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Write Great Code: Volume I: Understanding the Machine: 1 Paperback – 11 Nov 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars 24 reviews from Amazon.com

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  • Write Great Code: Volume I: Understanding the Machine: 1
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  • Write Great Code, Volume 2: Thinking Low-Level, Writing High-Level: Thinking Low-level, Writing High-level v. 2
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  • The Art of Assembly Language
Total price: £108.71
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Product description

About the Author

Randall Hyde is the author of Write Great Code Volumes 1 and 2 (No Starch Press) and the co-author of MASM 6.0 Bible (The Waite Group). He has written for Dr. Dobb (TM)s Journal, Byte, and various professional journals. Hyde taught assembly language at the University of California, Riverside for over a decade.


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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 24 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for Randall Hyde 10 Sept. 2016
By Theodore C Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first started my education into computer science, and learning to program, I would get really irritated by having to spend the first few chapters of a book talking about computers and how they functioned and such. Having to spend time learning about how memory works and learning a little about binary, it all seemed pointless as I thought I already knew enough of it to begin programming and getting into the actual topic. Funny thing is that now my biggest complaint with schools these days teaching computer science is that they don't teach these things into enough detail, but this book actually does go into enough detail, to the point where you actually will learn tips and tricks to make your program run a little smoother than the other guy's program, and it teaches you the PRINCIPLES of why each part of your code will either contribute or work against you to making "awesome code". And what is even better is that you don't have to go through and learn assembly language in order to learn what the book is teaching because the author Randall Hyde does a perfect job of explaining it to a newbie's level.

I would suggest this book specifically to those who are just getting started into any kind of software development, or to anyone who is curious as to how computer languages actually work. More experienced programs would also benefit from what Mr. Hyde is teaching here as well, but it feels like his target audience is those who have just begun their journey into development and already have a basic understanding of an object based language such as Java or Python.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I think this book cover's some great topics. Some of the stuff is dated 12 Feb. 2017
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this book cover's some great topics. Some of the stuff is dated, but the basic ideas the book presents are accurate.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terific text 20 May 2008
By Lance C. Hibbeler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, I can't say much that the other reviewers haven't already said. This is a terrific text that very clearly explains how things work in computers, right down to the finest level. Hyde writes in a casual, conversation-like tone (sometimes bordering on poor grammar) that makes this text a lot more stomachable than I would have thought. Typos are minimal (I recall maybe 4 or 5).

Now that I've been through the book (after maybe 2 weeks, at an easy pace), I can't say that I'm going to go write assembly programs. I can say that I know a great deal more about how computers work, and how I can write code that works more harmoniously with computers. My background is mechanical engineering with a ridiculous dose of electrical engineering, so a lot of the concepts presented were review for me (digital circuitry, binary math, etc)...but it is always good to hear the same material again in a different way. As I said before, the casual tone makes the material easy to follow, as well as Hyde's very clear explanations. However, as a mechanical engineer my programming background was just "writing code," i.e. how to get various programs to run correctly. I read the chapter in the text on memory twice- I found that chapter alone to make the book well worth the money to me, as I am currently writing codes that demand every inch of speed and memory that the computer can offer.

So overall, its a good book, worth the money, and worth taking the time to read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Things Work and Work Together 26 Jan. 2011
By TurboBorland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many great free guides on how certain pieces of hardware work with your code, but there isn't a whole lot that will take a look at each piece of hardware and how it may effect each other. This book guides you through the interaction of code with individual pieces of hardware and certain modern features of this hardware.

While the book is not a programming guide (more of a research guide), it does show multi-language examples of common pitfalls programmers make and how you can correct such mistakes. This really helps the understanding of the topic when you can see and try real examples of the topic and see for yourself how it effects your code.

While most people believe this kind of material may only help in reducing code size and increasing runtime performance, it will also help you in debugging your program and understanding why your code isn't giving the results it should be. For example, understanding how exactly floating point units are handled may help with lots of headaches in the future.

The entire reason why I bought this book was to understand the interactions of code with more than just hard drive and memory. After having read the book, I must say I learned more than I expected and have already borrowed it to a friend who is interested in bettering runtime performance of their mobile applications.
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information... But do you really need it? 25 Oct. 2006
By Barry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book but I have to disagree with the overall viewpoint. I've been doing embedded programming for a while and if that's all I'd ever done I would totally agree that understanding low level concepts helps write better code. However, I also write a lot of code in C#. People who normally use high level languages such as C#, VB.Net, or JAVA are probably not going to benefit much from this book. These languages are so far abstracted from the hardware level that the concepts are hard to apply anywhere. On the other hand, if you still use malloc on a daily basis, you need to read the book :) Anyway, the book is easy to read and I never caught any errors. If you want to learn about computers at a low level, then this is a great book to start with!
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