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Book Review: Visual Basic 2005 Programmer’s Reference
by Ged Mead | Published  03/31/2006 | Book Reviews | Rating:
Ged Mead

Ged Mead (XTab) is a Microsoft Visual Basic MVP who has been working on computer software and design for more than 25 years. His journey has taken him through many different facets of IT. These include training as a Systems Analyst, working in a mainframe software development environment, creating financial management systems and a short time spent on military laptop systems in the days when it took two strong men to carry a 'mobile' system.

Based in an idyllic lochside location in the West of Scotland, he is currently involved in an ever-widening range of VB.NET, WPF and Silverlight development projects. Now working in a consultancy environment, his passion however still remains helping students and professional developers to take advantage of the ever increasing range of sophisticated tools available to them.

Ged is a regular contributor to forums on vbCity and authors articles for DevCity. He is a moderator on VBCity and the MSDN Tech Forums and spends a lot of time answering technical questions there and in several other VB forum sites. Senior Editor for DevCity.NET, vbCity Developer Community Leader and Admin, and DevCity.NET Newsletter Editor. He has written and continues to tutor a number of free online courses for VB.NET developers.


View all articles by Ged Mead...

    This is a BIG book.     I hadn’t checked before ordering and so was taken by surprise when the 1000+ page, two Kilogram package thumped through my letterbox.      In terms of weight, this wasn’t going to be a light read!   In terms of writing style though, lightness was clearly not going to be a problem.     The author has an easy to read style, which doesn’t avoid  technical terms, but doesn’t wallow in them for the sake of it either 




    Having read several of Rod Stephens’ articles and visited his  VB-Helper site on many occasions over the years, I expected a well-written, detailed and clear book.   And, right on cue, that is what he delivered.   



    In terms of layout, there is enough white space, although I would have preferred less width per line.    The horizontal line spacing is one-and-a-half spacing, though, so this does make for easier reading.   As a personal preference, I would have rather seen the book printed in a Sans Serif font but (I put my hands up!) I am being really picky here.   


    There are plenty of screenshots and graphics (all monochrome, which is the industry standard for cost reasons nowadays).   On those occasions where color would have highlighted an effect, the author includes additional clarification.     The demarcation of the different types of material – narrative, code snippets, tables, etc – is quite clear, making it easy to follow.  


   Almost inevitably in a technical book of this size there are the occasional typos that, if not caught, might confuse the newcomer to the topic.   A trip to the Wiley web site to see if they appeared on the Errata list led to minor disappointment.  Those that I spotted in the first chapter were not listed; in fact the list as it stood could only be described as minimal!   However the author keeps track and a fuller list is available on VB-Helper .    This list is updated by the author who welcomes feedback from readers of his book.


    The book contains four main parts covering a wide range of VB2005 topics, plus a very useful set of Appendices at the back.


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