at hand and eventually got it all working. Plus, I understood exactly why the code had to be the way it was in order to work.
This isn't a cookbook. Thinking is required. One sentence I took particular comfort in when things weren't quite working yet was, "It is ultimately possible to handle any structure, no matter what type of data it contains." (p. 363)
This is an excellent and useful book that will enable you to do any API call that Windows might throw your way.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Pagel on August 12, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite what has to be just about the longest and worst title of any book I've seen, the Puzzle book packs some worthwhile content between its covers. The puzzles themselves were only of limited scope and interest, but the second half of the book - the tutorials - are worth the price of admission. Anyone who wants to go beyond the basics of the Win32 API and utilize exported DLL functions will appreciate the sections on DLL calling conventions, C++ header conversion, and passing structures/UDT's as parameters. If you don't own a copy of Dan's Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to the Win32 API, buy that book first. It's an absolute essential for your library. However, the Puzzle book makes a nice addition as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Another Appleman must have! Definitely 5 stars. And to be honest I think the person who complained about how few api's were covered misses the point of this book. It's like the old proverb about "teaching a man to fish rather than giving him a fish". This book helps you understand how api's work - that way you can use any of them by simply looking at the signatures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jsigler@idiom.com on April 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a good companion for his Win32 API book. The book is entertaining ... and it makes you think. Some of the puzzles gave me motivation to explore areas of the Windows API that I hadn't used before. Be warned, you will NEED his Win32 API book. The header files and an MSDN subscription are also very helpful.
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By A Customer on April 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dan Applemans style is hard yet solvable. Being a friend of his i read a lot of his other books. All of those are good
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