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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Publisher: Basic Books
Authors: Douglas R. Hofstadter
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
True Art


dcmsin@hk.super.net is absolutely right. As the Hacker's Dictionary puts it, this is the Must Read book for anyserious computer user - though I recommend it to anyone which can appriciate true art



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming with POSIX(R) Threads
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: David R. Butenhof
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Not bad


I found this book very useful when learning about POSIX threads though the whole impression is a bit mixed.
The book gives everything you need to start writing POSIX-style multithreaded applications. Very complicated (in my opinion) issues of multithreading are explained very clearly. Every new concept is immediately illustrated with a sample code.
The appendix contains a detailed description of all mentioned pthread functions, so you can use it as a reference too.
At the same time I am not sure if book is completely up-to-date. E.g., in chapter 7 the author explains in details what is a read/write lock and presents a code with a mutex and 2 condition variables to use as an r/w lock. In the appendix he says that r/w lock can be incorporated into POSIX as a separate entity in future. I work with Solaris 8 and I found that r/w locks are already in my POSIX library.
The style of book is quite special, you may love it, or you may hate it. Sometimes the very basic concepts are explained in such a way and with so repetitions that it becomes even a bit annoying. Those bailing programmers are also a bit annoying. Quotes from Lewis Carroll seem a bit off topic too. Of course it's just my opinion.
In general I think the book worth its money and recommend it to everyone interested in the subject.
Prerequisites are simple: knowledge of C and general POSIX. E.g., I recommend a book by Mr. Gallmeister on real-time (non-multithreading) POSIX.



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages, Vol. 1: Core Technologies, Second Edition
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Marty Hall, Larry Brown
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Entering the Warp Core of Java Servlet Technology


This book is hot, very hot and well worth every single penny you may want to spend on it plus a whole hill of beans more. I'm currently the lead Java Servlet developer on a Sun Microsystems internal intranet site and amongst our development team this is THE book to use. We also recommend it to everyone who asks. So that's the sizzle, where's the sausage? In the last three months it's helped us out many times, when we've been between rocks and hard places, I've lost count. Amongst many other things it's provided us with a robust, flexible and top notch web security system, the ability to generate GIFs on the fly and the easy use of secure HTTP servlet and applet tunnelling (Ok, so I didn't REALLY need to write that applet calculator but this book is so much fun I couldn't help myself - gotta get out more). With a mixture of solid blocks of clear text to explain things and solid blocks of production-strength code to "develop" from (which always work first time when you "adapt" them), this book is a serious winner and should be top of anyone's list of "Java Servlet books I must buy". There's an awful lot packed into these 500 plus pages, way beyond the "Core" that the title suggests and IMHO this is clearly the best Java book Sun Microsystems press have ever produced (BTW I'm a contractor and not part of the Sun share-option scheme :-) Let's just hope that Marty can be persuaded to write a few more Java books beyond the Core to make the previously baffling world of the Java APIs seem a lot more human. If that was the point of this book then he has succeeded beyond all question. If only he would write one on Enterprise Java Beans as well, then I might just stand half a chance of surviving the rest of the Java journey. Top work! 8-)



Product: Book - Paperback
Title: QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Authors: Richard Phillips Feynman
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
A QED Teaser


An excellent explanation of QED with no formalism. Good diagrams are used in place of the mathematics, with clear explanations and nice analogies to make this subject very accessible and understandable.
This will certainly get the mind wheels turning, a very stimulating and fun read.