Reviews

Reviews

Book review: Pro Tomcat 6 by Matthew Moodie

The Apache Tomcat server is the most well known and deployed Servlet container for dynamic Java based web applications. Pro Apache Tomcat 6 by Matthhew Moodie (edited by Kunal Mittal and published by Apress) explains in exacting, systematic and well covered detail how to manage the latest version of this high quality, popular free software product.

Book Review: Java EE 5 Development using GlassFish Application Server by David R. Heffelfinger

The application server GlassFish supports all the most modern and juicy features of Java Enterprise Edition (EE), formally known as J2EE. Made by Sun, the server has a dual purpose as both the official application server reference for Java EE and as a viable and scalable piece of software that performs well under most conditions. David R. Heffelfinger's book "Java EE 5 Development using Glassfish", published by PACKT, follows both purposes by exploring the frameworks and the server deployment; thus the books details resonate vigorously with the spirit behind the tool.

Book review: Virtual Honeypots: From Botnet Tracking to Intrusion Detection by Niels Provos, Thorsten Holz

Honeypots look like victim systems waiting or searching for malware and other nefarious attacks, registering the enemy's practices in high-resolution gory, blood-ridden detail. Virtualization allows one system to act as a network of disparate victim OS’s and services. Security experts can observe attacks live or stored for detailed analysis, learn the methodology of Dr Evil and generate statistics for internet wide attacks.

Book review: SQL for MySQL Developers: A Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference by Rick F. van der Lans

MySQL is one of the dominant players in the database market—a solid pillar in the Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP or LAMP stack. SQL for MySQL Developers, written by Rick F. van der Lans and published by Addison Wesley covers all significant topics of SQL with specific references to the MySQL dialect.

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Book review: Linux Appliance Design

I am not paranoid... honest, but we are all surrounded, surrounded by consumer appliances such as wireless network routers, media centers and even some clever fridges and microwaves. I am even sure that my elder sons Robosapien is out to get me! At least the book Linux Appliance Design: A Hands-On Guide to Building Linux Appliances by the experienced Engineers (and now writers) Bob Smith, John Hardin, Graham Philips, and Bill Piece allows us to know our hidden enemies and build better appliance mousetraps.

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Book review: Writer for Writers by Dmitri Popov

OpenOffice.org is a fantastic office suite, finally undermining Microsoft’s monopoly on Office-like software (word processing, presentations, etc.). Out of all of the OpenOffice.org programs, Writer is by far the most used: writing a document, a letter, or anything else is definitely more common than writing a presentation. This book is all about OpenOffice.org’s Writer.

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Book review: Qmail Quickstarter by Kyle Wheeler

Qmail is an old, well-written, reliable security friendly email server that has proudly stood the test of time and corrosive use. Architecturally solid, with its components divided across workflow with numerous configuration files, the beginner system administrator needs a gentle push up the slopes of learning. Qmail Quickstarter: Install, Set Up, and Run your own Email Server by Kyle Wheeler and published by PACKT has been concisely written for the learning task at hand.

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Book review: SQL Hacks by Andrew Cumming and Gordon Russell

SQL is the de facto method of accessing relational data within databases. Databases have been around for many years, and consequentially many many books have been written about them. However, SQL Hacks: Tips & Tools for Digging into Your Data by Andrew Cumming and Gordon Russell sets itself apart through format, easy-going style, and ability to cover lots of tips, tricks, and hacks with Structured Query Language. The O'Reilly Press Hacks Series book covers SQL for MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and Microsoft Access. It covers 100 hacks which will definitely add to your SQL toolkit, and it will help give you ideas of how to solve related issues in writing queries.

Book review: Backup & Recovery by W. Curtis Preston

Linus Torvalds once wrote on linux.dev.kernel, “Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it ;)”. While his humorous comment might not be feasible for most, the topic of backing up important files (along with recovering them) is very crucial to any person or business. One excellent book which covers this topic is Backup & Recovery by W. Curtis Preston and published by O’Reilly. The book covers not only specific solutions but methodologies as well. It is a very complete and detailed look at the whole process of data backup and recovery.

Book review: Beginning Ubuntu Linux by Keir Thomas

I picked up Beginning Ubuntu Linux, Second Edition with a sense of familiarity; I also had the pleasure of reviewing the First Edition and found the experience to be a gentle and very complete introduction to Ubuntu. It’s as though Keir Thomas wants to ensure that anyone starting out with GNU/Linux won’t feel like a worthless newb being thrown to the proverbial geeks, who will guffaw and point and weeze asthmatically and incomprehensibly.

Book review: Practical Packet Analysis: Using Wireshark to Solve Real-World Network Problems by Chris Sanders

Knowing what information is traveling across your network is what keeps you out of trouble. Are there unknown hosts chatting away with each other? Is my machine talking to strangers? You need a packet sniffer to really find the answers to these questions. Wireshark is one of the best tools to do this job and this book is one of the best ways to learn about that tool. Chris Sanders, the author of this handy book, brings you the information cleanly and clearly. His style is to show you—to walk you through exactly what to do. This method works well and the book is quite readable.

Book review: The Definitive Guide to SQLite by Michael Owens

With so many database engine choices, it’s not easy to choose one. For those that choose SQLite, Michael Owens makes it easy to configure and operate. As the original creator of PySQLite, he knows a thing or two about this free and powerful database engine.

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Book review: Pro Open Source Mail: Building an Enterprise Mail Solution by Curtis Smith

Setting up an enterprise mail system can be a daunting task for anyone. Curtis Smith shows you how to do it easily.

When you first open this book, you may think it’s merely a software guide. Curtis Smith shows you everything from installing Fedora Core all the way to setting up mailing lists. If you only skim through the book, you’ll think it’s just a software guide. However, if you read through the book, you will find it rich with valuable information. There is history, RFC summaries, server issues, and much more.

Book review: ImageMagick Tricks by Sohail Salehi

ImageMagick, as many would know, is a software suite for image manipulation and display, supporting a wide variety of formats. But, what is less widely known is the many facets it has, and the wide array of things that can be done with it. This book gives you more than a hint of all that’s possible.

Book review: AJAX: Creating Web Pages with Asynchronous JavaScript and XML by Edmond Woychowsky

AJAX is the broadest of broad acronyms for a series of technologies that enable fashionably dynamic Web 2.0 applications. Edmond Woychowsky’s valid, technically correct and humorous book AJAX: Creating Web Pages with Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, published by Prentice Hall, plots a careful and viable path through the underlying complexity and smoke.

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Book review: Using Samba, Third Edition by Gerald Carter, Jay Ts and Robert Eckstein

Dedicated to UNIX system managers, the book covers all there is to know about Samba (as of version 3.0.22), how it relates to Microsoft’s Active Directory networking (shares, accounts, printing) and to UNIX’s networking.

Samba itself started in 1991 as a reimplementation of SMB by Andrew Tridgell. The project is under the GNU GPL and now allows any POSIX system out there to behave as a Windows machine in pretty much any role it would play on a network: from Active Directory domain controller to simple client, with all kinds of shares: per user, per group, files, printers...

Book review: Linux Administration Handbook Second Edition by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Trent R. Hein, et al

In my geek career, I have been many things: DBA, programmer, help-desk, engineer, systems administrator. I have worked with VMS, MS-DOS, various flavors of UNIX, MS-Windows of all sorts, OS/2, and MPE/iX. I have had a wide and various and satisfying career.

I can tell you without reservation, systems administration was the hardest and most demanding of all those jobs.

Book review: Practical Subversion, Second Edition by Daniel Berlin and Garrett Rooney

Subversion is a modern free software Revision Control System (RCS) that the Subversion community’s developers have designed from the bottom up to be more efficient in form than CVS. Subversion has a structured architecture and has other notable advantages such as the ability to function efficiently with binary files and the relatively low cost of tagging and branching. Yet thankfully, Subversion still manages to maintain a workflow similar to CVS, thus potentially simplifying the learning curve.

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