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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
The Architecture of Computer Hardware and Systems Software
Author:
Irv Englander
ISBN:
0 471 31037 9
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
750pp
Price:
£19-99
Reviewer:
David Hodge
Subject:
internals and hardware
Appeared in:
10-3
This book is intended to be used in a college as a textbook. In the UK it is probably useful at the HND first year level.

It starts at the basics of data formats and number systems and covers integers and floating point representation.

The section on computer architecture and hardware operation uses a simple computer model to explain how the inside of the computer operates. All the usual types of input and output devices are covered and real system examples are used to show computers in common use today (RISC, X86, PowerPC, IBM 3600).

The software component section starts with the basics and works its way through operating systems, file management and programming tools. It concludes with descriptions of Windows, UNIX and IBM S/390 operating systems.

The Computer Interconnection and Data communi-cations section covers the fundamentals of signalling technology together with all the usual types of networks in use today.

One feature that users in a college environment would find useful is that there are a number of related exercises at the end of each chapter. Provided the tutor had the answers to the questions they would provide a good means of finding out if the student had under-stood each chapter. If this book were being used in a home learning environment then the student would be irritated by the fact that there are no answers at the end of the book. There is however an email address for the author so they may be readily available.

Overall I found the book readable and interesting and would certainly help someone looking for a single volume that serves as an introduction to the inner workings of a computer.