Intel Threading Building Blocks
Written by Harry Fairhead   

Author:  James Reinders
Publisher: O’Reilly, 2007
Pages: 323
ISBN: 978-0596514808
Aimed at: Developers in parallel processing
Rating: 4
Pros:  Unique coverage of TBB
Cons: Confusing organization of material
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead

 

If you think of Intel just as a chip manufacturer you are behind the times. This book deals with its multi-core software.

 

Parallel processing is the challenge and multi-core processors are the reason for the challenge. Intel is largely responsible for the multi-core phenomenon and you might well expect them to offer help in utilizing the hardware they have created. However most programmers don’t associate Intel with software and this is a failure of marketing – rare these days. The fact of the matter is that Intel has a lot of very interesting software on offer and Intel Threading Building Blocks (TBB) is a case in point.

 

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A book that brings this software to a wider audience must be a welcome event but this effort isn’t entirely successful. Its lapses of a strictly logical presentation will confuse some and raise questions of exactly what is efficient and what is inefficient – after all parallel processing is all about making things go faster.

You also need to know that TBB is a C++ library and it’s highly specific in the sense that not much of the discussion is about general ideas of concurrency.

Although TBB is now at version 3.0, this is still the only book in English devoted to it. So, if you use or plan to use it, then buy the book and read the source of the library to find out exactly how it all works.

 

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Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 28

Author: Mark Frauenfelder
Publisher: Make
Pages: 176
ISBN:978-1449309930
Aimed at: DIY and electronics enthusiasts
Rating: 4.5
Pros: A mix of projects
Cons: Ignores software aspects and nothing ambitious this issue
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead

This issue focuses on Toys and Games with an eclectic mix of h [ ... ]



Taking Sudoku Seriously

Author:Jason Rosenhouse & Laura Taalman
Publisher: Oxford University Press USA
Pages: 366
ISBN: 978-0199756568
Aimed at: Puzzle fans and math enthusiasts
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Deep, interesting insights into math and combinatorics
Cons: Not for those who just want help in solving Sudokus
Reviewed by: Mike J [ ... ]


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