Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Pre-Review: Professional Assembly Language

Many Amazon.com reviewers seem to post reviews without reading the book in question. I imagine they do so to achieve "first post" status and to gather reviews to boost their Amazon.com ranking. My policy is to read every book I review. I only post reviews of books I did not completely read if I feel the book in question is poorly written. I will not waste time continuing to read a bad book, so I will warn potential readers to stay away.

Nevertheless, I receive several books per month -- sometimes a dozen. I also maintain an Amazon.com Wish List showing books I would like to check out and my TaoSecurity Reading page displays books I intend to read.

Beginning today I intend to post a "pre-review" of books in my possession that I believe warrant additional scrutiny. Sometimes I will just alert readers to new books that look promising, but in most cases I plan to eventually read and review the book at Amazon.com. Given my reading backlog and my reading plan, some pre-reviewed books may not get Amazon.com reviews until weeks or months after I receive them.

My first pre-review is for Richard Blum's Professional Assembly Language. I specifically requested this book from Wiley (who owns the Wrox imprint). Based on reading the preface and skimming the book, I am really looking forward to reading it. I liked Richard's earlier book Network Performance Toolkit: Using Open Source Testing Tools. Richard uses all GNU tools for his examples, which makes it easy for readers to follow along. All of his assembly language appears in AT&T syntax, rather than Intel syntax. However, as of Binuntils 2.10, the GNU Assembler supports Intel output. Intel assembly syntax is more popular. For example, see this LURHQ reverse engineering paper.

Once I read the book, I will post an Amazon.com review as usual.

No comments: