Books to shelve

GCN Insider | Trends & technologies that affect the way government does IT

The fourth edition of 'Computer Architecture' by John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson tackles the metrics behind multi-core processing, virtualization and other brain teasers. 'SELinux by Example' makes SELinux easy (almost).

Computer hardware is certainly entering into a new era, what with multicore processing, virtualization and other enhancements. As such, the venerable instructional tomes for this field, from authors such as Andrew Tanenbaum and Donald Knuth, may be in need of updating. Hot on the case is the recently released fourth edition of 'Computer Architecture' by John Hennessy and David Patterson (Morgan Kaufmann, $79.95). The new edition covers these topics and updates the insightful work in the earlier editions that laid out the full range of metrics needed for evaluating processor performance.

We remember when the National Security Agency surprised the open-source community with its contribution of Security Enhanced Linux; now the help manuals are piling up. Last year's 'SELinux: NSA's Open Source Security Enhanced Linux' from Bill McCarty (O'Reilly, $39.95) broke new ground in explaining how this access control platform works. Now, 'SELinux by Example' (Prentice Hall, $44.99) by Frank Mayer, Karl MacMillan and David Caplan simplifies that admittedly tough job even further, showing how object classes, type enforcement, role-based access control and other obscure concepts relate to the operating system itself.

Publishers have been covering other new technologies as well. For relational database administrators, 'Querying XML: XQuery, XPath, and SQL/XML in Context' by Jim Melton and Stephen Buxton (Morgan Kaufmann, $49.95) does a good job of mapping the old world of relational database management to the brave new one of XML databases.

Getting Ruby on Rails implemented can be a snap, but if you are looking to trick out your implementation with user authorization, Ajax, additional databases or other bells and whistles, then take a look at Chad Fowler's 'Rails Recipes' (Pragmantic Bookshelf, $32.95).

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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