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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:9547 | -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:9386 | -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:8972 | -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:8588 | -Ray, March 8, 2011

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:8455 | -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:8177 | -Ray, February 3, 2009

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:8123 | -Ray, November 5, 2003

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:8118 | -Ray, December 2, 2004

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:8101 | -finid, November 1, 2010

Book Review: Web Design on a Shoestring

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Web Design on a Shoestring lists for about $25.
One first impression of Web Design on a Shoestring is its excellent organization, an attribute librarians assume with famous pride (working in a library -- though not as a degreed librarian -- I've observed the species up close). Each chapter begins with a checklist preview. The text has ample sidebars covering budget gotchas ("Budget Threat"), saving opportunities ("Spinning Straw into Gold"), and special definitions. Plenty of screen shots (mostly from Mac OS X) and code listings visually support topics under discussion.
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mail this link | permapage | score:8044 | -Ray, February 17, 2005

Book Review: Knoppix Hacks

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Knoppix Hacks lists for $30.
The hacks cover a wide range of topics, from Web browsing to data forensics and even making your own custom Knoppix CD. Some examples: Hack #39 -- Browse Windows Shares -- shows how Knoppix can browse a Windows SMB LAN with KDE's Konqueror. Hack #50 -- Test Hardware Compatibility -- has great tips for finding out the details of a PC's components without having to open the case and inspect it. Hack #25 -- Network Boot Knoppix -- turns Knoppix into a terminal server, with one PC booting off the Knoppix CD and a second booting from its network card, using the Knoppix CD from the first PC.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7986 | -Ray, November 16, 2004

Book review: Head First Java

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Reviewer plunges head first into 'silly' Java book, finds himself thoroughly learning Java. I guess that's about as good a thing as you can say about a programming book.
Of course, you can't learn Java without a good understanding of object-oriented languages. I made fairly heavy going with 'Learning Java' until I decided to dive in head first. Head First Java, that is -- a new book from O'Reilly that has a totally different attitude to teaching than I've seen before in computer books. It also looks like this might be the start of a series from O'Reilly, the website an introduction seem to assume that there will be more 'Head First' titles and I hope so. The style is humorous, full of graphics, cartoons, puzzles, quizzes and crosswords.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7979 | -Ray, July 17, 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:7933 | -Ray, April 21, 2004

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:7924 | -Ray, February 27, 2003

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:7899 | -Ray, September 2, 2005

Book Review: Ajax in Action

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Ajax in Action lists for about $45.
The majority of the book is for programmers engaged in the development of web applications; especially those who are interested in taking their applications beyond the traditional ``click and wait for the response from the server'' model that we've become accustomed too.

The first section, and particularly the first chapter, would be suitable for anyone who is curious about Ajax.
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permapage | score:7892 | -Ray, November 25, 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:7881 | -Ray, September 28, 2004

Book review: Programming Wireless Devices With Java 2

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Looking to write a Space Tyrant interface for Java-enabled cell phones? ;)
What this book does best is comprehensive exposition of the J2ME APIs. There are chapters dedicated to the APIs for forms, graphics, games, sound, persistence, and networking, with code samples offered in most cases, and a Java Almanac-style reference to all J2ME-specific classes and interfaces is provided as an appendix. Features that are new to the J2ME second edition are clearly identified.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7797 | -Ray, July 25, 2003 (Updated: April 26, 2011)

Book Review: Beginning PHP 5 and MySQL...

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Beginning PHP 5 and MySQL E-Commerce: From Novice to Professional lists for about $45.
Chapters 3 and 4 lead the reader through the creation of the product catalog for the TShirtShop site. The authors give a brief overview of SQL, relational databases, using PEAR DB and Smarty plug-ins. The first table is created and populated with data, PEAR DB is used to access the data and a Smarty template is used to implement the user interface. Multiple tables are then added to enhance product catalog features, which allows for a discussion of table relationships. Filtering SQL results and joining data tables are then examined in the section on implementing the data tier.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7790 | -Ray, March 24, 2005 (Updated: March 29, 2005)

Book Review: Wicked Cook Java

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Wicked Cook Java lists for about $30.
The back cover calls it an "idea sourcebook" and I'm going to concur with that description. It contains a very wide range of subject matter and so each chapter addresses a portion of that spectrum. The first three chapters cover core Java skills and will be applicable to every reader of the book. The balance of the chapters are more discretionary and will appeal to different readers to differing levels. Each of the chapters brings about a dozen thoughts or tools concerning the subject area to the reader. Most of these tools are explained and short code samples are given for their use.
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mail this link | permapage | score:7788 | -Ray, January 26, 2006
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