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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Hacking the Kinect

Author: Jeff Kramer et a..
Publisher: Apress, 2010
Pages: 251
ISBN: 978-1430238676
Aimed at: Hardware enthusiasts
Rating: 0
Pros: Contains descriptions of some interesting techniques
Cons: Dangerous - to the point of being lethal
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead 

The Kinect is one of the most excitin [ ... ]



Algorithms Unlocked

Author: Thomas H. Cormen
Publisher: MIT Press
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0262518802
Audience: General readers interested in Computer Science
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Mike James

An easy to read book about algorithms. What could be better reading for a programmer - or a non-programmer?


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