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Ask HN: What technical book did you buy and read?
2 points by ecesena 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 3 comments
I'm curious to understand what type of technical books are you still buying, and why.

I personally do not buy books, prefer to listen to audiobooks and therefore less technical subjects. For work I primarily read papers and learn about new "stuff" (languages, tools) with online docs and manuals. I also never did a technical certification.

It's a fact that the industry of technical books is in decline, and I'm sure there are opportunities to "refresh" it with new ideas and new styles of books. But before that, I was curious to understand what are people buying, are they actually consuming the content, what's the specific topic/use case.

I’m currently reading Olivier Dubuisson’s ASN.1 — Communication Between Heterogeneous Systems. It’s not very well written, even if you ignore that it’s translated from French by a non-native English speaker. However, it’s still better than John Larmouth’s ASN.1 Complete. These are the only post-1994 books on ASN.1, and I can’t help but think that the lack of good comprehensive material on ASN.1 contributed to it having only a relatively niche existence.

Currently "Programming Massively Parallel Processors" (Hwu, Kirk, El Hajj). It is full of typos, but once I look over that, it has some quite educational techniques.

The next one waiting on the book shelf is "Compilers" (Lam, Ullman).

Why did I buy them? I found them at the flea market for almost nothing, unopened (different occasions). They were impulse buys.

Recently I also re-read "C++20 - The Complete Guide" (Josuttis), just as a reminder. But it was a PDF.

"But How Do It Know: The Basic Principles of Computing" was a good look at the 1's and 0's that underlie modern computing.


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