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Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective

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For Computer Organization and Architecture and Computer Architecture courses. Often, computer science and computer engineering curricula don't provide students with a concentrated and consistent introduction to the fundamental concepts that underlie all computer systems. Traditional computer organization and logic design courses cover some of this material, but they focus For Computer Organization and Architecture and Computer Architecture courses. Often, computer science and computer engineering curricula don't provide students with a concentrated and consistent introduction to the fundamental concepts that underlie all computer systems. Traditional computer organization and logic design courses cover some of this material, but they focus largely on hardware design. They provide students with little or no understanding of how important software components operate, how application programs use systems, or how system attributes affect the performance and correctness of application programs. - A more complete view of systems - Takes a broader view of systems than traditional computer organization books, covering aspects of computer design, operating systems, compilers, and networking, provides students with the understanding of how programs run on real systems. - Systems presented from a programmers perspective - Material is presented in such a way that it has clear benefit to application programmers, students learn how to use this knowledge to improve program performance and reliability. They also become more effective in program debugging, because t


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For Computer Organization and Architecture and Computer Architecture courses. Often, computer science and computer engineering curricula don't provide students with a concentrated and consistent introduction to the fundamental concepts that underlie all computer systems. Traditional computer organization and logic design courses cover some of this material, but they focus For Computer Organization and Architecture and Computer Architecture courses. Often, computer science and computer engineering curricula don't provide students with a concentrated and consistent introduction to the fundamental concepts that underlie all computer systems. Traditional computer organization and logic design courses cover some of this material, but they focus largely on hardware design. They provide students with little or no understanding of how important software components operate, how application programs use systems, or how system attributes affect the performance and correctness of application programs. - A more complete view of systems - Takes a broader view of systems than traditional computer organization books, covering aspects of computer design, operating systems, compilers, and networking, provides students with the understanding of how programs run on real systems. - Systems presented from a programmers perspective - Material is presented in such a way that it has clear benefit to application programmers, students learn how to use this knowledge to improve program performance and reliability. They also become more effective in program debugging, because t

30 review for Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective

  1. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    This is an easy to follow book that covers how computers work from the level of processors up to web servers. It's written for computer science students, and goes into a lot of detail about modern operating systems concepts such as virtual memory, processes, and signals. I had a lot of experience programming before reading this, but the book definitely clarified my thinking on many topics. This is an easy to follow book that covers how computers work from the level of processors up to web servers. It's written for computer science students, and goes into a lot of detail about modern operating systems concepts such as virtual memory, processes, and signals. I had a lot of experience programming before reading this, but the book definitely clarified my thinking on many topics.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ed Schwartz

    A systems book that no computer scientist should go without reading.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kaushik

    As thorough a book as one can find to truly understand the systems we work with. I would give this 10 stars if I could. I've come across numerous texts during my undergrad that try to explain fundamental concepts like processes, threads, virtual memory (and so on) and fail to do so comprehensively. By that I don't mean that they don't give you a good overview, they do, but you're always left with this nagging feeling of "But... How does that bit work?". If you like me, were left hanging on multip As thorough a book as one can find to truly understand the systems we work with. I would give this 10 stars if I could. I've come across numerous texts during my undergrad that try to explain fundamental concepts like processes, threads, virtual memory (and so on) and fail to do so comprehensively. By that I don't mean that they don't give you a good overview, they do, but you're always left with this nagging feeling of "But... How does that bit work?". If you like me, were left hanging on multiple such foundational topics, and found yourself more than once faced with the fact that we don't necessarily understand the systems we work on at a granular level, and want to do something about it, then you should pick up this book right away. The great thing about this book is that is leaves no questions unanswered about the topics it covers. And you walk away not just with a solid understanding of the concepts but also an almost reverent appreciation for the beauty of these complex systems. And the cherry on top? The authors provide all lab exercises online for those on the self study path and they are easily the most exciting part of the experience which I thoroughly enjoyed. This book will tell you that assembly is just another programming language, and nothing to shudder at the sight of. It will show you what a marvellous beauty virtual memory is, the program stack, the heap, linking and loading, what really is a process and a thread (not at a surface level, but at a much deeper level) and how a computer system orchestrates your hello world program to print those ascii letters on screen. I can't thank the authors enough. It takes great passion and love for a subject to present it so beautifully in a book, and I will forever owe my clarity on these concepts to them. If you're serious about your craft as a software engineer and want to know (out of curiosity and a need for clarity) how things work under the hood, this book is for you. But it will take some discipline and effort to go through it and complete all the assignments (it took me two years studying this on weekends), but you will come out with much joy and satisfaction at the end of it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ashwin

    This review is crossposted from my blog here: https://daariga.wordpress.com/2012/04... I picked up Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective (2nd Edition) by Randal Bryant and David O’Hallaron while searching for a stimulating book on computer architecture or operating systems. CSAPP turned out to be a good find since it is aimed at the intersection of computer architecture, computers systems and OS. Using practical examples and problems the book walks the student through all the hardware and This review is crossposted from my blog here: https://daariga.wordpress.com/2012/04... I picked up Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective (2nd Edition) by Randal Bryant and David O’Hallaron while searching for a stimulating book on computer architecture or operating systems. CSAPP turned out to be a good find since it is aimed at the intersection of computer architecture, computers systems and OS. Using practical examples and problems the book walks the student through all the hardware and software knowledge that is required to understand how a program comes to life on a computer. Assume a student compiles a Hello world program and runs it. A plethora of hardware features and a large set of software come together to make this simple magic possible. Software like compiler, assembler, linker, loader, libraries and operating system kernel help to compile and load the program. Hardware features like hard disk, main memory, controllers, buses, cache and the processor bring the program to life. Also, hardware and software need to also act in tandem in virtual memory, system calls and interrupt handling to make the execution of a program scalable, efficient, fast and safe. This book argues that a good programmer needs to be aware of all the afore mentioned concepts and these are what the book tries to cover. Some notes about this book: The book is structured as a workbook. You read a concept, solve a problem or experiment with a program that illustrates it and then move on to the next concept. There are trivia, blurbs and practical information about IA32 (Intel) architecture and Linux where-ever necessary. This ensures that the book remains grounded in reality and never feels dry to study. The authors have tried their best to introduce as many of modern multiprocessor concepts as possible in a practical way. There is a lot missing, for example, super-scalar architecture and out-of-order execution. However, the programmer interested in these details can easily learn about them with a book like Inside The Machine. The chapters on memory hierarchy and virtual memory are the real treasure in this book. The sections on cache here and in Inside The Machine stand head-to-head as the most practical introductions to the topic. Virtual memory is an important concept, but sadly it gets short shrift in computer science education. This is because it requires the OS and hardware to work together and those subjects are typically covered by two different courses or textbooks in university. Not having to deal with such caste boundaries, this book is able to show the student how virtual memory is brought to life. The book gets a bit vague towards the end. I was not interested in and did not see any benefit for this book to touch on areas of system I/O, network programming and concurrency. I am happy to conclude that CSAPP is a stimulating book to study and work through. This book covers all the knowledge that a good programmer needs to understand how his program executes upon the OS and CPU and how to make it efficient, fast and scalable. I highly recommend Computer Systems: A Programmer’s Perspective for anyone who feel they need a better grasp of these ideas.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ayush Bhat

    Apart from being a great Computer Architecture book, I found it to be a great introduction to the C language as well.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dan Dan

    Although I didn't finish it, (picked it up as I needed along cs213) from the amount of content I see online from students from all over the world using it as a basis for understanding systems, it is a must read to understand systems. While the content is not too hard, the knowledge in here is definitely not attainable from random tutorials here and there on the web. I think it helped a lot in my understanding. From bits to data representation (and its limits), to fricken assembly, to memory hier Although I didn't finish it, (picked it up as I needed along cs213) from the amount of content I see online from students from all over the world using it as a basis for understanding systems, it is a must read to understand systems. While the content is not too hard, the knowledge in here is definitely not attainable from random tutorials here and there on the web. I think it helped a lot in my understanding. From bits to data representation (and its limits), to fricken assembly, to memory hierarchy and caches and everything with memory. Probably didn't learn as much as CMU's course but it was a good enough "systematic" intro to systems.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fábio Botelho

    Fundamental book for computer science students and/or general people that want to understand fundamentals of computer systems: architecture basics such as pipelining and optimization, data representation, virtual memory etc., . The best thing about the book is that it gives an hands on approach with several labs that apply very well the theory into practice. This was definitely the most practical and useful book that I have read while graduating. It was helpfully in at least three to four course Fundamental book for computer science students and/or general people that want to understand fundamentals of computer systems: architecture basics such as pipelining and optimization, data representation, virtual memory etc., . The best thing about the book is that it gives an hands on approach with several labs that apply very well the theory into practice. This was definitely the most practical and useful book that I have read while graduating. It was helpfully in at least three to four courses.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I skimmed through this book with detailed reading of some chapters. It's filled many gaps in my understanding of computer systems! It's a very clear and well-written book of computer systems from a programmer's perspective, with important emphasis on parts of the system (hardware, OS, application program) that are important for a software programmer to understand. I skimmed through this book with detailed reading of some chapters. It's filled many gaps in my understanding of computer systems! It's a very clear and well-written book of computer systems from a programmer's perspective, with important emphasis on parts of the system (hardware, OS, application program) that are important for a software programmer to understand.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joe Cole

    Concise without leaving out important knowledge, meanwhile you don't need to worry about understanding the material. While reading the book, you feel like traveling in the computer world with a smart compass that keeps telling you everything you just need, no more, no less. Concise without leaving out important knowledge, meanwhile you don't need to worry about understanding the material. While reading the book, you feel like traveling in the computer world with a smart compass that keeps telling you everything you just need, no more, no less.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emil Petersen

    A mental marathon. This actually did a lot for me, but I had to put many, many hours and days into it to get just the overarching concepts. I'm not sure a book is the best way to learn computer systems. While reading I looked up many, many things and found that you get excellent explanations of everything in here via 10-20 minute YouTube videos and online exercises. If I had to choose between the internet and this book, I'd chose the internet. All the chapters are excellent, except maybe chapter A mental marathon. This actually did a lot for me, but I had to put many, many hours and days into it to get just the overarching concepts. I'm not sure a book is the best way to learn computer systems. While reading I looked up many, many things and found that you get excellent explanations of everything in here via 10-20 minute YouTube videos and online exercises. If I had to choose between the internet and this book, I'd chose the internet. All the chapters are excellent, except maybe chapter 7 on linking and chapter 8 on exceptional control flow. Each chapter starts with some good reasons for actually spending the time to understand the given subject, which is very nice. Being new in this area of CS, I had a hard time actually assessing whether I got sufficiently around the 'need-to-know' concepts (the answer is probably 'No').

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jack Dinkel

    This book is utterly useless you read chapters entirely. If I read a chapter from start to finish, absorbing every word, I could understand the material well enough, but it got so caught up in jargon and what-ifs that it was incomprehensible as a quick lookup guide. As a computer scientist, a book you can quickly look things up in is essential and this book does not do that.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Partially read for CSCI 2400: Computer Systems at CU Boulder. I actually found this a very approachable textbook on this subject, and following along with the examples and exercises in the text was quite helpful in gaining a working understanding of the material for lab exercises and exams.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kiran Gangadharan

    A good introduction to Computer Science and Systems in comprehensible chunks.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Curtis Clements

    Must read for any CS major or anyone that works with code. Really good at breaking down difficult concepts and systems into smaller, digestible chunks. One of the few textbooks I kept after graduation.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Abhinav

    Read this book and took the class(15213). The book explains the concepts of computer systems with amazing clarity. It is the textbook that I always keep coming back to whenever I have any doubts. This book teaches you, throughout all of its chapters in great details what happens when you "run" a program on your computer. Greatly enhanced my knowledge of CS. Read this book and took the class(15213). The book explains the concepts of computer systems with amazing clarity. It is the textbook that I always keep coming back to whenever I have any doubts. This book teaches you, throughout all of its chapters in great details what happens when you "run" a program on your computer. Greatly enhanced my knowledge of CS.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fatima

    Easy to follow, only read 5 or 6 chapters as part of the class CS110 at Stanford.

  17. 5 out of 5

    xvvifzmrr-

    The book is comprehensive but too much for a freshman 12 weeks course. Btw i dont agree the idea of getting a overview of the CS discipline for CS beginner.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Doss

    I read (by read, I mean read about 2/3 of the chapters, worked most in-chapter exercises, and completed one lab) this book as a largely self-taught software engineer and found the explanations of computer systems both clear and nuanced. I found the time well-spent in deepening my understanding of how computers actually run programs and why higher-level languages like Python necessarily sacrifice some performance. I have only academic experience with C, yet was able to follow along well enough wi I read (by read, I mean read about 2/3 of the chapters, worked most in-chapter exercises, and completed one lab) this book as a largely self-taught software engineer and found the explanations of computer systems both clear and nuanced. I found the time well-spent in deepening my understanding of how computers actually run programs and why higher-level languages like Python necessarily sacrifice some performance. I have only academic experience with C, yet was able to follow along well enough with the examples adequately. Having read for breadth and gleaned a low-resolution understanding of the topics, I imagine I will revisit this as-needed for deeper reference throughout my future studies and career (and have already encountered a couple real-world problems where this lower-level knowledge has helped me debug and find solutions).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dimitar Haralanov

    A great book, which goes deep enough into the fundamental concepts of a modern computer systems. It starts with computer architecture basics (data representation, CPU, memory, I/O devices), goes through operating systems basics (processes, threads, memory, files, etc.), then program structure (data and control flow), pipelining, optimisations, memory hierarchy and ends with interaction and communication between programs - networking basics, different models for concurrency and a taste of error h A great book, which goes deep enough into the fundamental concepts of a modern computer systems. It starts with computer architecture basics (data representation, CPU, memory, I/O devices), goes through operating systems basics (processes, threads, memory, files, etc.), then program structure (data and control flow), pipelining, optimisations, memory hierarchy and ends with interaction and communication between programs - networking basics, different models for concurrency and a taste of error handling. The book has concrete and easy to follow along examples in C (basic understanding of C is required), which makes the book very practical.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dmytro Chaban

    Must have book for those who want not just know how to build yet another application, but for those who want to know how this yet another application working under the C language shell. And under I mean from C language to the most lower level of hardware as an ALU and other things. This book can skill you up really high.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Musa Jamshed

    Had to read this for a systems class... being a good enough student to actually read and consume the textbook material is somewhat new to me, but this book made it easy. The descriptions are easy to understand, have the right amount of specificity, and only use examples/diagrams when necessary. Literally the best textbook I've ever had. Had to read this for a systems class... being a good enough student to actually read and consume the textbook material is somewhat new to me, but this book made it easy. The descriptions are easy to understand, have the right amount of specificity, and only use examples/diagrams when necessary. Literally the best textbook I've ever had.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Swastik Agarwal

    Worth the price (and your time!) for the chapter on memory hierarchy alone. There's very good depth for each topic covered, the language is easy to understand, and the homework assignments are very well thought out too. Absolutely fantastic book. Highly recommended, especially if you're a self-taught engineer. Worth the price (and your time!) for the chapter on memory hierarchy alone. There's very good depth for each topic covered, the language is easy to understand, and the homework assignments are very well thought out too. Absolutely fantastic book. Highly recommended, especially if you're a self-taught engineer.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leal Luo

    Awesome book, it helps me construct the idea about computer step by step. I didn't finish all the books because my limited ability. I will read it from time to time, when i feel my level and understanding increase. I was fascinated by the beauty of the computer and its philosophy. Awesome book, it helps me construct the idea about computer step by step. I didn't finish all the books because my limited ability. I will read it from time to time, when i feel my level and understanding increase. I was fascinated by the beauty of the computer and its philosophy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Max Patiiuk

    A book that offers a ton of information, albeit a bit outdated (says that HTTP 1.1 is the newest version, does not mention SSL and talks about Telnet, rather than SSH) and more low level than I expected.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mingjie Ma

    Well structured overall, but presentations on linking and process management were slightly bemusing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tomek

    If you want to remind yourself some basic stuff about how computers work, this book is for you. But, be warned! Examples are in C language.

  27. 4 out of 5

    ِ

    Apart from all the errata found in the Global Edition, which unfortunately was the edition I picked, this is an awesome text.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thanks giving

    A book that should be read many times.

  29. 5 out of 5

    polluxhoe

    The book was a long read and full of information. the writing did a good job of making it digestible and I feel like I have a deeper understanding of the inner workings of a computer.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Waqar Ahmed

    Probably one of the most important and interesting book I have ever read on computer science.

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