Old New Thing, The: Practical Development Throughout the Evolution of Windows 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
"Raymond Chen is the original raconteur of Windows."
--Scott Hanselman, ComputerZen.com
"Raymond has been at Microsoft for many years and has seen many nuances of Windows that others could only ever hope to get a glimpse of. With this book, Raymond shares his knowledge, experience, and anecdotal stories, allowing all of us to get a better understanding of the operating system that affects millions of people every day. This book has something for everyone, is a casual read, and I highly recommend it!"
--Jeffrey Richter, Author/Consultant, Cofounder of Wintellect
"Very interesting read. Raymond tells the inside story of why Windows is the way it is."
--Eric Gunnerson, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
"Absolutely essential reading for understanding the history of Windows, its intricacies and quirks, and why they came about."
--Matt Pietrek, MSDN Magazine's Under the Hood Columnist
"Raymond Chen has become something of a legend in the software industry, and in this book you'll discover why. From his high-level reminiscences on the design of the Windows Start button to his low-level discussions of GlobalAlloc that only your inner-geek could love, The Old New Thing is a captivating collection of anecdotes that will help you to truly appreciate the difficulty inherent in designing and writing quality software."
--Stephen Toub, Technical Editor, MSDN Magazine
Why does Windows work the way it does? Why is Shut Down on the Start menu? (And why is there a Start button, anyway?) How can I tap into the dialog loop? Why does the GetWindowText function behave so strangely? Why are registry files called "hives"?
Many of Windows' quirks have perfectly logical explanations, rooted in history. Understand them, and you'll be more productive and a lot less frustrated. Raymond Chen--who's spent more than a decade on Microsoft's Windows development team--reveals the "hidden Windows" you need to know.
Chen's engaging style, deep insight, and thoughtful humor have made him one of the world's premier technology bloggers. Here he brings together behind-the-scenes explanations, invaluable technical advice, and illuminating anecdotes that bring Windows to life--and help you make the most of it.
A few of the things you'll find inside:
- What vending machines can teach you about effective user interfaces
- A deeper understanding of window and dialog management
- Why performance optimization can be so counterintuitive
- A peek at the underbelly of COM objects and the Visual C++ compiler
- Key details about backwards compatibility--what Windows does and why
- Windows program security holes most developers don't know about
- How to make your program a better Windows citizen
About the Author
Raymond Chen writes The Old New Thing, one of today's most influential technology blogs. A programmer at Microsoft Corporation, Chen has been involved in the evolution of Windows for more than a decade. He also writes TechNet Magazine's Windows Confidential column and has been known to make appearances at technology events.
- Item Weight : 1.76 pounds
- Paperback : 548 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0321440307
- ISBN-13 : 978-0321440303
- Product Dimensions : 6.8 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Publisher : Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st Edition (December 27, 2006)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,192,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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One thing that is kind of annoying is the downloadable bonus chapters. The author gives a link to download bonus chapters in the preface. This link goes to informit.com with another link to safari.com. Even after registering the ISBN number on informit.com, it would link me into safari.com and safari.com won't let me look at bonus chapters unless I sign up for a 10 day trial. Of course, they want a credit card number. Why? I already bought the book, so I cancelled out the trial setup and did a little Google searching and found the bonus chapters in PDF format over at the Pearson site.
I went to Chen's blog to contact him about this, but there's no e-mail address in site and no comment box to leave a message. On the blog postings where he mentions the bonus chapters, I was going to leave a comment, but the comments are now closed (too much time has passed I guess). Why can't he post these bonus chapters on his web site? The second chapter is just a reprint of something he wrote in the MS-DOS days. I don't get it!
This book is an excellent tour through the history of Windows development. It does a good job explaining why parts of Windows are as quirky as they are, and what limitations and design decisions led to them being that way.
The book's style varies from chapter to chapter. Some chapters are collections of short essays and observations, similar in length and style to Old New Thing blog posts. (Some, in fact, are expanded versions of topics already posted on the blog.) Other chapters are more in-depth looks at a single topic - for example, there is a whole chapter dedicated to the workings of the Windows dialog manager. Many topics in this book would be of interest to a non-technical audience, while others are only of interest to Windows programmers. (There's a table in the introduction that does a good job identifying what audiences would like each chapter.)
All in all, if you're a fan of The Old New Thing, this is a no-brainer. If you'd like to see some of the history of Windows, and how design decisions made back when 640K was enough for everyone continue to affect Windows now, then give this a read. Or, if you'd just like to marvel at the number of ways people have screwed up writing Windows programs, and the Herculean efforts of Microsoft engineers to keep their broken code running - pick this book up today.
Warning: It gets fairly technical the farther you get.
Top reviews from other countries
Das Buch ist eigentlich genauso aufgebaut wie der Blog, auch der Inhalt ist größtenteils gleich. Es gibt nur wenige Beiträge, die man online nicht findet. Allerdings sind die Beiträge im Buch nach Kategorien sortiert und übersichtlich aufbereitet. Das Ganze in Papierform zu lesen ist einfach angenehmer, gerade bei den Codebeispielen.
Wem es das Wert ist sollte auch mal einen Blick in das Buch riskieren :-)
I have been reading The Old New Thing blog for several years now, Raymond Chen's stories are both interesting and intellectually stimulating. From simple topics like why the taskbar is at the bottom of the screen, to the intricacies of rendering strings in different character sets. The book is essentially a collation of the blog content, and is presented in the same format - so if you love the blog, you'll love the book.
This book is essential reading for anyone who works with the Win32 API; it highlights some common problems that people run into, but mostly because the stories are fun to read and explain some of the design quirks we deal with daily.
If you read the blog, buy the book. If you are on the fence, head over to (...) to get a feel for the content.