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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars

on 25 June 1999
This book is an absolute must-have, whether you're a programmer or an NT administrator (although the former will get more out of it). The only gripe I have with the book is that the chapter on security is really weak (about 1/3 the length of every other chapter)--if you're looking for a detailed programmatic discussion of NT security, pick up Kevin Miller's "NT Services" (Wrox Press). This book isn't about security per se, but its chapter on security is terrific. Sorry for the digression, Inside WinNT is screaming to sit on your shelf now!
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on 13 December 1998
This is one of the books where I have to force myself to stop reading as one interesting a paragraph follows the next. The first few chapters give a general overview of the basic subsystems and how they work together. The information described in these chapters are taken as a basis for the following chapters that each discuss one subsystem.
For a general overview of how a subsystem works the first few pages of a chapter give you the general idea. If you want to know more the chapters will then go deeper.
The book will NOT tell you how to program NT but rather introduce you to the concepts that are working 'under the hood'.
Shortcommings: Sometimes terms are used at the beginning of a chapter that are defined somewhere in the middle of a chapter or in another chapter further into the book. Also the network subsystem is not described at all.
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on 5 August 1998
A lot of good information presented in a somewhat disorganized manner. A reader that is unfamiliar with Windows/Microsoft terminology will need at least one other book to look up terms in. The first edition (which seems to be an entirely different book) was much more to my liking (though much less useful at this late date).
My biggest knock on the book is the irridescent marketing gas billowing through it, e.g., "These four primary memory protection mechanisms are part of the reason that Windows NT has the reputation of being a robust, reliable operating system that is impervious and resilient to application errors." This kind of evangelism is distracting and reduces the credibility of the rest of the book.
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on 15 May 1998
David Solomon's long-awaited update to Helen Custer's original survey of the Microsoft Windows NT operating system is an excellent guide to the internals of the operating system for programmers, systems administrators, and other computer professionals. At 500+ pages, it is chock full of great information about NT that is simply unavailable from any other source. Profusely illustrated and full of very good examples. Custer's original "Inside Windows NT" book was always long on self-congratulations (she apparently was the official "historian" of the project), but short on the kinds of detail that makes hackers drool. It was also written to NT version 3, and is now considerably out to date. Solomon's revision is a total rewrite that remedies this situation. The book is current on NT 4.0, and even contains a good chapter on upcoming changes in NT 5.0. This book definitely belongs on any Windows NT programmer's bookshelf. Solomon writes in the introduction that he was given access to NT source code, and he demonstrates how to use the kernel debugger to decipher what is happening inside the operating system. Even so, he manages to keep the presentation lively and informative. He also reports he had access to the NT developers themselves to review what he had written, which guarentees the accuracy of the book. In several areas I found concise explanations of features that other less well-connected authors and experts had written either in a vague or contradictory way. I am very grateful for Solomon's book clearing up the confusion in these areas.
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on 2 September 1998
Inside Windows NT second edition provides a very extensive overview to the system's internal architecture and implementation. In other words, this book is more like "how it works" than programming documentation. Programmers who seek information on detailed interface definition would find this book disappointing. However, Inside Windows NT second edition reveals some sort of information that system designers would want to have a reference of.
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on 6 July 1998
I bought this self-styled "internals bible" to find a consistent, coherent description of the Windows NT security mechanisms. Upon turning to the security chapter, I was immediately confronted by the comment that, for some reason or other, the author would pay less attention to security than to other issues. Translation: "I, your author, have no idea what I'm talking about, so I'm going to gloss over all the difficult questions and tell you, the reader, that you're ignorant if you ask them." My quest for a cohesive Windows text written by a knowledgeable professional continues.
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