Some computer books

As part of the migration from I found an old page of mine where I describe some of the books I own. Back then the plan was that people would click on my links to Amazon, in which my referrer code was put so that I would make lots of money! :-) No such plans this time — here’s just what I wrote about my books:

The LaTeX Companion

The LaTeX Companion, 1st Edition Michel Goossens, Frank Mittelbach, Alexander Samarin
Addison Wesley Longman Publishing Co; ISBN: 0201541998

This is probably the most comprehensive treatment of LaTeX you’ll find. Although it getting slightly old, it’s still the best reference.

Update: The newly published (April 2004) second edition is completely updated and is much larger. I can highly recommend it for anybody who is serious about learning LaTeX. The book covers a huge number of the available packages for LaTeX in addition to describing the basic commands.

Beginning Linux Programming

Beginning Linux Programming Richard Stones, Neil Matthew
Wrox Press Ltd; ISBN: 1861002971

This book covers Linux programming — in all it’s variants from simple shell-scripts to real GTK-programs written in C. I bought it because I (obviously) wanted to learn about programming on Linux, but I found out that it’s not a beginners book. You should at least have some experience with C first, or else you won’t be able really enjoy the code.

There’s also some rather lengthy chapters on terminal I/O, which are somewhat boring — but they will probably come in handy if I some day actually need to know those things. The chapter that was of most immediate use for me was the chapter on shell-scripts, which I still use from time to time.

The C Programming Language

The C Programming Language Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis M. Ritchie
Prentice Hall; ISBN: 0131103628

If you want to learn C, then why not learn it from the guys who invented it? This book describes everything that is to be found in the C language (the original version, not newer versions such as C99).

It introduces all the basics, and continues with things like pointers and arrays. Most of the examples deal with text, so it can be a little boring in the end. You are asked to write programs that can count words, sentences etc…

But overall I think it’s a great book, and a true classic text in computer science. And it’s a little book — not like the modern computer books which all have to be these tomes with at least a thousand pages. Being little, the book keeps its focus well and explains you the C language in a plain and consice way.

Internetworking with TCP/IP, Vol 1: Principles, Protocols and Architecture

Internetworking with TCP/IP, Vol 1: Principles, Protocols and Architecture Douglas Comer
Prentice Hall PTR; ISBN: 0130183806

This book covers TCP/IP and does a really good job. You get to know all the low-level stuff that makes the Internet work, from different types of networks to all the different protocols used.

It’s a nice book because it manages to explain all these things, and yet it’s still a very readable book. (I’ve read the third edition of the book, but I’m sure that the fourth edition is just as good :-)

PHP3: Programming Browser-Based Applications with PHP

PHP3: Programming Browser-Based Applications with PHP Dave Medinets
McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing; ISBN: 0071353429

This book gives you an introduction to PHP3: You start installing PHP, and then moves on to more daunting tasks…

But unfortunately the book is just an introduction. It just scratches subjects such as object-oriented programming (OO) and XML, but the reason for that might be, that these things weren’t as well supported in PHP3 as they are in PHP4. (And now with PHP5 the book is very quickly becoming obsolete…)

I got the book as a gift, as I was starting to learn PHP. But I must say, that it didn’t teach me that much. The ASCII table in the back is handy, though :-)

Evil Geniuses in a Nutshell

Evil Geniuses in a Nutshell Illiad
O’Reilly UK; ISBN: 156592861X

This is one of the greatest comic-books I’ve ever read. The jokes are about computers, Windows etc — some of them are really hairy :-) But that only make even more fun, when you figure out what they’re talking about.

Highly recommended for everybody who deals with computers, especially if they are into Linux and related things.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide Douglas Adams
Crown Publications; ISBN: 0517149257

Every nerd has to read this one — or at least give it a try. Before you’ve read it, there’s so many things that you’ll not understand, including the Meaning of Life. After you’ve read it, you’ll know that the answer to the Ultimate Question is ‘42′.

I started reading the book, but only managed to read the first 250 of the 800+ pages. The story-line was just too strange for my taste.

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