APRIL 2008 (Vol. 41, No. 4) p. 86
0018-9162/08/$31.00 © 2008 IEEE
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
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Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination, Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. The author examines new media and electronic writing against the textual and technological primitives that govern writing, inscription, and textual transmission in all media: erasure, variability, repeatability, and survivability.
Drawing a distinction between "forensic materiality" and "formal materiality," the author uses applied computer forensics techniques in his study of new media works. Just as the humanities discipline of textual studies examines books as physical objects and traces different variants of texts, computer forensics encourages us to perceive new media in terms of specific versions, platforms, systems, and devices.
The author demonstrates these techniques in media-specific readings of three landmark works of new media and electronic literature, all from the formative era of personal computing: the interactive fiction game Mystery House, Michael Joyce's Afternoon: A Story, and William Gibson's electronic poem Agrippa.
Drawing on newly available archival resources for these works, the author uses a hex editor and disk image of Mystery House to conduct a "forensic walkthrough" that explores critical reading strategies linked to technical praxis, examines the multiple versions and revisions of Afternoon to address the diachronic dimension of electronic textuality, and documents the volatile publication and transmission history of Agrippa as an illustration of the social aspect of transmission and preservation.
MIT Press; mitpress.mit.edu; 0-262-11311-2; 240 pp.
Introduction to Software Testing, Paul Ammann and Jeff Offutt. Extensively class tested, this text takes an innovative approach to explaining the process of software testing. It defines testing as the process of applying a few well-defined, general-purpose test criteria to a structure or model of the software.
The text's structure incorporates the latest innovations in testing, including techniques to test modern types of software such as OO, Web applications, and embedded software.
Cambridge University Press; www.cambridge.org; 978-0-521-88038-1; 344 pp.
Sarbanes-Oxley IT Compliance Using Open Source Tools, 2nd ed., Christian B. Lahti and Roderick Peterson. This book describes the many open source cost-saving opportunities that public companies can explore in their IT enterprise to meet the mandatory compliance requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) act. It also demonstrates by example and technical reference both the infrastructure components for open source that can be made compliant and the open source tools that can aid in the journey to compliance.
Each chapter begins with IT business and executive considerations for open source and SOX compliance. The text includes specific examinations of open source applications and tools that relate to the given subject matter. A bootable CD provides fully configured running demonstrations of open source tools as a valuable technical reference for implementing the book's concepts.
Syngress; www.syngress.com; 978-1-59749-216-4; 448 pp.
Eating the IT Elephant: Moving from Greenfield Development to Brownfield Product Page, Richard Hopkins and Kevin Jenkins. Most conventional approaches to IT development assume that engineers are building entirely new systems. But today "greenfield" development is a rarity. Nearly every project exists in the context of current complex system landscapes that are often poorly documented and poorly understood. Here, the authors—senior IBM system architects—offer a new approach fully optimized for today's "brownfield" development projects.
This books shows readers why accumulated IT complexity is the root cause of large-scale project failure—and how to overcome that complexity. The authors explain how to manage all four phases of a brownfield project, leveraging breakthrough collaboration and communication tools and techniques—including Web 2.0, semantic software engineering, model-driven development and architecture, and even virtual worlds.
IBM Press; www.ibmpressbooks.com; 0-13-713012-0; 256 pp.
Communications Engineering: Essentials for Computer Scientists and Electrical Engineers, R.C.T. Lee, Mao-Ching Chiu, and Jung-Shan Lin. The authors' observation that convergence requires computer science students to gain a better understanding of communications concepts motivated the writing of this book. The text directly addresses this gap, thoroughly delivering to computer science students the key essentials.
The authors walk the reader through the Fourier transform, analog and digital modulation techniques, multiple access communications, spread-spectrum communications, and source and channel coding. This book has been used in the classroom as an introductory text in university electrical engineering programs.
Wiley; www.wiley.com; 978-0-470-82245-6; 240 pp.