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Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective (2nd Edition)

📅 2012-Apr-10 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 🏷️ book, computer architecture ⬩ 📚 Archive


I picked up Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective (2nd Edition) by Randal Bryant and David O’Hallaron while searching for a stimulating book on computer architecture or operating systems. CSAPP turned out to be a good find since it is aimed at the intersection of computer architecture, computers systems and OS. Using practical examples and problems the book walks the student through all the hardware and software knowledge that is required to understand how a program comes to life on a computer.

Assume a student compiles a Hello world program and runs it. A plethora of hardware features and a large set of software come together to make this simple magic possible. Software like compiler, assembler, linker, loader, libraries and operating system kernel help to compile and load the program. Hardware features like hard disk, main memory, controllers, buses, cache and the processor bring the program to life. Also, hardware and software need to also act in tandem in virtual memory, system calls and interrupt handling to make the execution of a program scalable, efficient, fast and safe. This book argues that a good programmer needs to be aware of all the afore mentioned concepts and these are what the book tries to cover.

Some notes about this book:

I am happy to conclude that CSAPP is a stimulating book to study and work through. This book covers all the knowledge that a good programmer needs to understand how his program executes upon the OS and CPU and how to make it efficient, fast and scalable. I highly recommend Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective for anyone who feel they need a better grasp of these ideas.

Rating: 4/4

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