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Embedded Ethernet and Internet Complete
Reviewed by Ernest Friedman-Hill, October 2003
(9 of 10)
Recently, I took my daughter to a play about a giant. At turns, the giant was played by an actor and a 30-foot effigy. The other characters were each played both by a person and a 12-inch marionette. It was technically well done: the scale shifted up and down effortlessly.
This book does the same thing, swooping from a description of the bitfields in an Ethernet frame, to the nuances of multithreaded network programming, to details of HTTP, SMTP, POP, and FTP; from making network patch cables (really!) to choosing network-ready embedded processor boards, to architecting whole networks. Somehow, the reader doesn't notice the transitions; this vast range of information is all integrated flawlessly.
The intended audience is embedded systems programmers who want to learn about networking. Someone wanting to build a hardware IP router would find most of what they'd need here, at least regarding the theory and the software. More basic setup information for the specific hardware (including the Java-programmable TINI board) that are used in the excellent examples would have been welcome; some details on assembling a test rig would have let a hardware novice dabble more confidently.
The focus of most of the book is excellent, but the momentum does start to dissipate in the last few chapters; the very last chapter on network security in particular feels tacked on.
I'd recommend this for anyone who wants to learn about Ethernet or IP networking, on embedded systems or not.
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