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Do you have a copy of "Image Acquisition and Processing with LabVIEW"?

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Hi All,

I'm the author of "Image Acquisition and Processing with LabVIEW" - a hardback book that steps you through Vision, from camera, lens and light selection, to machine vision and processing technques with LabVIEW.

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My book recently received a very poor rating by a customer on amazon.com. The reader thought that I'd missed the mark - some of my book was too simple and the rest was too complex, so there was no value in it for her at all. This has come as a bit of a surprise to me as I'd put a lot of work into the book in trying to balance the topics I selected and they way they were presented, and I was wondering if others shared her view? Up until now, I hadn't seriously entertained writing a second edition, but this has sparked my interest. Sure, I'd like to include a bunch of new stuff in a second edition, but I'd sure not want to write it in the same way if the amazon.com's customer's view was widely held by may others in the community.

To that end, if you've read my book, I'd really apprecaite it if you could log on to amazon.com and leave your comments there - good or bad. This will serve two purposes: it will give me a more of a balanaced idea of where I went wrong, and also give potential customers a larger reader sample set on which to base their opinions.

I'm not ask you to write a glowing review of my book (unless you want to! :D ), all I'm asking is that you spend a few minutes putting your thoughts down to enlarge the customer sample set.

Thanks for your time - I really appreciate it.

cheers,

Christopher G. Relf

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A couple of quick comments, maybe more later.

1. The list price is kind of high. I'm not saying that it is not worth it, but it is higher than the typical LabVIEW book and therefore sort of sets the buyer up to have very high expectations. If you don't shoot a hole in one, or at least an eagle, then they feel let down. A birdie only gets you a "so what" and hitting par is considered a failure.

2. I note that there are multiple used copies for sale, some for almost twice what the retail is. So obviously someone (actually multiple someones) thinks it's worth a lot more than list.

3. The young lady has only written one review, so I wouldn't give too much weight to her blast (ouch, would you like some ice for that burn...)

4. I do not have a copy but read several sections of a friend's copy and found it useful, even though I had experience with image processing and LabVIEW dating all the way back to ConceptVi days.

5. I said it elsewhere on the forums here, but I'll say it again, a new version is needed. NI has added A LOT to the IMAQ module and I think it might be worthwhile to mention other image processing optins, like Irene's image processing system, based on the open source Intel libraries.

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The list price is kind of high

I agree - it's a trait of the publisher, over which I unfortunately have no control :( Most LabVIEW books are printed by PH, and they have lower prices. (Actually, I originally pitched my book idea to PH but after a few rounds of negotiation and a lot of time, they rejected it as they already had someone writting a competative title).

I note that there are multiple used copies for sale, some for almost twice what the retail is.

Most of those more expensive copies are actually new, and they're being sold by companies that are trying to make a bunch of quick money. Often those companies (I'm not saying it's the case with the ones selling my book) have exclusive contracts with customers, so their customers must buy through them - that means they can pretty much set whatever price they like... As for the people selling the used ones for twice the price - I can't imagine why or how they're going to acheive that!

The young lady has only written one review, so I wouldn't give too much weight to her blast

I figure that her comments are valid to her (otherwise she wouldn't have been motivated to write them), so I am thinking them through. ONe concern of mine is that potential buyers might add a lot of weight to her comments if her's is the only review there. To that end - if you're reading this and you are the reviewer: I'd love to hear from you! (amazon.com doesn't have a method of contacting a reviewer) I'd like to spend some time going through your issues so as to make the next version (if it ever comes) even better!

I do not have a copy but read several sections of a friend's copy and found it useful

Thanks Mike - I appreciate it :)

I said it elsewhere on the forums here, but I'll say it again, a new version is needed. NI has added A LOT to the IMAQ module and I think it might be worthwhile to mention other image processing optins, like Irene's image processing system, based on the open source Intel libraries.

I do mention Pete Parente's, Irene's and OpenCV solutions in my book (although the former two were all in their infancy when I wrote it), and I agree that a lot has changed. I specifically left a lot out due to space contraints (color processing for example) and would like the opportunity to address those issues. That said, writing a non-fiction book is a lot of work for very little financial return. I've certainly gotten non-financial return from writing it (which was my real motivation), but penning a second edition might be beyond me at this time...

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As I contributed a couple of pages to the book I had to purchase it and overall all it was pretty useful. What I really look for in a LabVIEW book however is the software code examples that come with the book, especially with IMAQ since their examples are very limited indeed (well compared to LabVIEW anyway). Unfortunately there was a fault with the initial print so my CD was stuffed, so I should probably hold off my comments to Amazon until I get the proper CD. It was lucky this topic came up, since I'd forgotten all about the e-mail that Chris sent me on how to get a new one.

Hey Chris does the name Mike Hensley from crcpress ring a bell that's the last person I spoke to. How should I go about trying to get my replacement CD now, since I'm dying to see what all the examples are :)

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Second thoughts:

A quick review of the other LabVIEW IMAQ book at Amazon shows that it did not fair much better in reviews. The lawyers thought it was great, but they were not buying it for the same reason as most of us.

What both book's reviews shows is how hard it is to write a book that really meets all the needs of the different skill levels or readers in one volume and has enough original material and application examples to grab great reviews.

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Unfortunately there was a fault with the initial print so my CD was stuffed, so I should probably hold off my comments to Amazon until I get the proper CD.

Yes, there was a printing prblem with the first printrun of the book that screwed up the CD. I don't know exactly whom you should address your questions to, but try techsupport@crcpress.com. If they can't help you out, drop me a line and I'll burn a copy for you.

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Chris, I do not have a copy of the book but if budget prevails later this year I will look to pick up a copy. At one time I was a big developer with NIH Image (in pascal on Mac). I put together a number of really unique systems but have always felt that since the primetime of the Mac (early and mid 90's) nothing really came close to NIH Image, the Mac, and the various frame grabbers we used at that time. Even till now. I tested an early version of IMAQ around 1997 and NI was copying various routines from NIH Image (public domain) but adding new things too. I kind of went to more part time imaging since I could do more LabView than IMAQ, and with job changes imaq has been something I used only every now and then.

Perhaps a few things that may help:

I worked with PhD's in various imaging areas, or careers in imaging after PhD, and they often have strong opinions. Don't take them too seriously. If you have read the various textbooks on imaging outside of Gonzalez and Wintz (sp?) you know how opinionated and unusual the field really is. I personally enjoy the hands on practical development area you cover as I see in the table of contents. Despite what the opinionated semi-math major imagers think, the area you cover is well work a text too.

CRC usually publishes good material so I don't think the text would be bad if they publish it. They do charge highly though.

You might consider a more theoretical area follow-up text just to give it a broader scope, but thats entirely up to you.

All for now,

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