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’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…
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.
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.
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’ve just finished reading Rootkits: Subverting the Windows Kernel. Overall I enjoyed it but I’m in two minds about its usefulness… The book covers “hacking” the Windows kernel using various techniques to get your code inside the kernel and, once there, various other techniques to keep others from knowing you’re there. Once you have this kind of code in the kernel of someone’s machine you can do lots of damage; or, of course, you can gather information for security forces, or protect the machine from other rootkits…
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.
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. Sven starts by explaining how to set up a system that you can use for kenel mode development, you don’t want to use your main box as it will be blue screening a lot of the time.
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… Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael C. Feathers. Roy Osherove has this as his book of the month and I’d previously read some of Michael’s writings on testing and found them useful. The book’s great. If you ever have to work with the kind of code that I wrote about at length as ’the refactoring project’ then this book is for you.
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.