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Essential .NET, Volume 1: The Common Language Runtime by Chris Sells, Don Box

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Memory

One of the key characteristics of modern runtime environments such as the CLR is that they raise the level of abstraction from manual memory management to a type-centric model based on types, objects, and values. In such a model, the use of memory is implicit, not explicit. For the lion's share of programs, the resultant increase in productivity far outweighs any inconvenience that the lack of low-level control may impose. However, there is a class of problem for which explicit memory manipulation is vital, the most common of which is the direct access of memory buffers. This sort of direct access is critical in high-performance I/O processing, dealing with memory-mapped devices, and interfacing with existing C-based libraries or system ...

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