Series: Developer Reference
Hardcover: 1232 pages
Publisher: Microsoft Press; 5 edition (June 17, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 2.2 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #796,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #145 in Books > Computers & Technology > Networking & Cloud Computing > Network Administration > Windows Administration #217 in Books > Computers & Technology > Certification > Microsoft #272 in Books > Computers & Technology > Business Technology > Windows Server
Late last week (around 7/2/2009), a small but heavy box showed up at my door. I'd long since forgotten bugging Mark Russinovich last December for a review copy of the latest edition of his Windows internals book: Windows Internals: Including Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, 5th edition, co-authored with David A. Solomon and Alex Ionescu, but there it was in my hot little hands. In my odd free moments since then, I've been plowing through this 1,260 page book to see what's new and interesting -- though I obviously haven't had time to read it in its entirety. Keep that caveat in mind as I extoll this book's many treasures.Here's another caveat: the primary audience for this book is Windows system developers. They're the people who will get the most out of its contents, and my lack of in-depth Windows system programming experience probably explains why my eyes glaze over and my mind goes on vacation as I look at certain sections in the book.That said, there's a tremendous wealth of information on Windows in here (and from what I can tell, thanks to having recently updated 9 chapters for the upcoming Pearson title "Windows 7 in Depth" it applies nearly 100% to Windows 7 as well as Windows Vista, thanks to relatively little changes in the kernel and other system facilities between these two most recent desktop Windows versions). In particular, these are the topics that I found most interesting and illuminating as I flipped through the book for a first quick pass over its contents (I'll report again from time to time as I dig more deeply into its contents):Chapter 2 System Architecture: learned a thing or two about device drivers, and how to find them, in this chapter.
Windows Internals, 5th Ed (WI5E) by Mark Russinovich and David Solomon, with Alex Ionescu, is a remarkable technical achievement. I read the book to better understand Windows to improve my security knowledge. I am not a Windows programmer, but I thought WI5E would provide context for some of the exploit and vulnerability information I occasionally encounter. I absorbed as much of WI5E as I could, but quickly found the scope and depth of the material to be incredible. While there is no substitute for reading source code, the explanations in WI5E come close! So many aspects of Windows are described, to such a deep level, that you might find yourself wanting to use Windows just to see WI5E's descriptions at work.One of the best aspects of WI5E is the demonstration of "Experiments." Dozens of times per chapter the authors explain a key concept or detail by showing it at work in Windows. Sometimes they use a Sysinternals tool, sometimes they use a debugger, and sometimes they use other Windows utilities. I thought this was a great way to get readers to learn more about Windows in a hands-on environment.Another unique feature of WI5E is the 30-page glossary. While not covering every item I might have wanted to see, it was truly helpful. I also liked the figures and tables. For example, Figure 12-2, OSI Model and Windows Networking Components, offered a great overview of how Windows components provide networking services, while Table 3-25, Components Protected by KPP, addressed a security topic that interested me.My only suggestion for future improvement would be to give readers like myself more opportunities to see the big picture. I often felt overwhelmed and sometimes lost when reading WI5E.
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