The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Inside Windows NT (Microsoft Programming Series)':
Reviewer amazon.com 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
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
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1997
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