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I just got the news that I'm (finally) getting to spend the next few months in Afghanistan with my fellow AF maintainers, and I was hoping to get some suggestions of good offline content to learn from. I've got a few textbooks from ck12.org, downloaded the offline versions of the MSDN docs for VCS Express 2010, but I would love to have something more general to learn from, maybe that covers data structures and algorithms (specific to C# would be awesome. Oh, and if anyone knows of any good offline WPA tutorials that would be even better.

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Good Luck and come back safe BTW !!!!!! –  rerun May 31 '11 at 2:12
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Just want to say (especially today)... thank you for your service. –  Brandon May 31 '11 at 3:12
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Don't forget your copy of code complete 2 :| –  Aditya P May 31 '11 at 5:02
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Dude. OPSEC. This clearly falls into the category of things you shouldn't be discussing online. (the upcoming trip, i mean) af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI10-701.pdf –  Joel Etherton May 31 '11 at 13:10
    
OPSEC? I dunno what your training has been, but it's totally OK to let people know I'm going to deploy. It's not hard to find out, either. –  wtfsven Jun 5 '11 at 4:36
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2 Answers

Personally, I like the O'Reilly books for learning. They have their books in e-book format for offline reading and their content is great. If you want to learn a specific language or process, try their Head First books:

http://oreilly.com/store/series/headfirst.html

Their Head First Design Patterns book is excellent. Also, the Head First C# is great as well. The Head First series concentrates on teaching you the subject, not just covering it all.

They also have reference books in case you want to learn that way (the in-depth guides). Either way, you can't go wrong.

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+1: Love the Head First series. –  Ryan Hayes May 31 '11 at 1:34
    
+1 O'Reilly are generally good quality and worth the money: friendly authoratitive style, most books in ebook/PDF etc form with no DRM either. But I didn't know about the other answer from Raj about other, free, material, so that's worth checking out too for free material. –  therobyouknow May 31 '11 at 8:37
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I know the O'Reily books have already been mentioned. I also find them to be very good, but there are several different technical series out there, each with its own style.

If it were me, I think I'd go to a (real) bookstore and look through some of the options, then when you know which press you prefer, get a Kindle(*) and load it up with as many books as you can afford.

Good Luck!

-* other models available!

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+1 I think the Kindle is a great idea, especially in that hot desert sun where the paper-ink-like contrast will work well when reading in the sun. I would imagine you would want to travel light and not carry physical books around. Also the battery life of Kindle is supposed to be good, ideal if mains power/constant uninterrupted power is not available. I wouldn't be surprised if the next iteration of Kindle came with a solar panel as is popular in LCD calculators for many years now, for top up charding at least.Also,there are ways to remove the DRM from kindle books if your items contain that. –  therobyouknow May 31 '11 at 8:41
    
I've heard, while the battery is good, it doesn't compete with the battery life of a real book. This is just speculation, however ;) –  Mild Fuzz Jun 2 '11 at 14:32
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