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Book Reviews: Technology

Modern Operating Systems, 2nd edition

May 23, 2004
Tanenbaum, Prentice-Hall 2001
A general overview of how operating systems work with special emphasis on Windows 2000 and Linux. The first six chapters are more a general introduction to how computers work and could be an introductory text for almost any programmer. The rest of the book gets more interesting, even though nothing is ever described in any deep detail. The only sad thing about this book is a multitude of little errors in grammar, spelling and small inconsistencies between the text and the figures. It's clearly lacking in editing. But none of the little errors can lead to any important misunderstandings. The whole book can be read in a week or so, it's that easy and well written. ( Added 9/2001) (No comments yet)

The Essential Client/Server Survival Guide

May 23, 2004
2nd ed., Orfali-Harkey-Edwards, Wiley, 1996
All the Orfali-Harkey-Edwards books in the "alien" series are simply outstanding reads. All of them cover technology at the level just between the technical manager and the pro programmer. Nothing in these books is hard to understand, but there's a lot of technology in there. You should read all these books, if you can afford the time and the expense. This one covers the operating systems, transaction processing, groupware, middleware of different kinds. (Added July 2000) (No comments yet)

The Essential Distributed Objects Survival Guide

May 23, 2004
Orfali-Harkey-Edwards, Wiley, 1996
Regard this as the second book to read in the series. It covers the essentials of Corba, OpenDoc (may it rest in peace) and COM. Even though the authors are definitely pro-Corba, the treatment of all technologies is so fairminded that I had no reservations at all about accepting their opinions. Especially since the authors have these "soapbox" sidelines where they can safely vent their more subjective feelings. This does keep the factual text very... factual. (Added July 2000) (No comments yet)

Instant Corba

May 23, 2004
Orfali-Harkey-Edwards, Wiley, 1997
A general treatment of Corba services, current and future. Even if you're not into Corba (I'm not), it's very useful to see where a well-designed object broker architecture is heading. I'm sure COM will have to provide very similar services sooner or later. (Added July 2000) (No comments yet)

Client/Server Programming with Java and Corba

May 23, 2004
Orfali-Harkey, Wiley, 1997
A fairly detailed text on the workings of Java with Corba as a general solution to distributed computing. Now we're getting pretty far from what I regard as relevant to my own work, but these guys present their material so well that I'm more inclined to read a book they wrote than a book about the technology I need. Anyway, I do recommend even this one to everyone. (Added July 2000) (No comments yet)

Essential Corba

May 23, 2004
Mowbray-Zahavi, Wiley, 1995
A good, but choleric, overview of Corba. Mowbray is big in the Corba standards committee, and that's ok. What's not ok is that this book seems to slip into MickeySoft bashing every now and then. It's definitely a little on the hate and paranoid side, and that tone is really detracting from the value of the text. It gets hard to feel positive about anything in here. Too bad. The guy sure could have used a shadow writer. I certainly hope nobody gets their first impressions of Corba (and Corba people) from this book. It would be a total turn-off. (Added July 2000) (No comments yet)