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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:8698 | -aweber, September 11, 2012

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:8339 | -aweber, May 1, 2012

Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Netbook screen shot preview

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Pear Linux is a relatively new community project that publishes several versions of Linux desktop distributions. While I am still working on a review of the standard and netbook editions, here are a few screen shots from a test installation of the NETBOOK edition. read more...
permapage | score:8172 | -finid, March 27, 2012

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:8106 | -Ray, February 3, 2009

Book Review: Linux System Programming

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Linux System Programming lists for about $50 US...
The books stated target is for modern Linux development, a 2.6.22 kernel, gcc 4.2 and glibc 2.5. Many calls have been standardized by POSIX, and where this is so it are noted in the text, so a large portion of the content is useful on other systems. There is even the occasional mention of non-Linux system calls, the use of which is not encouraged, but shown so you know how they function if you come across them in older code.
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mail this link | permapage | score:8073 | -Ray, April 15, 2008

Ubuntu Netbook Edition (Remix) Review

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Ubuntu Netbook Edition (formally netbook remix) is a collection of applications that make Ubuntu more usable on smaller screens. But you don't have to be running a netbook to benefit. This article looks at how to use the best netbook remix features in a standard Ubuntu 10.04 install.

Although Ubuntu Netbook Edition is a separate distribution to the main Ubuntu desktop edition, it is actually quite easy to convert your existing Ubuntu install into the Netbook Edition. Or, if you are like me, you may just want to take the best bits of the Netbook Edition and use them on your desktop PC. read more...
mail this link | permapage | score:7999 | -mcasperson, June 16, 2010

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:7967 | -Ray, April 21, 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:7932 | -Ray, August 20, 2005

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:7921 | -Ray, September 2, 2005

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:7847 | -nixcraft, March 8, 2013

Book Review: Learning SQL

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Learning SQL lists for about $35.
Knowledge of SQL is pretty much a core skill that every developer ought to have. Aside from embedded systems, just about every major programming domain depends on a database - whether it's for dynamic web pages, web services, desktop applications or just about anything else - being able to communicate with a database is a key skill. This book is expressly designed for those wanting to learn this skill, or seeking to brush up their existing knowledge.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7737 | -Ray, May 17, 2006

Book Review: The TCP/IP Guide

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The TCP/IP Guide: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Internet Protocols Reference lists for about $80.
Kozierok spent at least four years working full-time on this book, according to the dedication, and it shows. He covers everything from networking fundamentals to individual application protocols such as Gopher.

Do you need to familiarize yourself with Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) routing protocol basics? It's covered. Do you need to understand the pros and cons of Network Address Translation, and how static and dynamic mappings work? It's covered. Do you want the nitty gritty of how message formats are laid out? It's covered.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7728 | -Ray, December 15, 2005

Book review: JavaScript and DHTML Cookbook

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For the list price of $40 you get a highly recommended book.
The recipes in JavaScript & DHTML Cookbook are extremely practical, well thought out, and even educational. Discussions like Calculating the Number of Days Between Two Dates, Simulating a Hash Table for Fast Array Lookup, and Transforming XML Data into HTML Tables not only are very useful to the cut-and-paster, they teach even seasoned JavaScripters a thing or two about the language.
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permapage | score:7725 | -Ray, August 26, 2003

Book Review: How to Do Everything with PHP and MySQL

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How to Do Everything with PHP and MySQL lists for about $25.
As the author notes in the Introduction, the book is not designed to be a complete reference for either technology, but instead intended as a tutorial for Web developers who are interested in learning how to do server-side scripting in combination with a database management system. Vaswani states that he does not assume prior knowledge of programming or database fundamentals, and that these basic concepts will be taught by example, using tutorials and realistic examples.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7724 | -Ray, July 1, 2005

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:7719 | -Ray, December 2, 2004

Book Review: Web Designers Reference

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Yes, yes, I know. I could use a copy of this book too...
For those Web designers like me, Mr. Grannell's book is a welcome addition to the literature because it systematically deals with the topics under discussion. In its coverage of XHTML, CSS, Javascript, and complementary coding (like PHP), it provides a nice framework guiding "old dogs" like me into standards-compliant code. Not only does it provide some historical perspectives on these codes, it compares the old with the new in regard to all of the important elements of Web design.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7697 | -Ray, May 18, 2005

Book Review: OpenOffice.org All in One

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OpenOffice.org All in One lists for about $30.
The book is pitched firmly at the newbie and it aims to introduce each of the four main components of OOo - Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw. No prior experience of OOo or MS Office is assumed, so the book starts with the absolute basics. A task-oriented structure is used throughout, with step by step instructions and plenty of screen-shots included to make things as clear as possible.
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permapage | score:7697 | -Ray, September 28, 2004

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:7675 | -Ray, March 8, 2011

Book Review: Mastering Shell Scripting

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Mastering Shell Scripting sounds like a useful resource for the scripting system administrator.
Despite the above criticisms, the scripts presented in this book are well written and easy to follow. An example that concludes the "Basics" chapter is the excellent test_string.ksh script. Pass an argument to this script, and it checks whether the argument is numeric, alpha, lower or uppercase, hex or mixed case, etc. All the regular expressions typically used with a case statement are included.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7671 | -Ray, November 20, 2003

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:7614 | -Ray, June 16, 2005
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