DAN APPLEMAN'S WIN32 API PUZZLE BOOK AND TUTORIAL FOR VISUAL BASIC PROGRAMMERS

DANIEL APPLEMAN

ISBN 10: 1893115011 / ISBN 13: 9781893115019
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Synopsis: This long-awaited complement to Appleman's previous bestseller shows programmers how to turbocharge VB by describing how to control the entire Windows API. Divided into three parts, the book begins with a series of programming puzzles of increasing complexity. Each puzzle describes a typical API function, followed by a small VB program applying the function. These programs almost work but are all missing something. Readers are challenged to solve the puzzle and fix the program -- thus learning in the process. The second part contains solutions to the puzzles, along with in-depth technical explanations, while the final part concludes with general tutorials that readers can refer to for help in solving the problems.

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

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