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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yikes! Avoid this one..., June 2, 2005
This review is from: Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms (Hardcover)
I agree with another reviewer: this book is not worth reading for its prose. The cover got my hopes up--perhaps this would be an irreverant, clever review of the many mistakes and learnings as we have explored the strange new world of distributed computing over the last several years. Something like Gregory Pfister's excellent "In Search of Clusters" (ASIN 0138997098).

Instead, this is a very turgid, encyclopedic survey of the topic, without much to guide the reader. For instance, distributed object-based systems are very old, why doesn't Tanenbaum mention their myriad problems? NFS, with its attempt to make remote filesystems look local, and extensive kernel hooks, can be very painful to use and operate. You would not want to write a distributed file system like NFS today! How was that not mentioned? Instead, this book treats all distributed systems as if they had equal worth and utility, with dry comparisons of features, and no sense of what the core lessons of distributed computing have been.

This is obviously one book in a chain aimed at the academic market. Perhaps it has a place there, but I wouldn't want to be a in a class that used this book.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 1, 2008 11:58:49 AM PDT
I was in a class that used this book, unfortunately. While I still think that distributed systems are fascinating, I still have really no better understanding of the material as when I started. The professor was good and the programming exercises were challenging, but the book was impenetrable! If you care about your GPA or your sanity, avoid this book.
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