Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Authors: John L. Hennessy, David A. Patterson, David Goldberg
First, this is certainly not an introductory text on Computer Architectures. The authors assume that people reading it have already had an introductory class or some experience. Simply put, the book is not intended to explain how cache memory works, but to present a thourough quantitative analysis to show why and when one implementation works better than another, and what improvements have been devised recently to speed this or this other measurement.Of course, the best choice for this book would be to have it preceeded by "Computer Organization: the HW/SW interface" (aka CO-HSI), by the same authors, since it would help to better comprehend the MIPS64 and the low-level design behind it, since CO-HSI develop an older version of the MIPS itself.
This is for sure one of the most informative books I've ever encountered both as a student and as a SW engineer. It contains an overwhelming quantity of data, tips, warnings, tecniques so that the over 1100 pages seem incredibly dense. And don't be fooled the book is "only so little": there are other seven online appendixes that can be downloaded, that will add up to more than 250 pages to the book.As experience teaches, however, quantity does not always mean quality. Yet, it seems this doesn't apply to this book, because the quality of its content is highly informative and interesting for those involved with true CA designs.
Since the first chapter it's clear that target of the book is not a survery of CAs, but a guide through the bunch of considerations and problems a design of a new CA must cope with today. I mean today because much of the data collected and presented is binded to (and updated to) the current edition and its realease date. So covered CAs for this 3ed will feature IA-64 or Sony Playstation II among the others. Nonetheless, it would be misleading to think that next year the book will become useless. Most of the considerations the authors develop and present are quite long lasting (the usage patterns of ISAs, e.g., have incurred little change since the second edition, six years ago).
This edition presents noticeable changes, even if there's no doubt the core is that of CA-AQA 2ed. To mention a few, the first chapter is of course almost totally new since it's the most time-bounded of the book. The elder chapter four (Advanced Pipelining and Instruction Level Parallellism) has been expanded into two chapters, one dealing with Hardware approaches and one with Software approaches (and both with hybrid ones). This goes into great benefit for the reader since it seems we never get enough details on modern CAs and their complexity otherwise.However, changes has been done even in the way of reductions, and that's especially true for the elder chapter three (Pipelining). It was a full 100 pages chapter, featuring an astonishing treatment of the topic, that has been fundamental in my class of CA II. In the 3ed edition, this chapter has been moved to a shorter appendix at the end, and I think this appendix can't compare with its predecessor (even if some of the "cut" topics have been then spread through chapters 3-4 in the 3ed).
About the exposition of the topics, the authors have built a solid way to make things clear for students and not, beginners and not on quantitative analysis. The book is full of figures, graph, citation and feature a wide bibliography at the end of the book and a reasoned set of references at the end of each chapter.
The only difficulties reading this book will arise only because of the complexity of the topics, who themselves require a fair amount of attention, not because of the language which keeps always clear and straightforward.
This said, I think the book is a fully deserved 5 stars one, with no concurrents on its kind, scope and utility. That's probabily why it has been worlwide used since its first edition.
Product: Book - Paperback
Title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Authors: Elizabeth Castro
I learned HTML several years ago and used it quite a bit back then, but I knew that the use of HTML along with today's advanced techniques for creating dynamic webpages had changed. Faced with the fact that I have to take an HTML placement exam in the near future I picked up this book to "review" myself as it was recommended by the providers of the exam. After just finishing it I think that it was a really big help and a well-written book.
One thing that I do want to address first is the organization of the book. Something that should have been changed is instead of discussing each HTML tag in detail that exists in the beginning of the book and then going over cascading style sheets at the end, the order should have been switched around. Now I understand that the book it titled "HTML 4 for the ..." and not "CSS for the ...", but as I know and as it states in the book, a great number of the tags discussed in the book are not recommended to be used by the W3C. On just about every HTML tag "page" it has tips at the bottom and every tag had a tip which referenced the reader to the end of the book in the CSS section.
Why not put the CSS section in the beginning and the HTML sections in the end so this referencing does not have to take place. This is my only gripe with the book and despite some of the other reviews on here, I found the book to be very helpful to a wide range of people. It helped someone like me who has experience but am a bit rusty, and it would be great for someone who is new to HTML! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is shopping for an HTML title and needs some opinions. 2 thumbs up from me. :)
Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Java for Students (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: Douglas Bell, Mike Parr
I have more than eighty technical books in my home library, but my favorite is Java for Students. Aimed at beginning programmers, Java for students is a solid book that WILL teach you java programming. It sticks to the basics and is filled with very good, practical examples. By far, Java for Students is the best "learn to program" book that I have ever read.
Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Learning Perl, Third Edition
Authors: Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix
If you want to understand the koan that is Perl, you must listen to Wall's hand clap. This is the first step. I have bought any and all of my friends that were interested in Perl a copy of this book as a gift. It will teach you why Perl is great. "Programming Perl" is then required to gain mastery in the ways of Perl.