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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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Inside C# - Architectural Reference
Tom Archer
0 7356 1288 9
Microsoft Press
403pp + CD
Francis Glassborow
Appeared in:
Two more books to add to the growing pile about C# and all before we have a release version. They are both from the horse's mouth in the sense that the publishing division of Microsoft is responsible.

The first one, Microsoft C# Language Specifications, basically rewrites and re-presents material that is already available electronically. I have no objection to this; some people prefer to buy hard-copy and read it on the train, in the bath or wherever. If that is one of your luxuries in life, then go ahead. However remember that C# is still up for revision, so this book is rather like getting a draft copy of the C++ Standard, fine until there was a Standard but not a complete solution and definitely second best once the Standard was complete.

The second book sent me into a howling rage (not quite literally). It has a CD, but that does not contain the necessary SDK etc. Instead the book gives a URL. And, yes, you can download what you need (or I assume so) but that is a 127Mbyte file. No, I am not going to download a file that size, (nor in 13 sections, which is an option) even on a free dial-up. I think I would be reluctant to get a file that large even with a broadband connection. Why didn't they include the material on the CD?

Now while deciding not to download, I noticed that the material only worked (or was claimed to work) on Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP (though it produces executables for Windows 98 and ME - possibly Windows 95 but I did not notice).

Do not buy this book unless you have an appropriate OS. Also think carefully about the implications of a company that owns a wide range of desktop OSs and elects to launch its software development tools only for the professional OS's and a highly contentious yet to be released product. Let me clarify, I make far too many temporary changes to my hardware to even consider running Windows XP with its current registration conditions (and last time I asked, MS could not even say how much change to a system would require re-registration)

Anyone with the necessary equipment and tools who would like to review Inside C# - Architectural Reference, they are welcome to the review copy. Just drop me an email. First to ask gets the job.