Hackish C++ Pranks and Tricks Paperback – 1 Nov 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
It's not a book for the complete beginner. There are no instructions on programming structure and style, object-orientation or coding conventions and the author assumes you're unafraid of C++ and happy to dive straight in and learn by doing.
There's advice on Windows programming, network programming and interacting with hardware along with general advice on code optimisation. You can learn plenty of new stuff about getting windows from different applications to interact or communicating with networked machines.
Some of the pranks and jokes, like a moving 'Start' button or random reordering of windows are instructive and provide a good understanding of how to program for Windows, but it should be accompanied by a word of warning. Anyone trying this sort of thing at work could find themselves violating a company's policy for acceptable IT usage which is more likely to involve a disciplinary hearing than the few chortles and slaps on the back that the author seems to expect.
The book makes the assumption that you're using .Net and there are projects that won't compile with Visual C++ V6.0 or older. While the book is highly enjoyable and provides some very interesting code to use and experiment with I did come across occasional problems in the code, both in the text and on the CD. A couple of applications needed changes in order to run and the projects had .proj rather than .dsp or .dsw files, requiring any reader using a pre .net version of Visual C++ to create the project, and then copy the code.
I've got the feeling I learned more than I would have done by fixing these problems, but this could be off-putting for the less experienced.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is one of the funniest books you will ever buy. Most "hacking" books are network security related, inasmuch as they teach you ways to protect your network from hackers and teach you about firewalls and IDSs and web hacking and encryption etc. Forget about security! This book won't teach you how to break in, but it'll teach you how to design software that will drive people crazy!!!!
You can search all over the bookstore, and you are not going to find a single book that will teach you how to build computer viruses. And that's because viruses damage computers or cause problems. But, this book is not about that. This book is about pulling pranks and driving people nuts!!!!!
I haven't used the examples to build anything yet, but I've gotten a CD-ROM that the book references. And I've ran the software on my PC. The programs do exactly what you'd expect in a virus, except you can get rid of it without a problem.
There is also another book very similar, VB.NET Hacks & Pranks by Alexander Klimov that teaches you the same but with a different programming language.
1) Author is not an expert in anything he writes about. His level of knowledge is close to one of a sophomore.
2) Book was unprofessionally translated from Russian, it's hard to read.
3) Morale and legal aspects of many pranks and tricks are questionable for an educated and law-obeying reader.
I've read this book, its full of mistakes. For instance, the authors says that TCP works by sending packages -- no comments, but for everybody else (beside the author) TCP works with segments. The list of mistakes is way to long. You should also note, that whenever a negative review is posted, a positive review (written by reviewers with no other reviews on amazon) follows. This book is very poor and a waste of money and time.
Flenov gives a chapter on networking hacks. Imagine writing a server that, with simple extensions, could reboot its machine upon prompt by an external signal that comes in over the net. Or the server might send out passwords, based on that signal. Such a program is malware; a Trojan. Now Flenov does not actually take you that far. But he shows enough that a capable reader could extrapolate the short steps to the Trojan.