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I have recently been sent a couple of ebooks to review. It seems people at Packt Publishing think that I'd be a good person to review their C++ books... Anyway, bear in mind that this ebook was given to me for free and that I was asked to review it... Instant Windows 8 C++ Application Development How-to is a short book, but then that's what the "Instant" range of books are supposed to be. I guess the idea is to get people quickly up to speed on a subject. The book does that, but, it contains too much code…

Major Vista Overlapped I/O change

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I'm still reading the Richter book, highly recommended even if you've read one of the earlier versions. In fact it's possibly MORE highly recommended IF you've read one of the earlier versions... It seems that lots of things have changed a little, and some things have changed a lot. Unfortunately the book doesn't detail the actual changes. Note to publishers; I'd PAY for a slim book that DOES detail the changes between the APIs that are being discussed... Take this throwaway line in the Cancelling Queued Device I/O Requests section of the Asynchronous Device I/O chapter of the latest book:…

Currently Reading: Windows via C/C++

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I've just picked up a copy of Windows Via C/C++ (PRO-Developer) by Jeffrey Richter and Christophe Nasarre. This is 'version 5' of the book that started out as Advanced Windows NT (Advanced Windows). The book has been updated for Windows Vista and other changes that have happened since the last version, Programming Applications for Windows (Microsoft Programming Series). I've decided to read it from cover to cover to refresh my knowledge and pick up on any changes. It's nice to see that even in the first section on error handling the text has been checked and updated, for example, the…
As I mentioned a while back, I'm writing a managed XLL style add-in system for Excel for one of my clients at the moment. This is going pretty well, most of the custom marshalling code is now done and we can write code in C# and expose it to Excel as worksheet functions. Over Christmas I picked up a copy of Excel Add-in Development in C/C++: Applications in Finance by Steve Dalton. This is a book that I wished I had back in 2001 when I first started writing XLLs. It's full of otherwise hard to find information about how…

Charles Petzold on why he loves books

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Charles Petzold confesses his love for books. I must admit this bit really hit home for me: "I love how my books remind me of passages in my life. I love the shelves of authors I've been obsessed with, and the books that knocked me over. I love knowing that I still own virtually every book I've read." I have shelves and shelves of technical books as I've always been quite happy to buy a book on the chance that I might learn one thing from it. I have some that I didn't really learn anything from but they're few…

Book review: Rootkits by Hoglund and Butler

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I've just finished reading Rootkits: Subverting the Windows Kernel. Overall I enjoyed it but I'm in two minds about its usefulness...…

Rootkits

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Just saw a mini review of Rootkits: Subverting the Windows Kernel over on Ted Neward's blog. Looks like the perfect follow up to Undocumented Windows 2000 Secrets as I continue my slow progress towards being able to write Windows device drivers... From the sound of Ted's review it's written in a similar way to the Undocumented secrets book; showing you how to write drivers which aren't for real hardware... Anyway, I popped over to Amazon and it was being recommended on the front page for me due to my past purchases. It's now ordered, more once it arrives.…

Undocumented Windows 2000 Secrets

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Just finished reading Undocumented Windows 2000 Secrets: A Programmer's Cookbook by Sven B. Schreiber. Well, I say reading, it was really just a first pass through the book. The text and code spends more time in kernel mode than user mode; there's a lot of information in there and it's all relatively new to me so it's the kind of book that needs a fair bit of work.…

Currently reading

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Just before I dive back into my other project, the one I don't talk about, I thought I'd post a short note about the pile of books that I'm currently reading...…

Currently Reading

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I've been reading mostly fiction recently. I'd kinda stopped reading anything non-technical for far too long; there was always some new techie book to read, but there always will be... I used to read masses of fiction, mostly SF and fantasy stuff; but recently I'd only read fiction when on holiday, and then only as a backup to the techie stuff I had with me... That changed, on holiday, when I read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. I loved it, bought the other three that he'd done and read those back to back. Angels and Demons was, IMHO, almost…

Mythical Man Month

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I finished re-reading the Mythical Man Month today. It was a good read, and, just as when I read it just after the 20th anniversary edition came out, still very relevant to software development today. I found Brooks' enthusiasm and attitude to be quite compelling; it's so obvious that he loves his work. This quote from the epilogue sums it up and reminds me not to be so grouchy; "To only a fraction of the human race does God give the privilege of earning one's bread doing what one would have gladly pursued free, for passion. I am very thankful."…
I'm currently re-reading The Mythical Man Month 20th Aniversay Edition and I've just finished watching Apocolypse Now Redux. Both seem to have as much to say now about their respective subjects as they did in the day. Brooks' treatment of the "Joys" and "Woes" of The Craft as poignant as Coppola's tale of the lies and horror of war.…

Currently reading

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Agile Software Development - Principles, Patterns, and Practices by Robert C. Martin This book is physically heavier than most of the books I've been reading lately but I'm still carrying it to work even though I only get around 5 mins reading done on the tube during the journey. It's a beautiful book; the typeface and illustractions are stunning, the paper feels rich, the cover is cool and colourful. The content is pretty good too. Robert Martin knows his stuff and this book seems to pull all of the things that I'm currently interested in together in one place. I'm…

Waltzing with Bears

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Finally finished reading Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects and it was well worth the read.…
Kent Beck demonstrates the testing side of XP by separating it out into its own simple methodology. Test-Driven Development is exactly what it says it is. The entire design and development effort is driven by the tests that you write and you're encouraged to write those tests first...…

Slack - Tom DeMarco

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I've always been a fan of DeMarco's work. I tend to nod my head and agree as I read, and wish that all the software development managers that I work with would read his books. Slack is an excellent analysis of the problems plaguing large corporations' software development efforts.…

Currently reading...

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Updated: 23-May-2003 Questioning Extreme Programming by Pete McBreen A useful analysis of the claims that the XP community makes and comparisons between the XP way and other Agile Methodologies. I'm currently about half way through and so far it seems like good stuff. It helps you understand what you can expect to gain from XP and if XP is the right thing for you. Often it wont be, but you may be able to learn something from it or use some aspect in your project anyway. Selling the invisible by Harry Beckwith Because I'd like more clients please ;) An…
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