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Windows® via C/C++, Fifth Edition by Christophe Nasarre, Jeffrey Richter

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Basics of Asynchronous Device I/O

Compared to most other operations carried out by a computer, device I/O is one of the slowest and most unpredictable. The CPU performs arithmetic operations and even paints the screen much faster than it reads data from or writes data to a file or across a network. However, using asynchronous device I/O enables you to better use resources and thus create more efficient applications.

Consider a thread that issues an asynchronous I/O request to a device. This I/O request is passed to a device driver, which assumes the responsibility of actually performing the I/O. While the device driver waits for the device to respond, the application’s thread is not suspended as it waits for the I/O request to complete. Instead, ...

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