Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Small" O'Reilly Book/Video Wish List

Here's a short wish list of O'Reilly books and videos that I found that would be great... both for professional work, as well as personal enjoyment for developing my own software :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Review of "The Art of Concurrency" by Clay Breshears

The Art of Concurrency: A Thread Monkey's Guide to Writing Parallel ApplicationsThe Art of Concurrency: A Thread Monkey's Guide to Writing Parallel Applications by Clay Breshears
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With CPUs growing in power by adding additional core as opposed to just getting “faster”, learning how to take advantage of parallel programming is a must. The book “The Art of Concurrency: A Thread Monkey's Guide to Writing Parallel Applications” by Clay Breshears works great as a reference and guide for determining when parallelization may be possible, how it could be done, and what to look out for.

The book introduces the reader to parallel programming with a set of useful rules and guidelines to follow to plan for optimizing algorithms by distributing workloads through concurrent programming. Much of the remainder of the book enumerates some common tasks and how to make them concurrent. One of the best parts of the common task listing is the scorecard for evaluating the quality of the implementation. The scorecard includes the useful performance factors of “efficiency” and “scalability”. It also includes the important details of “simplicity” and “portability”, important when evaluating methods for maintainable code.

The common threading tools OpenMP, Intel Thread Building Blocks, and POSIX threads are described in the early chapters and sprinkled throughout the examples in a useful manner, providing exposure to different ways one might implement concurency; not everyone needs to re-invent the wheel when optimizing tasks.

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