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Book Review: The Book Of Gimp

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I usually use GIMP (the "GNU Image Manipulation Program") for editing photos, changing colors, resizing photos, applying significant effects and more. It is a free software alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It is also quite popular with graphics artists and webmasters who wants to edit digital images. GIMP is not just a Linux specific program. It works on all leading operating systems, i.e., Mac OS X, MS-Windows and Unix variants. However, like many other powerful open source software, GIMP can be difficult to master. There are many options and plugins. So if, you are looking to learn or master the GIMP program, give The Book of GIMP a try. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:9264 | -nixcraft, March 8, 2013

Book Review: FreeBSD Device Drivers by Joseph Kong

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The Introduction says the goal of the book is “to help you improve your understanding of device drivers under FreeBSD”. OK, that is exactly what I wanted to do as I am currently working on several projects that use FreeBSD at deeper levels of understanding. read more...
permapage | score:9144 | -aweber, May 1, 2012

Book Review: Ubuntu Made Easy

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The task this book sets out to do is impossible and many who purchase the book will expect a great deal more. Everyone wants a one volume answer guide to the Ubuntu Desktop, it simply is not possible. The goal of the current book, is to provide “jumping-off point to get started.” read more...
permapage | score:8686 | -aweber, September 11, 2012

Book Review: Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, 2nd Ed.

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Got a potential young programmer in your family?
The best recommendation I can give for this book is simply this: just a few days after I gave a copy to my 13-year-old son for his birthday, and without any more intervention from me, he showed me his first completed game program. It was a simple numbers guessing game — the first major exercise from this book. Since then, he’s been following along and tinkering with Python. The book has kept him motivated and built up his confidence in his own skills, which is a tricky thing to achieve (something I’ve tried myself with mixed success).
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mail this link | permapage | score:8533 | -Ray, March 8, 2011

Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook review

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Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition is the version of Ubuntu optimized for netbooks and other small screen computers. This article offers a detailed review, with emphasis on Unity, the new desktop interface that ships with it. read more...
permapage | score:8443 | -finid, November 1, 2010

Book Review: Linux on the Mainframe

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This one might be worth the $50 if you are looking to load Linux on your handy IBM mainframe...
Two words that guarantee heated discussions at both the business level and the IT level are Linux and mainframe. So, when I saw this title, Linux on the Mainframe, I couldn't resist taking a peak inside. It's actually funny to hear people debate about these two platforms considering that the roots of both operating systems are older than the people who typically discuss it.
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mail this link | permapage | score:8374 | -Ray, May 15, 2004

Book Review: Expert Network Time Protocol

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Just in case the philosophical treatment of the mysteries of time in the first part of Expert Network Time Protocol doesn't intrigue you, you can just skip to part two. It covers the more practical aspects of controlling time on your servers and systems. The book lists for about $40.
Where the book shines, and where most readers will find value, is in part two, which details how to effectively design, configure, deploy and operate NTP. Where part one is conceptual, part two is extremely practical. Chapter 3 opens up with a comprehensive overview of the what, how and why effective time-keeping via NTP is needed.
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mail this link | permapage | score:8257 | -Ray, August 20, 2005

Book Review: A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux

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This book covers 8.04 and 8.10 of Ubuntu...
I upgraded my Ubuntu VM to 8.10 just for this review (well, not "just" for this review, but mostly). Of course, Sobell's second edition of this "I-weigh-a-ton" tome covers both 8.04 and 8.10, but I run 8.04 on my production machine, so I figure I've got the book covered. Judging by the size of the book though, I'd have to assume that Sobell has it covered as well. But does he? Unlike Godzilla, size doesn't always matter. Let's have a look.
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mail this link | permapage | score:8090 | -Ray, February 3, 2009

Book Review: Essential Mac OS X Server Administration

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This book covers Panther (OS X 10.3).
The evolution of any particular server product should be of vast interest to the professional systems administrator. Panther Server (Mac OS X 10.3), which is the focus of this book, will continue to be a presence in the Apple server-specific market for quite some time. Frankly, not every deployment site (from small businesses to vast educational institutions) will be able to upgrade to Tiger immediately nor will they all be eager to expend the time and additional dollars needed to invest in software, training and potentially new hardware.
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mail this link | permapage | score:8011 | -Ray, June 16, 2005

Book Review: Linux Power Tools

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Linux Power Tools does seem to provide a broad swath of Linux and Linux-related application information. I'm not sure I'd pay the $50 though, unless I was a bit more of a newbie.
If you are an experienced Linux user, this book isn't for you. It simply doesn't provide enough depth of information and contains little that experienced users couldn't get from Google searches and reading man pages. If you're new to the Linux community, however, and lack experience with Linux and Unix-type operating systems, this is a good overview of what you can do with Linux.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7999 | -Ray, November 7, 2003

Book Review: Making Use of Python

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While this review isn't very positive on the book in question, it does manage to be worthwhile reading by recommending several alternatives.
Making Use of Python's readers will learn Python, but they won't learn Python at its best. Gupta apparently worked with an early release of 2.2 while preparing the book, but takes almost no advantage of the wealth of features introduced since version 1.5.2. Using Python without list comprehensions, generators, or iterators, for examples, is the moral equivalent of buying a Jaguar and never getting past second gear.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7979 | -Ray, February 27, 2003

Book Review: Perl Debugger Pocket Reference

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This handy book will only cost you about $10...
One of the most useful methods of checking Perl code, though, is the Perl debugger. Despite the usefulness of this tool, most Perl programmers (including me) never use it. There are a few reasons why we don't use the Perl debugger — we don't know how to use it or feel like learning how to use it is one reason. As part of O'Reilly's monograph (aka Pocket Reference) series, they've recently released a small book on the subject called Perl Debugger Pocket Reference, written by Richard Foley. Although it's small, the book simplifies getting started with the debugger and the price makes it affordable.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7957 | -Ray, April 21, 2004

Book review: Jess in Action

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Curious about Jess?
Jess in Action starts with an introduction to rule-based systems, goes through the basics of the Jess language, and then dives into the examples; the appendices include API references to both Jess functions and Jess's Java APIs, and numerous links and references are scattered throughout the book.
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permapage | score:7953 | -Ray, November 5, 2003

Book review: CUPS - Common Unix Printing System

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Learn to install, use, and administrate CUPS.
If you do not use a printer with Unix or Linux, or if you do and you are perfectly happy with the results (maybe because the distro came with all the right stuff pre-installed), this book is not for you.

However, if you are serious about printing, if you are considering replacing the outdated legacy printing system that came with your Unix or Linux or if you are a developer even remotely interested in Linux/Unix printing, this book is for you.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7924 | -Ray, June 4, 2003

Book review: Absolute OpenBSD

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Need some additional documentation for that wonderfully secure operating system.
A book like AOB is going to introduce many new users to OpenBSD, and it would be a disservice both to the existing community and the newcomers to not explain OpenBSD's culture. Thus, the first two chapters discuss the OpenBSD philosophy and also show the user how to become self-supporting when it is time to solve problems rather than flooding the mailing lists with easily answerable questions.

Critics may feel OpenBSD's rugged individualism is an indictment of its usability, but then they may be better served by a different OS.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7879 | -Ray, August 15, 2003

Book review: Advanced Unix Programming, 2nd Ed.

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Isn't it about time the update included the word 'Linux' in the title?
If you are just starting with programming in Unix/Linux environment, don't let the word "Advanced" scare you off. The first chapter is pretty good in getting the reader up to speed with the concepts discussed in the book. It talks about such common tasks as getting the system to tell you what it has in terms of POSIX, getting a Unix box to tell you the date and time inside a C++ application, and counting your app's execution time.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7863 | -Ray, April 30, 2004

Book Review: Unix Shells by Example

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With 1150 pages, at least you'll feel like you got your $50 worth...
This book is most helpful for the motivated novice or intermediate programmer seeking to improve, and I heartily recommend it. For experienced programmers, however, it's less clear whether this book provides sufficient benefit. The marketing folks at Prentice Hall state that "instead of buying four or five books to work with different shells, all you need is one".
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permapage | score:7848 | -Ray, December 2, 2004

Book Review: BIND 9 DNS Administration Reference Book

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BIND 9 DNS Administration Reference Book lists for about $21...
For a reference manual, it seems to hit all the high points and more. What I mean is what I said before; this is the type of book that you refer to when you are trying to figure out a particular problem, not the sort of book you pick up if you are trying to learn BIND administration or have never heard of BIND and DNS.
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permapage | score:7840 | -Ray, October 4, 2007

Book Review: Lean Software Development

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Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit lists for about $45.
The book's very useful for anyone involved in or around the software development process: developers, leads, managers, and corner-office types. Corner-office types won't get as much out of the book as those in the trenches, but the Poppendiecks' arguments against overly-constraining process management systems may help high-level managers come to understand that such systems can actually hurt production.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7818 | -Ray, September 2, 2005

Book Review: The Definitive Guide to MySQL

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A MySQL book with an emphasis on PHP...
Unlike most books, the programming languages introduced in The Definitive Guide to MySQL aren't introduced with examples as though you have never programmed a computer before. (So beware, if you haven't; this is probably not the right book for you.) The examples start with useful code that assumes familiarity with the language. The examples are excellent, demonstrating how to efficiently get your code connecting to the database. The author covers PHP, Perl, Java, C and C++, and Visual Basic, C# and ODBC.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7793 | -Ray, November 23, 2004
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