Book review: Linux® Debugging and Performance Tuning: Tips and Techniques by Steve Best

Debugging and tuning of Linux, though not a romantic subject, is a necessary one for the health of any well-run free software biased network. A slight change here and a nudge there in the background can make the difference between user discomfort and a quiet Sunday afternoon for the poor old administrator. Linux Debugging and Performance Tuning as written by Steve Best is an excellent zoom in on this complex and detailed subject area.

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Book review: Linux® Troubleshooting for System Administrators and Power Users by David Carmichael, et al

Imagine, if you dare, the deep seated nightmare of any decent law abiding Linux system administrator. It is late at night and the wind is howling mightily outside, the network is down due to a maintenance slot and your beloved enterprise wide system X, Y or Z fails to reboot after patching the kernel. What do you do next? Well, one might consider grabbing a troubleshooting book off a near to hand shelf. Linux® Troubleshooting for System Administrators and Power Users may fulfill this primordial fear abating function.

Book review: Code Quality: The Open Source Perspective by Diomidis Spinellis

Code Quality: The Open Source Perspective is aimed at the very heart and soul of the open source movement. Without code quality Open Source would be a muddied named that no one would value or deploy. This book by Diomidis Spinellis is a well written, well focused and to a high degree an eternal description of the varying types and issues that can be found in programming languages such as Java and C.

Book review: Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing

When you develop an open source work or use an open source work, it is important that you understand the license. A well written license protects both you and the user. According to the information found on the O’Reilly website, “Andrew M. St. Laurent is an experienced lawyer with a long-time interest in intellectual property, particularly software licensing”. Rest assured, after reading this book you will have a new appreciation for those who work daily with licensing issues.

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Book review: Python How to Program by Deitel & Associates

Python How to Program is a textbook for a basic course in programming based on the increasingly popular programming language, Python.

Python How to Program is a very complete textbook for learning Python.Python How to Program is a very complete textbook for learning Python.

This book is truly a textbook, right down to the duotone red and black printing, which takes me back to my school days. I had expected it to be more of a self-study book as published by other technical publishers, but this book is clearly meant to be used in a classroom environment.

Book review: Nagios: System and Network Monitoring by Wolfgang Barth

There was a commercial on US television a while back that showed a man in an office building, and the man sticks his head into a coworker’s office, and says, “The network’s down, want to go grab a bagel?” The following scenes show each of those coworkers asking other coworkers to step out for a bagel. The final scene of the commercial shows the entire office, several hundred people, all crossing the street down below to grab a bagel, since they couldn’t do their jobs without a computer network. While Nagios can’t prevent network or application outages, it can actively monitor conditions and alert the appropriate people to ensure the network or application functionality can be restored quickly. Nagios: System and Network Monitoring by Wolfgang Barth is an excellent book which addresses installation, basic configuration, and provides an in-depth look into how to configure service checking for multiple platforms for Nagios 2.0.

Book review: Regular Expression Pocket Reference by Tony Stubblebine

This wonderful little book contains the most common and useful information on Regular Expressions you will need for Perl, C, PHP, Python, Java, .NET, vi Editor, and shell tools. The author, Tony Stubblebine, credits another O’Reilly book, Mastering Regular Expressions, as being the definitive work. Fortunately though, this book is sized a little smaller for quicker references. Sometimes you just need a quick reminder on syntax and don’t need a definitive work.

Book review: Learning Perl by Randal L Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, and brian d foy

The book Learning Perl will teach the reader how to begin writing code using the Perl language. The authors are not new to this subject matter. Randal L. Schwartz wrote Programming Perl with Larry Wall in 1991. Larry Wall being the father of Perl. Tom Phoenix has worked for years as a lead trainer on this subject; brian d foy is referred to as a fellow instructor and the lead writer for this fourth edition of the book. It would be hard to find a more qualified group to learn from. O’Reilly publishes this work in their familiar style and format.

Book review: PHP 5 Power Programming by Stig Bakken, Andi Gutmans, Derick Rethans

PHP is, in my opinion, the best computer language for developing almost any kind of web application. The authors of “PHP 5 Power Programming” apparently agree—they’ve written the most in-depth guide to the changes and new features in PHP 5 I have ever seen. Many free software web applications such as blog tools and content management systems are written in this versatile language.

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Book review: UNIX to Linux Porting by Alfredo Mendoza et. al

Converting a brilliant and specially customized C or C++ application from a generic UNIX OS to GNU/Linux has the potential to be painful, costly and time consuming. From comical personal experience I find that Murphy smiles and laughs at such rich complexities. “UNIX to Linux Porting: A Comprehensive Reference” gives psychological handle bars for those of you that wish to plan or enact a porting project for the first time and a comprehensive reference for the more experienced. This book details the main differences between Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and GNU/Linux.

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: User Mode Linux by Jeff Dike

“User Mode Linux” by Jeff Dike discusses a specific form of virtualization. UML is a Linux virtual machine contained within the GNU/Linux operating environment. The technique allows you to run multiple sandboxed virtual instances of Linux from one machine under a master Linux operating system. This is always good for server consolidation, security and development. In this book, a potentially complex subject area has been tamed and discussed with well grounded commonsense and practical examples by the original creator and current maintainer of the software. Virtualization is a hot topic.

Book review: Write Great Code by Randall Hyde

In our era of more powerful personal computers, applications that were once quick and simple have become larger, slower, and full of bloat. Any one of these application’s developers would have done well to have picked up a copy of Randall Hyde’s Write Great Code Volume 2: Thinking Low-level, writing high-level, published by No Starch Press. Write Great Code Volume 2 exceeds its goal of helping developers pay more attention to application performance when writing applications in high-level languages.

Book review: The Business and Economics of Linux and Open Source by Martin Fink

An introduction to the open source community targeted at business managers, this book by Martin Fink offers members of the free software and business communities glimpses of each other’s world view. It also includes a lot of practical advice for businesses interested in cashing in on the success of free software.

An older book, but still very relevantAn older book, but still very relevant

Book review: Wicked Cool Perl Scripts by Steve Oualline

Every GNU/Linux administrator will need to touch a Perl script or two at some point. Perl seems to be the scripting glue of choice since it has matured so well over the years. As a result, administrators can choose from many different Perl books. One such book is Wicked Perl Scripts by Steve Oualline and published by No Starch Press.

Wicked Perl Scripts coverWicked Perl Scripts cover

Book review: Pro Apache Ant by Matthew Moodie

This book covers the popular Java-oriented build tool, Ant. It is a combination of reference manual and user guide, which demonstrates how to create Ant scripts that can compile projects, test them, and perform the many other manual tasks involved in the build pipeline, above and beyond standard compilation phase.

Pro Apache AntPro Apache Ant

Book review: Linux Made Easy—the Official Guide to Xandros 3 for Everyday Users by Rickford Grant

Recently, a guy I know told me he had spoken to a friend of his about the possibility of installing GNU/Linux. “Hah!” Snorted his friend. “You? And GNU/Linux? Get real. That’s for hardcore geeks. You wouldn’t last.” And thus began the battle of spreading the free software word: trying to make my friend understand that GNU/Linux can ACTUALLY work for non-geeks and that making the switch won’t require him to suddenly understand jokes about binary. But, I knew all my friend really needed was a book like Linux Made Easy by Rickford Grant.

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Book review: The Debian System by Martin F. Krafft

The title “The Debian System” may be misleading to some, but it shouldn’t be. As the author claims, this book isn’t yet another guide to GNU/Linux. It’s a guide to Debian GNU systems, whether the kernel is Linux, BSD, or Hurd. Thanks to this book, both Debian beginners and experienced users have a detailed guide to the Debian world: its organization, licenses, and tools.

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