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Issue No.11 - November (2005 vol.38)
pp: 96
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
The Linux Kernel Primer: A Top-Down Approach for x86 and PowerPC Architectures Claudia Rodriguez, Claudia Salzberg, Gordon Fischer, and Steven Smolski. The authors' top-down approach makes kernel programming easier to understand by systematically tracing functionality from the user space into the kernel and carefully associating kernel internals with user-level programming fundamentals. This definitive guide to Linux kernel programming helps readers build on what they already know about Linux, gaining a deep understanding of how the kernel works and how its elements fit together.
For readers who know C, this book provides the skills and techniques needed to succeed with Linux kernel programming. Systems programmers, software engineers, systems analysts, test professionals, open source project contributors, and Linux enthusiasts might find this book useful.
Prentice Hall PTR; www.phptr.com; 0-13-118163-7; 648 pp.




The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Ray Kurzweil. An inventor and futurist, the author is a controversial advocate for the role of machines in humanity's future. In this book, he envisions an event, the "singularity" in which technological change becomes so rapid and profound that our bodies and brains will merge with our machines.
The author predicts the rise of a human-machine civilization in which our experiences shift from real reality to virtual reality and our intelligence becomes nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than unaided human intelligence. In practical terms, this means that human aging and pollution will be reversed, world hunger solved, and our bodies and environment transformed by nanotechnology to overcome biology's limitations, including death.
In addition to outlining these fantastic changes, the book also considers their social and philosophical ramifications.
Viking Press; http://us.penguingroup.com/; 0-670-03384-7; 416 pp.
Performance Evaluation and Benchmarking, Lizy Kurian John and Lieven Eeckhout. Increasing demands on microprocessor architecture performance coupled with a wide variety of specialized operating environments slow the pace of development by complicating the performance evaluation process. Carefully balancing efficiency and accuracy is key to avoiding slowdowns. This can be achieved through understanding available evaluation methodologies.
The authors explain how to choose appropriate averages for reporting metrics and provide a detailed treatment of statistical methods, including a summary of statistics, how to apply statistical sampling for simulation, how to apply SimPoint, and a comprehensive overview of statistical simulation. With abundant illustrations, examples, and case studies, this book offers a firm foundation in evaluation methods along with the up-to-date techniques necessary for developing next-generation architectures.
CRC Press; www.crcpress.com; 0-849-33622-8; 304 pp.
RFID Sourcebook, Sandip Lahiri. Readers approaching crucial decisions about radio frequency identification technology might find this book useful in making choices that maximize the business value of this technology and minimize its risks. An experienced RFID solution architect, the author presents up-to-the-minute insight for evaluating RFID; defining optimal strategies, blueprints, and timetables; and deploying systems that deliver what they promise.
This book can help readers ask the tough questions, build the right applications, avoid costly mistakes, and work more effectively with suppliers and partners. It can also serve as a reference guide for any nontechnical person curious about the technology.
IBM Press; www.ibmpressbooks.com; 0-13-185137-3; 304 pp.
System Testing with an Attitude: An Approach that Nurtures Front-Loaded Software Quality, Nathan Petschenik. Quality cannot be tested into software, it must be designed in and built in. The system test phase occurs too late in the life cycle to make major improvements to the overall quality of the product. Projects striving for high quality and rapid time to market must adopt an attitude that makes it unacceptable for software that does not meet requirements to even reach the system test phase.
The author describes how to cultivate productive relationships between developers and system testers and stresses the importance of identifying and delineating the responsibilities of each group, which can prevent problems in the system before testing even begins. Testers, managers, and developers who are ready to improve their software development process should read this book.
Dorset House; www.dorsethouse.com; 0-932633-46-3; 368 pp.
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