REVIEW: "The Devil's Code", John Sandford (John Camp)

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. BKDVLSCD.RVW 20030425

    "The Devil's Code", John Sandford (John Camp), 2000, 0-425-17988-5,
    %A John Sandford (John Camp)
    %C 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
    %D 2000
    %G 0-425-17988-5
    %I Berkley
    %O U$7.99/C$10.99
    %P 354 p.
    %T "The Devil's Code"

    John Sandford is actually John Camp, so, given the quality of the
    technical material in "The Fool's Run" (cf BKFLSRUN.RVW), it is no
    particular surprise to find that this book also demonstrates a solid
    grasp of computer technology. It is, though, always a pleasant
    discovery to find an author who really does know what actually happens
    in the technical world.

    The technology involved is not particularly detailed, and often is
    only tangential to the story. Still, it is nice to see that someone
    understands that a cluster of cheap computers can outperform a single
    expensive one, that Clipper (and any similar idea) was pointless, and
    that outsourcing leaves you at the mercy of the people actually doing
    the work. The computer industry is portrayed in a very real manner:
    not everyone likes the same type of mass storage systems, and the
    company that makes "cow" boxes is easily identifiable to those who do
    buy computers. The one cavil I might make is that I can't see why a
    not-particularly-high resolution photograph creates a 500 megabyte

    While some specific aspects of the group of high tech thieves and
    industrial espionage agents stretches the bounds of credulity, in
    general the behaviour and characterizations are good. The network of
    friend-of-a-friend type contacts does tend to be the way that high end
    work in any technical area gets done. Attitudes towards, and on the
    part of, government agencies are quite realistic. The behaviour of
    various law enforcement and intelligence groups is all too authentic
    (although, in the real world, there are hopeful signs that improvement
    may be coming in some areas).

    For those tired of non-viral viruses, hardware destroying software,
    and instant access to unconnected machines, this makes a refreshing
    change--and read.

    copyright Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKDVLSCD.RVW 20030425


    "If you do buy a computer, don't turn it on." - Richards' 2nd Law
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    Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Jul 3, 2003
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