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Book details of 'Inside Windows NT (Microsoft Programming Series)'

Cover of Inside Windows NT (Microsoft Programming Series)
TitleInside Windows NT (Microsoft Programming Series)
Author(s)David A. Solomon
PublisherMicrosoft Press
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Inside Windows NT (Microsoft Programming Series)':

Reviewer wrote:
Beginning with broad NT concepts and then focusing sequentially on various key systems, Solomon dissects NT with a surgeon's care and a software engineer's thoroughness. That's not to say that this book is mainly about writing programs. Rather, this is the kind of guide that power users wish for, explaining why and how things happen and glossing over very little. Programmers will value the clear NT API hints. Initially, the author talks about important NT tools (such as Performance Monitor) and concepts (such as the idea of virtual memory and how it's mapped). He illustrates all abstract concepts with excellent conceptual drawings that make it easier to comprehend what NT is doing. A chapter on NT's architecture explains how the system works as a whole. Later chapters focus on individual subsystems, providing extensive coverage of processes, memory, input/output, security, caches, and NT. After reading the chapter on memory management, for instance, you'll have a solid grasp of paging and the internal settings that affect it. The book also contains experiments that guide the reader through concept-illustrating procedures. For example, readers crash their machines to see and analyze the dump log--a valuable skill.

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
This is a true "inside" book--the story, as it were, of the internals of Windows NT. And, like all too many internals books, this is not the kind of text you want to review if you are, say, already a little tired. Chapter one looks at some of the concepts of the NT architecture. Unfortunately, it does not explain all of them very well. Some of the content seems to have been included with a view to proving how much more the author knows about NT than we do. For example, we are told how to produce a "checked" version of the operating system, even though vanishingly few readers will ever see NT source code. (Okay, the likelihood of you seeing it just went up. Marginally. Maybe.) Although chapter two looks at many aspects of the NT architecture, there is a similar lack of fundamental explanations on numerous points. The illustrations seldom help to clear things up, and the relatively frequent practice of putting text and related pictures on different pages does not contribute to the clarity of the material. System mechanics gets into more detail, but there is still a lot of trivia in chapter three. Chapter four looks at processes and threads, and, with specifics to talk about, the material improves. Memory management is discussed in chapter five. The review of security, in chapter six, is quite brief. While it starts to present a framework for NT security, it never gets very far, and provides few details. Chapter seven presents a structure for I/O that has mostly been given before in the book. The cache manager is described in chapter eight. There is a wealth of information about NTFS (NT File System) in chapter nine, but the presentation and logic of the text are difficult to follow. Chapter ten describes enhancements to be made to NT 5. There is little detail, but with the changes announced on the fly to Windows 2000 this probably doesn't matter very much. Solomon, unfortunately, does not provide the readability that Custer did in the first edition. However, systems people have been waiting so long for this upgrade that they will be happy to see it in any case. copyright Robert M. Slade, 1997

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Book description:

The eagerly awaited second edition of this well-known volume. INSIDE WINDOWS NT has long provided the best architectural overview of Microsoft Windows NT-and that's made it an important road map for Windows NT developers and for students of operating systems. Now this new edition is fully revised, updated, and expanded. The material on the Windows NT file system (NTFS) that was a separate monograph has been folded into the new edition, as has an entire chapter on the cache manager. This edition includes more detailed descriptions of code flows, data structures, and other elements. It also includes hands-on experiments that describe how you can watch the internal behaviour of Windows NT by using various tools that come with the product. Readers will discover a detailed under-the-hood investigation of the Windows NT 4.0 internals and the associated coding implications. This edition includes prerelease information about Windows NT 5.0.

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