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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:
Inside the Windows 95 File System
Author:
Stan Mitchell
ISBN:
1 56592 200 X
Publisher:
O'Reilly
Pages:
360pp+disk
Price:
£24-50
Reviewer:
Steve Davies
Subject:
internals and hardware; MS Windows
Appeared in:
10-5
This is a book for those who want to know what file system operations take place when they perform a task. The editor is Andrew Shulman, joint author of the seminalUndocumented DOSand author ofUnauthorised Windows 95. This should alert those familiar with these titles that Mitchell is talking low level (he is concerned with each function call that occurs). Mitchell has used a snooping tool called
MultiMon
, to monitor the low-level file system activity that occurs in various circumstances. In the book he describes the workings of the file system by presenting and commenting upon the results.

I consider this work to be part of a worthy tradition. The IT world is richer because there are individuals who are prepared to explore and chart the workings of our software. The books can be hard going though and if anything, this book seems more relentlessly low level than its predecessors, possibly because its range is narrower. In readingUndocumented DOSandUnauthorised Windows 95it was possible to learn a lot about the systems without grasping every detail. I found this less true with the present book.

So, an invaluable source if you need to know precisely how the file system works, but not for the casual reader. MultiMon is included on the accompanying floppy disc, and may prove a useful debugging aid, but I have not yet had a real opportunity to use it.