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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
7

on 23 August 2017
Beware.. you need a lot of knowledge to understand this book.
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on 10 April 2017
Nice book with a variety to useful low-level tricks - definitely something to learn from... Explanations are clear where explanations are in order, and for the hacks that need a sheet of paper to see why it works, the book encourages you to give it a try with pen and paper (and give useful guidance on how to get there). Overall, recommended. :)
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on 5 May 2016
Any book with the word "hacker" catches my attention. I probably have 10 books or more with this word in the title. This book is special because it was the first books with the word "hacker" that I ever got. The word "hacker" in this book is meant in original sense of an aficionado of computers - someone, who enjoys making computers do new things, and do old things in a new and clever way.

Hacker's Delight is another timeless classic. It's a collection of small programming tricks that the author, Harry Warren, software veteran with 50 years of experience, has come across in his career. These programming tricks exclusively revolve around low-level bithacks, creative arithmetic, and finding the most effective ways to count the number of 1 bits in a word, transposing bit matrices, permuting bits, reversing and rearranging bits and bytes, dividing by constants, and many more.

I've placed this book #19 in my Top 100 Programming, Computer and Science books list:

[...]

(If this link gets removed google for >>catonmat top 100 programming computer science books<< to find my article.)

Some of the most interesting parts of the book include computing reminders without computing quotient, cyclic redundancy checking (CRC), Hamming SEC-DED algorithm and error correcting codes, unusual bases for number systems, such as bases -2 and -1+i, generating Hilbert curves, and formulas for generating primes, and a gallery of graphs of discrete functions.

If you spend more than a week with this book you'll start dreaming in binary and hex, and your brain will get filled with tons of geeky magical numbers, such as, 0x40490FDB and 0x7F80000.

The author has also composed a poem about division, found on page 202 (1st Edition) and page 278 (2nd Edition):

I think that I shall never envision
An op unlovely as division.

An op whose answer must be guessed
And then, through multiply, assessed;

An op for which we dearly pay,
In cycles wasted every day.

Division code is often hairy;
Long division's downright scary.

The proofs can overtax your brain,
The ceiling and floor may drive you insane.

Good code to divide takes a Knuthian hero,
But even God can't divide by zero!
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on 30 August 2015
This book is not one for the feint hearted. There is a lot of complex mathematical equations in the book. Its main focus is on algorithms woking with integer types to use the least amount of operations as possible. For small programs this sort of math may not be necessary, but once the program becomes large enough that a slow down is noticeable it will be good to build in better more efficient code. This sort of efficient code would be of benefit on mobile devices where there is not as much processing horsepower and less fast data access times.

If you are already a proficient programmer looking for ways to speed your code up this is an excellent resource that will be worth looking at. This is not really aimed at a beginner programmer or someone with limited mathematic skills.
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on 12 May 2013
One of the best books I've read in ages. Lots of interesting tips and ideas. Lots of 'ah ha' moments when you realise that you sort of knew this all along but now that somebody mentioned it, yeah, I'll do it that way from now on ! Pure hacker enjoyment.
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on 18 April 2014
This is not a book for those that are starting to program, but for those who want to tweak your programs! You will learn some tricks, for exemple exchanging the value of two variable without using an auxiliary one.
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on 27 January 2013
The additions to the 1st edition and corrections of errata make this a required book on your shelf. It's a great improvement on a classic.
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