Reviews

Reviews

Book Review: Beginning Ubuntu LTS Server Administration: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition by Sander van Vugt

Ubuntu Server Edition, built on Debian GNU/Linux, has established itself as one of the most popular and well documented GNU/Linux server distributions. The Long Term Support (LTS) version of Ubuntu Server is provided with security updates for five years from the release date. This long term commitment ensures a stable base for deployment. Beginning Ubuntu LTS Server Administration From Novice to Professional aims to teach all you need to know to begin administering Ubuntu Server. The book covers installing, configuring and the systems administration tasks for Ubuntu Server Edition.

Book review: Using Moodle Teaching with the Popular Open Source Course Management by Jason Cole, Helen Foster

The book "Using Moodle Teaching with the Popular Open Source Course Management", by Jason Cole, Helen Foster, is a much needed reference book for Moodle.

Moodle is an open source Course Management System that allows you to organize and deliver information online in a structured and controlled format. Moodle also supports the creation of forums, chats, quizzes, assignments and the recording of grades.

The authors have the experience required to cover both the technology and the educational aspects of this unique tool. Jason Cole has been involved with universities moving to Moodle and has worked directly with teachers in the classrooms. He knows what works and what doesn't. Helen Foster is the Moodle documentation steward and facilitates the "Using Moodle" course on Moodle.org. She has also spent time teaching in a classroom and has implemented Moodle in various schools.

Book review: C Programming: A Modern Approach by K. N. King

The C language, despite the best journalistic assassins, trained monkeys on bikes, an alleged lack of fashion taste, is still alive and rocking in the building. C is, beyond dispute, recognized as a resource efficient and thus valid language to use, especially for highly effective operating systems such as GNU/Linux and for device driver creation. A good starting point for learning is K N Kings popular book "C Programming: A modern approach", published by Norton, which has just reached its second edition and hence worthy of a new review.

Joomla! Accessibility by Joshue O Connor

This book concentrates mainly on making websites accessible, particularly to the visually impaired. These techniques are then used, more briefly, to explain how to make Joomla! sites accessible. The book's author, Joshue O Connor, is clearly an expert on accessibility and has covered these areas well.

Linux Thin Client Networks Design and Deployment by David Richards

Thin client solutions bring together the display features of a personal computer and the low support requirements of dumb terminals. The client machine handles the user interface, while the servers provide the processing power for the applications. Thin clients offer considerable savings in staffing and capital costs. GNU/Linux lends itself to thin clients for reasons that are explored in this book. The book's author, David Richards, clearly has experience of explaining and implementing thin client solutions.

Book Review: Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 by Bryan J. Hong

My first exposure to Unix was ULTRIX from the Digital Equipment Corporation, a former employer. ULTRIX was Digital's version of the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD, Unix) that ran on VAX computers. FreeBSD, also descended from BSD, is a robust operating system for x86 and other architectures. What Bryan J. Hong attempts to do in Building a Server with FreeBSD 7 is to create a guide to installing FreeBSD, its applications and services--in short order and without fuss. Hong does this successfully and in great detail.

Book Review: Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux by Mark G. Sobell

Mainstream Linux distributions such as the ever-popular Ubuntu have the potential to contain thousands or tens of thousands of packages and have a wealth of supporting services activated on computer boot ups. Mark G. Sobell’s book A practical guide to Ubuntu Linux, published by Prentice Hall, describes the details of maintaining these complex structures on your own machine.

Book Review: Perl by Example, 4th Edition by Ellie Quigley

Perl is an amazingly powerful and succinct language. Although not the most fashionable, Perl is consistent and supported on a vast range of platforms, probably even more than Java. Better still, it gets in and does the job quickly with very little fuss. Perl by Example written by Ellie Quigley and published by Prentice Hall is a comprehensive, example based, and thorough book.

Book Review: Professional Plone Development by Martin Aspeli

Plone is a well-known Content Management Systems (CMS). Since it's relatively easy to customize to a specific enterprises style and workflow, there is a healthy trade of services around the core software. Martin Aspeli, the book's author, is an active contributor to Plone. Heavy involvement in a project that you are writing about always bodes well for the potential value and quality of a book that you, the reader might be considering buying. Aspeli's book "Professional Plone Development", published by PACKT, proves this quality point once again.

Book Review: The Book of Qt 4: The Art of Building Qt Applications by Daniel Molkentin

The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is built on the QT GUI toolkit. QT is more than a set of widgets: it has evolved over the last few years into a high quality cross platform application development environment with a rich set of tools and utility libraries. "The Book of Qt 4: The Art of Building Qt Applications", written by Daniel Molkentin and published by No Starch Press, thoroughly describes in exquisite detail the main widgets, algorithms and utility libraries (as well as tools such as the QT designer) needed during the application creation cycle.

Book Review: Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code by Kevin C. Baird

Ruby is currently one of the most fashionable and modern languages to program in. Ruby is synonymous with the Rails framework, which is a robust and deep framework used to prototype and then build stable and scalable web applications. Of course, Ruby has considerable potential in its own right. The book "Ruby by example, concepts and code" by Kevin C. Baird and published by No Starch Press will help you to learn the Ruby language via small incremental example scripts.

Book review: Moodle Teaching Techniques by William H. Rice IV

Moodle is a well-known and widely used online Course Management System. It is based on Apache and PHP and is normally associated with a MySQL database and GNU/Linux. The application has high market penetration and recognition, especially for schools. However, no matter how good a tool is, a poor teacher will only generate painful online learning experience. Moodle Teaching Techniques published by Packt and authored by William H. Rice IV focuses on best practices for constructing learning solutions.

Book review: Official Damn Small Linux Book by by Robert Shingledecker, John Andrews and Christopher Negus

Damn Small Linux (DSL) is my favourite GNU/Linux distribution. It's not the one I use the most, but to me it represents everything good in the Linux world. It's small enough to run on any old PC, powerful enough to solve most any problem. This is the distribution to use when proving just how useful GNU/Linux can be.

Book review: Linux Firewalls: Attack Detection and Response with iptables, psad, and fwsnort by Michael Rash

The stability of an enterprise-wide infrastructure depends on understanding innovative, defensive security-related software. Linux Firewalls: Attack Detection and Response with iptables, psad and fwsnort written by Michael Rash and published by No Starch Press, outlines viable approaches that enable a defensive solution in depth.

Book review: Learning PHP Data Objects by Dennis Poppel

Learning PHP Data Objects by Dennis Popel (Packt Publishing, 2007) introduces the PHP5 extension PDO. If you've ever worked on a LAMP server, you must know how tedious it is to go through the results of an SQL query, and to manage the connection--even worse, if you happen to change database, your work is pretty much lost: PostgreSQL, MySQL and SQLite don't have the same driver nor functions! Not so with PDO.

Get your classes and objects ready: PDO will make using a database under PHP5 a snap.

Book review: Security Data Visualization by Greg Conti

Eighty percent of input to the brain is visual, and comes directly through the eyes. We humans are incredible machines with the ability to recognize patterns instantaneously. Machine technology is not capable of matching humans, and won't be for many decades. Security data visualization translates complex data relationships into meaningful visual patterns that humans can quickly interpret. The book Security Data Visualization: Graphical techniques for network analysis by Greg Conti and published by No Starch Press answers the important and core question: can visualization help with security? The answer is a resounding "yes".

Book review: Linux System Programming by Robert Love

Many people make the mistake of thinking of Linux as just another Unix. Though most system calls are indeed identical, some of them aren’t. Knowing the difference is important. The book Linux System Programming provides complete overview of Linux system calls.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Linux System Programming provides us with a complete overview of Linux system calls

Book Review: Linux Thin Client Networks Design and Deployment by David Richards

This book is a gem. The author has written a compact volume covering many facets of GNU/Linux on thin clients. The book is persuasive and gives attention to issues of users and managers. The author is the same David Richards who led the government of Largo, Florida, to adopt GNU/Linux on thin clients under the radar of Microsoft, through the valley of thin clients, across the mountains of IT to the promised land of GNU/Linux--before Munich and Extremadura. This is also the same person who brought thin clients on e-bay.

Book review: Security PowerTools by Nicolas Beauchesne et al

Security has always been a concern when using a computer. First, we thought physical security was enough. After all, if the computer is in the house, how could anyone else get to it? But in today’s world, many of us live with our computers on-line twenty-four/seven. Security is not just loading up the latest protection software, but being aware of how the “bad guys” attack. Good security also requires vigilant testing and, since no one wants to simply issue a challenge to the “bad guys” and see what happens—they don’t typically fill out trouble tickets—we need to use tools that can simulate these attacks.

Book review: Practical Ruby for System Administration by André Ben Hamou

Practical Ruby for System Administration, which was written by Andre Ben Hamou and published by Apress, is a lightning introduction to this modern scripting language and is a reasonably detailed, example based, explanation of the potential strength of Ruby for System Administrators and thus the enterprise.

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