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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Topics, bad description
This book is really only 2 or 3 stars, but I couldn't find a way to change my rating.

I purchased this book because I liked what the table of contents had to offer. I'm currently working on a Java app and can see that how to accomplish most of the important features of that app in VB.net are covered.

However, now that I've been reading thru the...
Published on February 26, 2008 by Perry Forman

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, deficient book, definitely not for "beginners"
Flipping through this book in the store, it seemed like a good choice because it appeared to try to use coherent projects to teach rather than going the way of most horrible programming books that just isolate topics on one or two pages and never explain how it all works together ("Chapter 44: How to place a radio button. Click the tools tab, then select radio button...
Published on April 30, 2008 by M. Cromwell


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, deficient book, definitely not for "beginners", April 30, 2008
By 
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
Flipping through this book in the store, it seemed like a good choice because it appeared to try to use coherent projects to teach rather than going the way of most horrible programming books that just isolate topics on one or two pages and never explain how it all works together ("Chapter 44: How to place a radio button. Click the tools tab, then select radio button. Place on form. Chapter 45: How to place a text box..." etc).

The other main reason I bought this book was because it actually has exercises at the end of the chapters, and promises that solutions are available on the publisher's website. This is another feature most programming books sadly lack. For anyone wanting to learn outside of a classroom, there is usually no way to test or check your own progress.

Well, this book sourly disappointed on both these supposed advantages. While it does try to implement the concepts within whole projects, it does this at the expense of teaching you Visual Basic. The details are sorely lacking. After three chapters, very little has actually been explained. I've learned a bit about how to make text appear in a text box by clicking a button, about variable types and a few functions for manipulating numbers and strings. But very little about how to actually make things work together.

Chapter three has you making a "translator" program that will take simple greetings and translate them from one language to another. For example, English "hello" to German "hallo." The first half of the chapter simply covers how to write a command prompt program to get "hello" to go to "hallo" reliably, while the rest talks a lot about language and culture settings in .NET and how to manipulate them. Where are this author's priorities? Is that really relevant yet? You would think he'd wait to cover that later and instead teach you how to use a radio button or something. Then, after giving nothing more than bare bones to work with, at the end of the chapter the exercise is to "finish" the translator, adding in the ability to translate both ways and to select different languages to translate to or from. This is all without having given you ANY idea how to implement any controls on a window or form (aside from making "hello world" appear in a text box by clicking a button). Umm... so how are you supposed to do this? To select a language, for example, you would need a control in the window to do that, but so far he has not given even the slightest idea of how that would work.

It seems to me the author was simply extremely lazy and figured you should just read the Microsoft documentation for the petty details. Also, I think he really doesn't understand the perspective that a novice would have. The things he chooses to explain seem pointless for a beginner to know, while the things he glosses over are more relevant. He is more concerned with getting philosophical about whether it is the user's responsibility to make sure there are no extra spaces in the word he types, or the programmer's responsibility to anticipate that there might be extra spaces. Seriously, he spends a whole page on that. What a joke. In addition, the code that he DOES explain is really never explained in full. For example, I've typed "Public Shared Function" many times now and don't recall ever seeing the "public" or "shared" parts explained. Some functions in the book are only "public" and I don't know the difference. A few words on that kind of thing might help. The author really spends very little time at all trying to explain the basic structure of the language, it's logic and flow. He just has you typing out lines of code right away, telling you what it does as a whole but rarely explaining the parts.

As far as the exercises and solutions go, well, there are no answers on the website. I downloaded what was available there, and guess what? It's just the examples from the book typed out for you. There isn't a shred of anything that can't already be found in the book. So if you're baffled about how to complete that translator application, you're out of luck. I'm used to learning things on my own and usually do very well at it, but a decent book is a necessity. This book is terrible. Avoid.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Topics, bad description, February 26, 2008
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
This book is really only 2 or 3 stars, but I couldn't find a way to change my rating.

I purchased this book because I liked what the table of contents had to offer. I'm currently working on a Java app and can see that how to accomplish most of the important features of that app in VB.net are covered.

However, now that I've been reading thru the book, I question a) the author's methods of explaining, and in some cases b) his actual explanation.

As the review for the C# version of the book mentions. The author uses analogies extremely literally. This gets very annoying to say the least. It almost like there is an analogy every other page.

I also have a problem with the examples he uses throughout the book. His resume discusses his background in financial apps. He obviously wanted to make use of this as every example I've seen so far is based on finance. But this means in some cases, you spend more time trying to understand the purpose of the app, then understanding the point he's trying to make.

Finally, I'm on chapter 7 now where he discusses Interfaces, Method Overriding, Method Overloading. I find his examples of Interfaces rather poor as they never show the purpose of Interfaces enforcing contracts among various classes. He implements an Interface in a base class, which makes no sense to me, since that interface would probably only get used in 1 place then. He also never discusses Method Overloading as creating the same method names with different signitures. He treats Overloading and Overriding as exactly the same thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .Net), March 18, 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
It's an ok, but not for an absolute beginner. I would say it's for the advanced beginner to intermediate. I've been learning VB.NET for about a year and this book really helped me grasp the concepts associated with creating classes and structured code.

For the absolute beginner, read Visual Basic 2008 Step by Step before reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beginning VB 2008 From Novice to Confused, May 25, 2011
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
I have made it through chapter six of this book and am very frustrated.

Like other reviews have said, the author spends lots of time covering topics that are not directly related to learning Visual Basic. Some of the topics are important to know as programmer in general but not necessary to learning Visual Basic. One example is depth-first search algorithm. This is good information to have but not necessary to Visual Basic. Algorithms are for design pattern and algorithm books not a beginner's Visual Basic book.

The biggest problem with the book for me is the "Things for you to do" section. These exercises do not seem to be well thought out more like last minute after thoughts. There are several questions that are not covered in their chapter. This wouldn't be so bad if you could take a stab at the question and then check your work to see if it's right. The book says the answers are available online but PSYCHE no answers. The promised answers are not online so you can't check your work. You have no clue if you are even close. I suppose after I get another VB book and learn VB I will be able to know if I have answered the questions right.

I have actually read several programming books back to the old Pascal days and this is by far the worst one I have ever read. If you already know VB pretty well then you don't need this book. If you don't know VB then you don't need this book. I am not sure who this book would be of value to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book requiring intelligence to learn, November 4, 2010
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
I read the other reviews and felt compelled to write my first review. I initially got the book from a public library. I first thought the "...From Novice to Expert" subtitle hyperbole; how could a book be for both classes of students. I soon understood that the title spoke the truth. This book is by far the most intelligently written programming book I've ever read and I've been studying programming for years (more than I feel comfortable revealing :-)) I know programming and Visual Basic 6 and thought I knew basic programming constructs (the for loop, e.g.) but the author, a true expert I believe, is not a technical writer who rephrases on line help in a more digestable fashion (we all know about Microsoft's help). I find that despite my knowledge I had to read most chapters several times to understand what was being said. My recommendation: if you are more intelligent than the average student (and I mean this) and you want to take the time to truly understand programming then this is the book for you. Else get one of the simplier books on the subject and read through it in a few hours. BTW; as the author says, you must do each of the exercises at the end of each chapter (and most of them seemed similiar to me to an IQ test I once took combined with a Suduko puzzle the solution of which instructs one about programming VB2008) to really understand how to utilize your new found knowledge. And yes, I bought the book after renewing the library copy several times and realizing that it would take me much longer to adequately learn the material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Love APRESS BUT This is the ONE OF THE WORST VISUAL BASIC BOOK EVER, August 9, 2008
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
Aside from the fact that it doesn't look like a book for beginners, the author doesn't explain what you need to know instead he fills the book with lame analogies that in the end will make you more confused.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not for novice programers!, March 22, 2008
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
I opend the book with the hope that it would lay down a solid foundation for a novice VB programer like me.
Guess what? If you don't have any previous knowledge on OOP or VB, to say the least, you're out of luck.
The author might be a seasoned programer himself, but not a good writer from my stand point. The way he extends his ideas and thoughts into black and white is quite 'un-logic' to follow.
This book is definitely not for novices. The title of the book should change: Finalizing VB 2008: exclusively not for novices!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VB.NET for anyone without a background in Computer Science, March 4, 2009
By 
jdworks (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
Am surprised the rating for this book is so poor. My first book for Novice to Pro series was Applescript when I "switched" to a Mac. Later with the advent of latest incarnation of Mac Office and its lack of support for VBA, I decided to switch back to my PC for doing serious work.

Anyway, I think the rating is poor because its people's way of slashing price of good books through bad reviews so they think they can buy these good books for a bargain price. Besides programming is a competitive field so the ones who learn quickly and easily tend to make it difficult for others so that you won't get ahead of them.

It is unbelievable there are critics on "using analogies" to explain abstract stuff. My feeling is that the critics who criticize analogies as a way of learning and remembering know nothing about good learning techniques - Association, Mnemonics and such. Read any book on improving your study skills and you will see that they emphasize learning through analogies. If you have a background in Biological sciences, try a USMLE book which Med students use to remember concepts for their exams and you will see the extensive use of analogies and Mnemonics. I have a background in Medicine and managed to learn basic stuff about programming from the Applescript book in the same series. This book enabled me to go to the next level and learn about things like delegates, events and such very easily. Thanks to the analogies the author wrote to clarify abstract concepts like byVal, byRef for example.

If you have a background in any of the Biological sciences which do not offer a basic computer programming course as part of its curriculum and want to seriously learn the abstract art of programming, Try this book. If you have too much money to spend and want to trust competitive programmers for free advice, you will learn by experience which book is better.

I gave a 5 star for this excellent book to learn VB.NET because I found it extremely useful.

PS. If you have a mac and want to learn Applescript, try Apress: Novice to professional Applescript. Another 5 star book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars .NET Developer Group Coban, July 18, 2009
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
Este libro de VB 2008 me ofrece variedades de herramientas que me serviran a mi para programar. Me gusta bastante este libro ya que me guia paso a paso para hacer mis propios programas.

By: Agustin Baltazar Suram Tiul
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Should be Zero Star, May 9, 2009
This review is from: Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
This book is a ripoff. Not only is it poorly written, logically deficient, with large ommissions of needed background, the author actually tries to belittle you in some chapters. I think Cromwell's review explains the problems with it the most succinctly, read that review as well. I'd also like to discount JDWorks' review as most likely related to the author, and not an actual reader who tried to learn from the book. What I would like to add is that there were instances where I found bugs in the examples the author provided, and as others mentioned solutions to the exercises were, although promised, never provided. I wish I could give this book a Zero Star Rating. In fact I wish I could return it but I spent weeks getting up to Chapter seven (feeling I was missing something every page,) and the receipt had been misplaced by the time I decided to burn it and search for a better book. I want my money back. Don't buy anything from this author.
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Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET)
Beginning VB 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) by Christian Gross (Paperback - February 6, 2008)
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