Book Review: Windows System Programming Fourth Edition

Recently, I was sent a copy of Windows System Programming Fourth Edition to review. Now, I am not a programmer by any means, having only dabbled with a few simple scripts and batch files in my DOS days. I have no formal IT training, but I have always had an interest in how and why computers work, whether it was software or hardware.

Windows System Programming Fourth Edition by Johnson M. Hart is part of the Addison-Wesley Microsoft Technology Series, and for it to be in its fourth edition means that it has proved to be a valuable resource over time. In fact, the first edition appeared in 1997 as Win32 System Programming. Much has changed with Windows in the intervening 13 years hence the need for newer editions as Windows (and the Windows API) evolves.

The target audience of this book is, as the author states in the preface, runs the gamut from anyone who wants to learn about Windows application development quickly to computer science students enrolled in courses covering systems programming or application development.

“If you’re writing a native Win32 program or just want to know what the OS is really doing underneath, you need John’s book. He covers the stuff that real systems programmers absolutely must know. Recommended.”

–Chris Sells, Microsoft Corporation

Chapter One is entitled “Getting Started with Windows” and briefly covers the essential history and development of the OS before progressing into the ‘deeper stuff’ of the rest of the book. Each chapter has examples, screen captures and exercises to impress the subject upon the reader. Downloadable companion code is available from the author’s website http://www.jmhartsoftware.com

Some other highlights of this edition:

  • promoting source code portability and application interoperability across Windows, Linux, and UNIX
  • using 64-bit address spaces and ensuring 64-bit/32-bit portability
  • techniques to improve program reliability and performance in all systems

To get more details on this excellent book, please click here.