I did find this book useful as it covers all the basics of setting up socket and directplay programming and also gives you an overview of Direct3D, DirectSound and DirectInput. Keep in mind that the treatment is superficial and also Barron is not a teacher but a programmer. This means that his way to explain things is just to walk you through some example code telling you what tis code does, but rarely explaining you why it is so and the possible alternatives. It is pretty much like having an experienced co-developer giving you a quick overview of his code to get you into a new project, but not like attending a class or a course. I have to say I might also show little enthusiasm because of the "natural repulsion" I get for any Windows code.
Am I the only one who wonders how a giant company like MS who certalinly has great developers working in it can produce such
downright UGLY design and APIs?