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REVIEW: "Hacker's Delight", Henry S. Warren

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKHKRSDL.RVW 20020825 Hacker s Delight , Henry S. Warren, 2003, 0-201-91465-4, U$39.99/C$62.99 %A Henry S. Warren Jr. %C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2002
      BKHKRSDL.RVW 20020825

      "Hacker's Delight", Henry S. Warren, 2003, 0-201-91465-4,
      %A Henry S. Warren Jr.
      %C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T8
      %D 2003
      %G 0-201-91465-4
      %I Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
      %O U$39.99/C$62.99 416-447-5101 fax: 416-443-0948
      %P 306 p.
      %T "Hacker's Delight"

      First of all, this has nothing to do with security.

      Experienced programmers develop toolkits of shortcut tricks. Assembly
      language programmers need to have more shortcuts, since a) assembly
      language is a detailed (and can be a tedious) process, and b)
      assembler gets right down to the metal, and can perform the functions
      that haven't been built into high level languages yet. In these days
      of bloatware, it may seem pointless to try to create code
      efficiencies. But the hackers still (sometimes) walk among us, making
      most efficient use of memory for code space, and squeezing every last
      cycle of performance out of processors. This book is for them. And
      anyone who wants to join them.

      It is a compendium, even an encyclopedia, of such tricks. There are
      outlines of quick algorithms for basic operations, powers of two,
      bounds, counting of bits, searching words (computer "words"),
      transpositions and permutations, mathematical functions, and more.

      All well and good, but isn't machine level programming highly machine
      specific? Yes, to an extent. But remember, these are algorithms.
      The author has based them on a basic instruction set that should be
      common to most systems, and is adaptable to situations.

      With a book this detailed, it is inevitable that there will be
      mistakes. The very first example is probably not in error, but
      certainly is poorly explained for newcomers to assembly programming.

      (Actually, maybe I spoke too soon about security. Not only does the
      security common body of knowledge have an application development
      domain, but this book could also be useful in software forensics to
      gauge the skill level of a programmer.)

      For those who still believe in optimising compilers and tight code,
      this is your book.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002 BKHKRSDL.RVW 20020825

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
      When cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir rapelcgvba.
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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