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Computer Organization and Design: The…

Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface. Third… (original 1997; édition 2007)

par David A. & John L. Hennessy Patterson (Auteur)

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"Presents the fundamentals of hardware technologies, assembly language, computer arithmetic, pipelining, memory hierarchies and I/O"--
Titre:Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface. Third Edition, Revised
Auteurs:David A. & John L. Hennessy Patterson (Auteur)
Info:Morgan Kaufmann (2007), Edition: 3rd, 741 pages
Collections:Votre bibliothèque

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Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface par David A. Patterson (Author) (1997)


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4 sur 4
Best. Architecture. Book. Ever. ( )
  nosborm | Oct 10, 2021 |
This textbook was required reading for my Computer Organization and Architecture university course. Sometimes it can be difficult to give a textbook a fair review because, in a typical course, students are rarely required to read the entire book and they may be given reading assignments that are not in sequential order. This means it’s not easy to judge the progression of the material as presented in the textbook from beginning to end.

Such was the case with this textbook. In my class, we skipped around and read different sections from different chapters rather than reading any single chapter all the way through. One thing I was impressed with, given how much we skipped around, was how easy it was to pick up each section we were asked to read. Even if it was a section in the middle of a chapter we hadn’t read from before.

Unlike some textbooks I’ve read, there weren’t any cryptic terms or acronyms that I couldn’t easily find the definition to. Definitions for new terminology were noted in the margins, making it easy to refer back to them if needed. In general, explanations were clear and the examples were good. However, there were quite a few grammatical/spelling errors and there was some awkward phrasing that required rereading in order to understand what the authors were trying to convey. Sometimes they skipped intermediate topics, such as jumping from a single-cycle datapath to a pipelined datapath without covering the multi-cycle datapath which I understand was in previous editions of the book. My university course provided very good supplementary content and I found the concepts easy to understand when presented in that logical progression. I might have struggled more if I had been limited to the book's presentation, but it's hard to say for sure since I wasn't in that position.

I don’t normally comment much on the physical aspect of books I read, but this book was literally falling apart as I read it. School textbooks are the only type of book that I still purchase in a physical format, and this textbook was no exception. I saw a couple reviews on Amazon where reviewers mentioned that their pages fell out, but I needed the textbook and I wanted it in a physical format, so I bought it with the plan to be extra careful with the pages. Sure enough, as soon as I started reading, pages started randomly falling out. I would gingerly turn a page, and sometimes the page would turn and come out of the book. I don’t resell my textbooks, but anybody who does probably wouldn’t be able to resell this one. Maybe that was the goal…

The falling pages became quite a problem for me because I took several business trips while taking this course and I was afraid to travel with the book. I didn’t want to have pages falling out all over the place and getting lost where I would never find them again, and I figured the flimsy book would never survive my laptop bag or my suitcase, so I purchased the e-book version of the textbook to use while traveling. The e-book version had its own issues. There weren’t any page numbers, which could be a problem when I needed to reference specific pages for my class, and the tables and diagrams were very small. I was reading on a 10.5” tablet, with a screen nearly as big as the pages in the physical book, but the size in the e-book was drastically different from the size on the printed page and did not fully utilize the space. I constantly had to zoom in on them so I could read them, which meant I couldn’t see them in context with the text on the page. Perhaps all of this is normal with e-textbooks; I haven’t read enough of textbooks in this format to know. It definitely frustrated me, though. ( )
  YouKneeK | Feb 22, 2015 |
The book first gives an introduction into instruction-set-architectures using MIPS. Then in Chapter 4 a processor is constructed which implements (a part of) the MIPS architecture, while skipping many details. Chapters 5 and 6 describe memory and IO-interfaces, resp. Chapter 7 is about computers with multiple processors. Every chapter has tons of exercises, at which I did not look.

I especially likes Chapter 5 since it gave me a deeper understanding of memory than the book by Harris (although I find the Harris book superior in any other respect). Most explanations are good enough to understand.

However, I would also say that many explanations are clumsy and hard to follow. It seems that not too much thought went into the formulations.
Often pieces of information are given in such a short paragraph that it is impossible to understand; maybe in these cases the authors only wanted to touch on a topic; maybe the passage was mindlessly shorted to make room for something else; in any case this style always leaves me back a bit frustrated. For people how already know this stuff, it might be nice to find the link, but that misses the purpose of a textbook.
Also, more than once I had the feeling that I am reading a text from economy/business lecturers, rather than computer scientists how love what they do. For example, chapter 6 contains long enumerations of different disks and goes into details about speed and cost payoffs, which I found hardly enlightening.
Chapter 7 on multi-processors is also very superficial. The whole thing only contains a single piece of code. Memory barriers or other synchronization primitives are never mentioned (only once in a previous chapter is the LL/SC instruction pair of MIPS mentioned, but again with much too little detail to understand thoroughly). ( )
  Tobias.Bruell | Nov 28, 2013 |
Concepts are mostly explained well, but there are a couple things that *really* grate: 1-- the authors constantly reference material in the appendix on the CD. And 2-- this is the third edition and there are still a lot of mistakes. Some diagrams are explained imprecisely, leading the student to think "huh?" until he realizes that the problem is simply in the wording of the explanation.

If these guys only had better editors, this would probably be a 4-star book, because the big-picture stuff really is explained pretty well. If you want to understand floating-point numbers, machine code, the basics of memory, and how modern CPUs work, this text will help you out. ( )
2 voter sloDavid | Dec 11, 2005 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Patterson, David A.Auteurauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Hennessy, John L.Auteurauteur principaltoutes les éditionsconfirmé
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"Presents the fundamentals of hardware technologies, assembly language, computer arithmetic, pipelining, memory hierarchies and I/O"--

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Moyenne: (3.82)
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