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.
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Mastering Visual Basic 2005 by Evangelos Petroutsos
As an owner and regular user of his previous book in this series, I was pleased to see that the Evangelos Petroutsos has continued in the same vein with this latest edition. The author doesn't pussyfoot round topics and he doesn't shirk from wading into difficult territory.
If you have Classic VB experience or have worked with earlier VB.NET versions and like to roll your sleeves up and jump straight in, then I am sure you will find this book very much to your liking.
It makes for an interesting and useful book on VB2005 that works well for me.
Mastering Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition by Evangelos Petroutsos and Acey J. Bunch
Aimed much more at newcomers, this version mainly uses material from the above book, but with some explanations amplified where necessary . The approach is more gentle and this book should be useful to its target audience.
I would like to see something in the Errata section on the publishers site to help beginners who find themselves floored by the problem with the downloadable code samples and hope this is something they will take on board.
My overall feeling is that if you have even a little previous experience in Classic VB or another language then I would go for the "full version" edition above. In my opinion, you'll get more long term value out of your investment (although the Express Edition book is cheaper).
But if you are a complete newcomer to Visual Basic then this book is as good as many others I have seen and better than some. It will help you get started with VB.NET unless your learning style requires a very detailed, step by step approach .