reviews

Reviews

Book review: Ending Spam—Bayesian Content Filtering and the Art of Statistical Language Classification

For a lot of people, thoughts about spam are limited to a burst of bad language and perhaps a brief marvel at the sheer volume of organisations that want to help fix aspects of other people’s genitalia. However, there is more to spam than expletives. Spam doesn’t just magically appear in your mailbox, it has a history and so does the battle against it. There are some pretty interesting and innovative weapons available to combat the evil that is spam. And some of those weapons are examined in Ending Spam: Bayesian Content Filtering and the Art of Statistical Language Classification

Book review: Samba-3 By Example, 2nd Edition by John H. Terpstra

Humans often learn best by example, and the Samba documentation team has responded with this very admirable collection of example Windows networking projects with Samba. I liked the design of this book, and although you will obviously need to access the Samba-3 howto for reference purposes, I would personally recommend buying this one and reading the howto online, if you must choose. This is essentially a cookbook, but it also has a consistent context which makes the examples hang together.

Samba-3 By Example, 2nd EditionSamba-3 By Example, 2nd Edition

Book review: Computers & Typesetting Millennium Edition by Donald E. Knuth

Professor Donald E. Knuth doesn’t need an introduction: he created TeX (a powerful typesetting system) and METAFONT (a program to design fonts). He also designed a font family, called Computer Modern, which is the default choice of TeX.

The cover of Computers & Typesetting Millennium editionThe cover of Computers & Typesetting Millennium edition

Mr. Knuth is known to write sharp and enlightening books. His books about typesetting are no exception: he wrote five books dedicated to these topics, and Addison-Wesley now sells them all in one box, entitled “Computers & Typesetting Millennium edition”...

Book review: The Practical Manager’s Guide To Open Source by Maria Winslow

Cover of The Practical Manager’s Guide to Open SourceCover of The Practical Manager’s Guide to Open Source

Free software has grown in leaps and bounds. All too often though, there is a lack of concrete evidence of its usefulness in the workplace. While you and I know the advantages of free software, in the world of business it’s all about money. Most IT directors have experience with free software, so they know the money they’d save. Showing that to a board of directors is completely different.

Book review: Free Software for Busy People by Mohammad Al-Ubaydli

I've used Windows for most of my life. Almost all of my family, friends and colleagues use Windows. The Microsoft network effect has locked in a majority of the population.

The book's cover The book's cover

Up to now, I've found that it is very hard to get people to switch to free software. After all, most Windows users have an operating system with applications that work well enough. Why should they care about free software when most of the people they know aren't using it?

What I wanted to know was will this book convince people to start switching to free software?

Book review: Linux Server Security by Michael D Bauer

While developed and supported with the best of intentions, Linux is still based on a wide range of different applications and systems working together. From the free software perspective this is its power; many people working together to produce a top quality operating system.

The cover of Linux Server SecurityThe cover of Linux Server Security

Book review: Regular Expression Recipes by Nathan A. Good

I’ll admit right up front that I am something of a regular expression junkie. Years before I even knew such a system existed (before the days of the internet) I wrote my own regular expression system to handle the needs of a free-text database management package. Today, we are all familiar with regular expressions in Perl, sed, awk/gawk and even in “user” applications like email and word processors...

The cover of Regular Expression RecipesThe cover of Regular Expression Recipes

Book review: High Performance Linux Clusters by Joseph D Sloan

Like distributed computing, clusters are a hot topic in the current computing climate. The reason is simple, with the explosion of Linux and cheaper components it’s actually become quite simple and inexpensive to put together a relatively high-powered cluster. Driving the cluster production is an increased need for computing power as applications are developed for different situations.

Book review: Practical Subversion by Garrett Rooney

Version control is—or at least should be—a critical part of the development process. As Garrett Rooney explains right at the beginning of Practical Subversion (published by Apress), using version control can help you recover that file you accidentally deleted, or put your code base back into the position it was in, when it worked, before you introduced that latest bug.

Book review: From Bash to Z Shell by Oliver Kiddle, Jerry Peek and Peter Stephenson

If you use a free software operating system or environment, chances are one of your key interfaces will be through some kind of shell. Most people assume the bulk of the power of shells comes from the commands available within them, but some shells are actually powerful in their own right. Many of the more recent releases being more like a command line programming environment than a command line interface. “From Bash to Z Shell” published by Apress, provides a guide to using various aspects of the shell.

Book review: Linux in a Windows World by Roderick Smith

Linux in Windows World aims to solve the problems experienced by many system administrators when it comes to using Linux servers (and to a lesser extent clients) within an existing Windows environment. Overall the book is meaty and a quick flick through shows an amazing amount of information has been crammed between the covers. There are though some immediately obvious omissions, given the books title and description, but I’m hoping this won’t detract from the rest of the content...

The cover of Linux in a Windows WorldThe cover of Linux in a Windows World

Book review: Unix Power Tools 3rd edition by Shelley Powers, Jerry Peek, Tim O’Reilly and Mike Loukides

Using a Unix system requires a lot of knowledge, and it’s common to see Unix users and administrators spending a lot of time reading handbooks, tutorials and man pages to find out the “right” sequence of keystrokes. In the publishing world there is a little pearl, a single source of information about Unix and how to use it: Unix Power Tools, published by O’Reilly and Associates. O’Reilly is a well known publisher of Unix books; in this one, you’ll see Tim O’Reilly himself as an author!

The cover of Unix Power Tools 3rd editionThe cover of Unix Power Tools 3rd edition

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